Cloning laptop HDD to desktop VM

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by deadlift1, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. deadlift1

    deadlift1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Need to clone a laptop HDD to my desktop VM (vmware workstation). Is this possible and if so what is the best approach?
     
  2. David_CAN

    David_CAN Limp Gawd

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    You didn't say what operating system the laptop is running, that's important.

    Imaging a harddrive is straight forward, the issue you'll face with copying your laptop installation to a virtual one is that some of the more low level drivers (those used to interact with the motherboard, SATA controller, etc) won't work with the virtual machine, usually meaning the OS can't even boot up.

    If you are using Windows 7/8 it is pretty adaptable, and might even be able to get far enough in the boot process that the OS can go about detecting the hardware 'changes'. But the proper way is to use a prep tool that will modify the OS installation (either in place or on the copy) so that it is set to use generic drivers and be in scan mode when it next boots up.

    There are a number of tools to do this, but I'd suggest using VMWare's own converter. An alternative is disk2vhd which I've used in the past with success - it's very easy to use (no install or reboot required), but the output format is intended for Microsoft VirtualPC (but is compatible and convertable to VMware).

    Whenever possible do not modify or delete the laptop installation until you have the virtual machine copy up and running, though I'd suggest making sure the laptop is shut down. Depending on your licence key you may also have to re-activate Windows, since it will recognize that it is running on a totally different set of hardware. Depending on the conversion method you may run into issues with harddrives over 127GB.
     
  3. deadlift1

    deadlift1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm cloning Windows 7. I've read that Paragon Virtualization Manager can be used to transfer the cloned drive to a VM and it handles the hardware issues but I have no experience using it.

    Will the laptop HDD still be usable?
     
  4. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It should be if your cloning software actually makes a clone and does not destroy the original in the process. Clonezilla or linux dd / ddrescue will not destroy the original (well as long as you do not mix up the source and destination drives) but I can not tell you about any other software..
     
  5. Arainach

    Arainach 2[H]4U

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    You can't use the Windows license in both the VM and the laptop at the same time, if that's what you're asking.
     
  6. Eulogy

    Eulogy 2[H]4U

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    Just use vcenter converter standalone.