I was running a Windows Home Server under VMWare Virtual Server as a guest machine. It had a dedicated 750GB hard disk to host a fixed size virtual disk spanning entire hard disk.
These days I am migrating this and other virtual machine to the Hyper-V 2008 R2 free server and here is how I did migrate it.
- Uninstall Virtual Server Tools from guest machine (this is important at this point in time because later it can’t be done easily through add/remove programs).
- Shut down guest.
- Copy all VMDK files to a spare (new) 1.5 TB Seagate disk. This step isn’t strictly necessary but it was for me because the source disk had troubles reading some sectors – if I wanted to proceed I had to have all the files on a good disk. This step took something like 4 hours over 1Gb LAN.
- Download and run VMDK to VHD Converter.
- Convert VMDK files (as input select the one without numbers if your virtual disk is partitioned across many files, i.e. SomeDisk.vmdk). I converted to the same hard disk (it barely fits) and it took something like 7 hours.
- Copy the resulting VHD to the Hyper-V server (I could pick the server as target location in step 5. but I felt more comfortable doing conversion locally). This step again took something like 4 hours.
- Create a new Virtual Machine on Hyper-V server, attach the resulting VHD file as its disk.
- Run the machine, activate OS (it will detect “huge” hardware change and it will require activation).
- Install Integration Services (Action/Insert Integration Services Setup Disk on connection window) and that’s it.
- Hard disks are growing fast in size but network speed doesn’t. Thus such transfers will be slower and slower due to the sheer amount of data to transfer between disks.
- Such operation might take whole day
- If you use an external disk like I am then you should really stick with e-Sata instead of USB 2 or firmware (it is up to 4x faster)
- Have enough free space on hard disks