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How can I convert a hard drive to a .vhd image?

    Question

  • I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium x86, and I'd like to convert an old hard drive (with Windows XP) to a .vhd image/file for use in Windows Virtual PC. I have the old hard drive plugged into a USB converter, so I'm accessing it via USB port.
    Thursday, December 17, 2009 3:45 AM

Answers

  • You want to do a P2V. Possibly the easiest way to do a P2V is to boot the system and use Disk2vhd, downloadable from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/ee656415.aspx. But you don't have a booted system, so another approach is needed. Acronis True Image with Universal Restore should be able to do this for you. You may be able to use disk imaging software to image copy from your hard drive into an empty virtual machine, but then you'll almost certainly have HAL problems. HAL problems can be mitigated by replacing the HAL.

    You need to tell us more about the constraints you're working under. Can you boot the old XP system? What's your budget? For some reason I'm thinking of Steve Ballmer saying "Linux is free if your time is worth nothing" - probably because I know from experience that P2V can waste enormous amounts of time with nothing to show in the end.
    • Marked as answer by Autobot1225 Friday, December 18, 2009 10:57 PM
    Thursday, December 17, 2009 3:56 AM
  • I found an old XP upgrade disk, so I used it to upgrade my Windows ME VM to a Windows XP VM. Now I can use XP in WVPC, which was my main goal.

    • Marked as answer by Autobot1225 Friday, December 18, 2009 10:58 PM
    Friday, December 18, 2009 10:57 PM

All replies

  • You want to do a P2V. Possibly the easiest way to do a P2V is to boot the system and use Disk2vhd, downloadable from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/ee656415.aspx. But you don't have a booted system, so another approach is needed. Acronis True Image with Universal Restore should be able to do this for you. You may be able to use disk imaging software to image copy from your hard drive into an empty virtual machine, but then you'll almost certainly have HAL problems. HAL problems can be mitigated by replacing the HAL.

    You need to tell us more about the constraints you're working under. Can you boot the old XP system? What's your budget? For some reason I'm thinking of Steve Ballmer saying "Linux is free if your time is worth nothing" - probably because I know from experience that P2V can waste enormous amounts of time with nothing to show in the end.
    • Marked as answer by Autobot1225 Friday, December 18, 2009 10:57 PM
    Thursday, December 17, 2009 3:56 AM
  • The old computer that the HD came from won't turn on anymore (probably a bad power supply). I've heard that some BIOS support booting from USB devices, but I don't want to mess up my computer either way.

    Wouldn't Disk2vhd be able to detect the old hard drive from my computer? It's an IDE, plugged into a USB converter case. Will I get HAL problems when using D2vhd? What are HAL problems, anyway?

    Edit: I converted the HD to a .vhd file (w/Disk2vhd) and created a vm. When I run it, it fails to load. When I restart and choose safe mode when prompted, it loads a ton of drivers and freezes at "windows/system32/drivers/mup.sys". Anything else I can try? I don't have a Windows XP install disk, by the way. If nothing else works out I'll probably just forget it.
    Thursday, December 17, 2009 3:07 PM
  • That is a HAL and possibly drive imcompatibility problem.

    John talks about that here:
    http://sqlblog.com/blogs/john_paul_cook/archive/2009/08/29/migrating-a-virtual-machine-from-virtual-pc-to-hyper-v-and-back.aspx

    (be sure to watch the video)

    the latest version of the SysInternals tool should have a HAL replacement checkbox - but it was not working properly the last time I tried it.
    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful)
    Thursday, December 17, 2009 4:30 PM
  • One other thing: beware on Disk2VHD if you're doing it on a system with the same hard drive (you're not, but it bears mentioning).  Specifically, mounting it first screws up its ability to boot via VPC.  Known problem according to Mark Russinovich, but I got bitten by it.
    Thursday, December 17, 2009 7:04 PM
  • I replaced HAL.DLL successfully. I got the new HAL from this VHD download: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=21EABB90-958F-4B64-B5F1-73D0A413C8EF&displaylang=en, I downloaded IE8-XPSP3.EXE. When I booted up the VM that had the corrupt HAL, I got a BSOD. I tried all Safe Mode options, but it still gives me a BSOD. I would replace the entire system32 folder in general, but there are probably a million campatability issues between the VM I downloaded and the broken VM.
    Thursday, December 17, 2009 11:12 PM
  • I found an old XP upgrade disk, so I used it to upgrade my Windows ME VM to a Windows XP VM. Now I can use XP in WVPC, which was my main goal.

    • Marked as answer by Autobot1225 Friday, December 18, 2009 10:58 PM
    Friday, December 18, 2009 10:57 PM