Insights to convert a physical computer to a virtual machine
December 29, 2008 4:53 AM   Subscribe

What are the alternatives on converting a physical computer to a virtual machine that would run (preferably) on a Virtual Box emulator?

I have an old computer around with Windows XP that I use only from Remote Desktop. I was wondering if I could transform that into a VM image and shut it down once and for all.

The only drawback is that it runs a modified version of Windows so I would not be able to just install a new WinXP VM and backup / restore. It would have to be a more physical-style copy.

Any insights?
posted by fcoury to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
VMWare has the ability to do a P-to-V conversion which as far as I know does not require a standard OS image.

I'm only a beginning VMWare user/admin, though so I don't know for sure what the ins and outs of the conversion process are.

I do know that our more advanced VMWare engineers generally try the P-to-V operation and then test it thoroughly before blessing it and converting traffic over to the new virtual box.
posted by kalessin at 5:13 AM on December 29, 2008

The same process you'd use for switching to a different model of motherboard should work OK for this.
posted by flabdablet at 5:54 AM on December 29, 2008

VMWare has a free utility that does this. I've used it several times and its pretty foolproof.
posted by jtfowl0 at 6:28 AM on December 29, 2008

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