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I need to move a Windows 2008 to VM to consolidate the hardware. The goal is not to circumvent license, but to retain all the files and settings on that computer in one shot (the old PC will not run afterwards). I cloned the hard disk but Windows refused to boot citing that the hardware has changed. I put the Windows 2008 install disk in but it didnot allow me to choose "upgrade". Instead, it asked me to boot from the Windows on the hard drive first.

I looked up the MS site and found that MS does not support this scenario. Does anyone here has done this successfully? Thanx in advance.

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You (usually) can't just clone the disk and drop it in a VM. The hypervisor is presenting different hardware to the machine, and Windows is either recognizing there has been too much change, or simply doesn't have the appropriate drivers to handle the virtual hardware.

I've had good luck with the "prepare for use in VirtualPC" option in Disk2VHD, but I've never tried it using Windows 2008 (or any other version of Windows Server.) For scenarios such as this, you're looking for a P2V (physical to virtual) solution. Maybe something like VMWare Converter or Virtual Machine Manager. Prepare for licensing costs, however.

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