Convert Physical Windows Systems Into Virtual Machines To Be Run On A Linux Desktop - Page 3

Specify a name for the new virtual machine (e.g. Windows XP Desktop) and select the location where the virtual machine will be created. You can select a local folder, but VMware Converter will display a warning if the destination folder is on the system that is going to be converted. A better idea is to select a network folder, for example the Virtual Machines folder on the system where VMware Server is installed (e.g. your new Linux desktop). This also has the benefit that you don't have to copy the virtual machine to another folder/system after the conversion since the virtual machine is already in place.

Select Workstation 5.x, VMware Server, VMware Player for Type of virtual machine to create and click on Next:

If the destination folder is password-protected, you have to specify a username and password:

Next you can make some choices regarding the Disk Space Allocation. Usually Allow virtual disk files to grow is a good choice:

VMware Converter checks some settings:

Next specify some network settings for the virtual machine. Usually Bridge is the best choice:

Afterwards you can do some customizations, but it's not necessary. Then click on Next:

Check all settings again, and if they are ok, click on Finish:

The conversion begins. This can take some minutes, so please be patient. If you check the destination folder at the same time (for example the Virtual Machines folder on our VMware Server system), you will notice that a new directory with the name of the virtual machine (e.g. Windows XP Desktop) has been created, and in it the virtual machine is being created:

This is how it looks after the completed conversion:

To check the details of the conversion, you can click on the Task Progress tab:


4 Start Your Virtual Machine

Now go to the system where VMware Server is installed, e.g. your Linux desktop or some other Windows desktop. (You can find guides for installing VMware Server on Debian Sarge and Ubuntu Dapper Drake here:


Then import the Windows XP Desktop virtual machine into your VMware Server as described here:

Afterwards start it. If all goes well, your old Windows desktop should come up in VMware Server:


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12 Comment(s)

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By: Jeff

Do you know if this software can convert Windows Server 2003 Standard?

By: Anonymous

As long as your source xp system is already been activated, there is no need to activate the virtual system either.


By: Anonymous

does the conversion process impact the original version of windows.  Will the original version still operate as if nothing has happened?

By: Anonymous

it does not affect the original windows install in any way; it will still run like nothing happened.

By: Anonymous

Will the newly created image require activation?

By: mike


Between this and your perfect step by step guide on installing vmware server from source, YOU HAVE MY GRATITUDE.

 But how does vmware server do with system resources? What's the average CPU and memory usages per vm you run? Could a simple 3 ghz (single core, 32 bit) with 3 gigs of ram handle my system (pretty much exactly as the example in your guide)? If I cant get halo 1 and rosetta stone thru alcohol I'll have to go back to dual boot.

By: Sam

WOW thanks for opening up my eyes to this. So, on a dual boot system, I can: convert Windows partition to virtual copy the files over to the Linux side of the hard drive install vmware (following your guide) run windows from within Ubuntu for a couple of weeks or so when happy everything is running properly, kill the windows partition and let windows live inside Ubuntu. This is a GREAT idea. No more dual booting. Just fire up Windows inside Ubuntu! Thanks

By: Andy

Does this work with Vista?

By: Anonymous

This does not work with OEM licensed versions of Windows. The license will kick you out of the OS. Which means that for everyone that has a version of Windows that "came with the computer" this won't work.

It will work with VLK and non-OEM keys.


By: Anonymous

Is this really true ?  

By: Anonymous

This is not works with NT4.0!!

By: sbdunford

There are some physical to virtual conversion tools out there as well, like SmartDeploy. It will take physical XP machine and convert it to VMware, Windows Virtual PC VM, Virtual Box, and others.