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Virtualizing a running system

I tried running Vmware converter on Vista 64 SP1 recently with
disappointing results. With an unshrunken partition, the time to convert
in-place would be huge (>1 day). After shrinking the partition, I tried
it again with the destination an external USB drive, but Vmware
converter wouldn't see the drive. And I would be more confident
converting a system that is not running!

If folks can distill this down I may try again.


John Boland wrote:
> jerry,
> while you didn't specifically include vmware products, i hope they are
> included in your ellipsis.  vmware has a windows executable p2v that will do
> what you want.  you can then load image into vmware.
> On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 10:56 AM, Jerry Feldman <gaf-mNDKBlG2WHs at> wrote:
>> I would like to be able to take an OEM version of Windows installed on a
>> computer, back it up, install Linux with some virtualization manager, such
>> as Virtualbox, KVM/QEMU, Xen ...  (ignoring Microsoft's OEM license issue).
>>  Let's say we have a person running Windows with plenty of installed
>> applications. What I would like to be able to do would be to somehow
>> encapsulate that version into a VDI. The end result is that the system would
>> be running Linux and the target Windows system would be running in a virtual
>> machine under that version of Linux. It is certainly possible to do it the
>> other way around, but that is not the objective. Additionally, we don't want
>> to have to reinstall the applications. I'm not concerned about how to stage
>> it, such as install a second HD, install Linux (Fedora, Ubuntu, SuSE) and
>> set up an initial dual boot. The issue comes down to taking an installed,
>> running Windows (XP or Vista) and importing it into a VM. At one point
>> Win4Lin had a way of being able to use the existing installed version of
>> Windows, but that Windows remained in its own partition.
>> There are a number of reasons to do this. One reason is backup. You can
>> make copies of the VDI (and snapshots) on your backup media. Another might
>> be that you want to use the stability of the Linux file systems. Another
>> reason is that you need to move to another hardware platform, but you need
>> to preserve your copy of Windows to run some legacy applications that may no
>> longer exist or you lost the install media, or those apps only run on say
>> Windows NT, but not XP. For whatever reason the goal is to have Windows
>> running in a virtual machine in the same state as it was when it was native.
>> --
>> Jerry Feldman <gaf-mNDKBlG2WHs at>
>> Boston Linux and Unix
>> PGP key id: 537C5846
>> PGP Key fingerprint: 3D1B 8377 A3C0 A5F2 ECBB  CA3B 4607 4319 537C 5846
>> _______________________________________________
>> Discuss mailing list
>> Discuss-mNDKBlG2WHs at

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