How to convert a Physical Disk to a VMware VMDK image
I was recently wanting to convert all of my old hard drives from old computers to VMDKs so that I could run the drive virtually in VMware, but I couldn’t find a way to do it so that’s why I’m writing this now. Most other guides would use Disk2vhd and use Hyper-V but I don’t have a pro version of Windows to use that or some guides would say to use VMware vCenter Converter but the physical machine has to be running and I only have the hard drive so I can’t use that. Then I found StarWind V2V Converter which can convert a VHD (and VHDX) file from Disk2vhd and that’s what this guide is going to use.
UPDATE (12/05/2018): I’ve recently found Vmdk2Phys which is still in beta (and doesn’t look the best) but is more straightforward then following the guide below. Vmdk2Phys also supports converting VMDKs to physical drives.
Stuff to get beforehand
- Download Disk2vhd and StarWind V2V Converter (or click this link to download StarWind V2V Converter without giving your info away).
- Buy a SATA (or IDE) to USB adapter to easily connect the old hard drive to your computer.
- Open Disk2vhd and untick all volumes except the one you want to virtualize and pick a location to output the file to, then click the ‘Create’ button. It will take a while to finish depending on the size and speed of your drive.
- Once Disk2vhd finishes open StarWind V2V Converter select ‘Local file’ and click ‘Next >’ when it asks for the ‘Source image location’
- Select the ‘Source image’ then click ‘Next >’
- Select the format you want to convert to (the 1st and 3rd option are probably the most compatible option with VMware Workstation Player)
- Select the ‘Virtual disk type’ (Select the one most compatible with the windows installation eg. IDE for Windows XP)
- Set your destination file location then click ‘Next >’
- Run the converted file in VMware Workstation Player