Thursday, April 19, 2012

Physical to Virtual for Hyper-V

One of the common things that you need to do in a virtualized environment is a physical to virtual (P2V) migration. This is the process of taking an existing physical computer and converting to a virtual machine. You often do this to move an existing server from old hardware to the virtual environment. There are no built-in tools for Hyper-V that do the conversion from a physical computer to a virtual machine.

In the past, I have used System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) to perform P2V migrations. This is a good tool and an evaluation version is available for download from Microsoft ( As part of the migration process the Hyper-V integration tools are automatically installed. Storage drivers and network drivers are automatically updated. The downside to VMM is the cost and relative complexity to implement.

As an alternative to VMM for P2V migration, you can use Disk2VHD ( This free tool does a conversion of a physical machine to virtual but does not do any of the driver substitution. You need to do additional manual configuration such as installing the Hyper-V integration tools.

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