Can I convert a Windows 7 system image (.vhdx) backup file into a Hyper-V virtual machine? RRS feed

  • Question

  • If I have a Windows 7 system image created by the OS backup tool (say, backup.vhdx), is there any way I can convert this into a working Hyper-V virtual machine? I looked at disk2vhd and MVMC 3 but neither seems to fit the bill. I want to recover an old EFS encryption key from the backed up system.

    Thanks in advance!

    Wednesday, October 21, 2015 8:00 PM

All replies

  • so what happens with you create a blank win7 VM and attach that vhdx file to it? are you getting any errors during boot?  you may need to boot into recovery using the win7 ISO and rebuild the BCD to get it to boot properly.  it also depends if the backup you took was a system state type backup or not.

    i think there would be some complications if the original desktop was on UEFI, had a TPM key or you had configured BitLocker on it

    whatever you're doing, make sure to clone the original vhdx and play with the copy, not the original

    Thursday, October 22, 2015 2:08 PM
  • Simply replay the image as you would with a physical system.
    Tuesday, October 27, 2015 10:25 PM
  • Thanks for replying. If I try to use my backups as basis for a VM, Windows does start to boot up in the VM, but after some seconds a blue screen flashes quickly and then the VM boots into a selection screen where I can choose to boot into startup repair or start Windows normally. If I go to startup repair, it will try to repair the OS for a while but fail. In the Startup repair tools I can use the command line (after logging in to my user account on Windows). I tried using "cipher /x" to make a backup of my EFS certificates but it doesn't seem to work ("The system cannot find the file specified.").

    I could probably just make an image backup of my current system, then restore the backup image of my old system to go in and grab the EFS certificates, then restore the current system again from the backup just made. It just sounds awfully dangerous so if there is another way I'd like to know.

    Wednesday, October 28, 2015 5:23 PM
  • hard to say if we don't know what the BSOD is about

    can u try some of the boot options by using F8 key during boot and see if you can get into safe mode or exclude some of the boot drivers

    u can also set it so it doesn't auto-reboot upon BSOD encounter

    Wednesday, October 28, 2015 5:34 PM
  • I managed to snap a screenshot of the BSOD.

    *** STOP: 0x0000007B (0xFFFFF880009AE928, 0xFFFFFFFFC0000034, 0x0000000000000000, 0x0000000000000000)

    BSOD 0x0000007B

    Also tried booting to safe mode. That will also BSOD, but before that happens it lists several drivers being loaded. The last driver listed before the BSOD is CLASSPNP.SYS.

    Wednesday, October 28, 2015 9:39 PM
  • This is a known issue and can be overcome.

    You need to diable achi booting through the registry (set msahci start type to 4=disabled)

    and activate IDE booting (because Hyper-V uses it).

    The latter is described here: 

    You can modify the registry of your old installation and make it boot connected to any standard sata or IDE controller at least. You have to edit the registry, this is how you do it.

    1) download mergeide.reg from a site of your choice:,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=ebe98ef9c3c6647f&biw=1344&bih=746 or c&p it from Microsoft:
    2) setup the new hardware and boot from a vista or win7 (or 2008) setup DVD. Don't select install but open computer repair options ->skip startup recovery and open the command prompt ans start regedit (by firing the command regedit).
    3) In regedit select the hive HKLM (Hive Key Local Machine), then, from the file menu, choose "load hive". Now browse to c:\windows\system32\config (which is on your "old" installation) and select the file named "system". Mount it using the name tobehealed. You will see it as a branch "tobehealed" below HKLM now.
    4) now you nead a USB drive on a second PC. Copy mergeide.reg to that drive and edit it using notepad. Edit as follows: press CTRL+H to launch search and replace within notepad. Now replace all occurences of "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM" with "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\tobehealed" and save the file.
    5) Plug that USB drive to your new mainboard and use regedit to import that edited regfile mergeide.reg
    6)-Nearly done- now unmount "tobehealed" by selecting it and choosing "unload hive".
    Done. Quit the setup by simply resetting your computer and it will boot.

    Thursday, October 29, 2015 8:38 AM
  • Thanks for the detailed instructions. I performed these steps, and the STOP 0x7B error changed to a STOP 0x67 (CONFIG_INITIALIZATION_FAILED).


    I found this explanation of the error and thought I might have allocated too little memory to the VM, so I increased the startup mem allocation for the VM from 1024 to 4096 MB, but that didn't solve the problem. I tried safe mode, but the same BSOD (STOP 0x67) again appears when CLASSPNP.SYS is being loaded.

    Sunday, November 1, 2015 6:27 PM
  • Hi.

    Sorry it didn't work out, yet. I have converted multiple systems using images to hyper-v-machines and it always worked. We don't use windows imaging, but drive snapshot. Take the trial, it is fully functional.

    Monday, November 2, 2015 8:05 AM