I'd like to take an image of my current OS and then run it as a VMware workstation from within the same OS.

Can someone explain how I would go about doing this?

I'm running Windows 7. as far as I understand I have to do some sort of backup of the OS to an image file.


You can give VMware converter a go -- it's free and it's meant to do exactly what you want. YMMV, however. In my experience in a corporate environment it's somewhere in the %60-80 success range.

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    (unrelated to the question) What were the failures? Did the VM not boot because of drivers? – ta.speot.is May 23 '11 at 2:58
  • Yep, drivers were the major issues. For reference, these were generally specialty server installations (e.g., Blackberry Enterprise server running on Win 2k3). – Uninspired May 23 '11 at 4:15

You can create a 'vhd' file using the Microsoft System Internals tool, Disk2VHD.

It is a simple app which allows your to pick your current boot volume as the source and output it to a destination as the vhd file. It will work faster if yo do it offline - connect to the drive from another system. Not necessary but faster. You then take the vhd file and use it as the virtual disk in your VM app.

I have done this in Virtual Box but not VMWare workstation. ymmv.


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Here's a detailed tutorial on using VMware Player to create a virtual machine which loads the Acronis Rescue Media .iso to load a backup image made with Acronis. http://www.aztcs.org/meeting_notes/winhardsig/virtualmachines/uses/RestoringAcronisImagetoVMwareVM.pdf

It seems to be a few years old but the method should still work regardless of what software you use to create a backup as long as you can create a Rescue CD.iso

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