- Using Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1, create an XP machine with
3 x 32 GB dynamically expanding drives. I'm sure this would
work with Win 2000, 2003 server etc. However, I had an XP VM
- Create the D and E drives and format them
primary NTFS quick Format. You may need more than 32
GB. That's ok. Though I recommend copying off
reproducible data to make the ghost files smaller.
For example, WSUS 'content' files should be copied
off and the WSUS database exported using the
wsusutil command line tool. (Then import WSUS later
on the new VM. Google for export/import info.)
- Go to your physical machine and boot ghost 2003.
Do a "Disk to Image" for the C (and D volume if
necessary). Etc. I had to do that (C & D) because
OEM Small Business Server 2003 had spread Exchange
server 2003 over C & D drives for performance
- Fire up the XP machine (any ntos VM would do,
like Server 2003 trial etc.) in Virtual Server 2005 and copy
mapped drive) the ghost image(s) created in step 3 to
the "E:" volume as regular ghs/gho files.
- Now boot the XP/NTOS machine under Virtual Server
2005 to a ghost floppy or CD. Or vfd (virtual floppy disk) with ghost.exe on it.
- Using ghost, do a "disk from image" for the C
drive. Repeat if needed for the D drive. Etc. That is
ghost your physical server to the Virtual Server
When Finished DO NOT -
REPEAT, DO NOT START THE SERVER UNDER
VIRTUAL SERVER 2005.
- Instead, copy the .vhd files to your
Hyper-V host and
create a new virtual machine. Rename the vhd
files to something meaningful, like SBSMAIL1-C.vhd
Configure the Hyper-V machine
with the same number of CPUs as the physical machine
used. Feel free to up the RAM to 4 GB. Select to USE EXISTING vhd files.
Select the C drive (and D if applicable) vhd files (created
earlier) under VS 2005
- Startup the Hyper-V machine and notice it just
- Insert the integration services disk and install
the Hyper-V components.
That's it! Of course I'll leave the fine details to
you. Adding a network card and making sure everything is
UPDATE 1: For a Windows 2003 multi-cpu
that you have virtualized. It is important to add a
switch to the boot.ini file
so that network timings by the OS work correctly.
NOTE: This is not just P2V servers, I
found strange ping times on a Win 2003
server that was installed as a VM from scratch.
The switch to add is /usepmtimer
Like this: (All in one line starting with multi... of
Server 2003, Enterprise" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptOut /usepmtimer
(Google usepmtimer for discussions on this issue.)
UPDATE 2: Recent
P2V's using this method have worked 100%. One extra
thing I do is to open the Computer properties and create
a system environment variable called
and set it to a value of 1.
Now, open up device manager (within
the virtual machine) and select View/Show Hidden
OK, now expand all device manager
'nodes' and you will see "grayed out" hardware that is
no longer present. Simply right click and select
'Uninstall'. Do this for ALL non
This can get quite tedious and will
take you several minutes - especially uninstalling all
USB root hubs and "generic volumes". Depending on how
many USB memory sticks were plugged in and out of the
physical machine during its physical life.
When you open the Motherboard devices
you will see lots of non present hardware like PCI
Bridge and even Keyboard/Mouse etc.
Uninstall them all! This will have no impact
other than cleaning up the kernel driver tables. But I
think it should speed up the virtualized machine a
I have found software device drivers
like Trend Micro Virus scan network devices simply
"moved sideways" and took up their normal role using the
virtual Hyper-V network.
"Activation" will probably be required as (in my case) the SBS
2003 server certainly noticed the "hardware" had
NOTE: Before activation, make sure you add disk
drives etc. so that your activation is not done on an an
incomplete VM. As mentioned above, set the number of
CPU's to what the physical machine had. If it was 1 CPU
Hyperthreading, then set 2 CPU's in Hyper-V.
OK, I now have my SBS 2003 server with all its
millions of settings, Active Directory - logon scripts
users and groups, sysvol shares etc. etc. running
virtual under Hyper-V. If you do something like this be
sure to shut down the physical server of course before
connecting it to the network subnet.
that old SBS 2003 physical server can be re-purposed as as a home PC for the
Don't forget to export the VM as a backup. Copy it to
an external drive too. You don't want to lose this
server that you have rescued from its physical
Please refer to this method as The Eastern
Digital P2V Solution.
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