How to convert a physical machine to a virtual machine using VMware vCenter Converter

VMWare vCenter Converter Standalone utility is a very powerful application that can enable you to convert between different virtual machine formats, it can convert your local machine or a bunch of remote machines from one server (that can be installed on a Windows XP machine). You can convert other virtual machine formats such as Microsoft Virtual PC images to VMWare format, it would even let you convert other 3rd party images such as Symantec (Norton) Ghost or Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery. Converting and backing up local machines and servers to virtual machines can help you in your Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity planning. Best of all, it is a completely a free application!

Linux Physical to Virtual also called P2V conversions are also possible but in this article we would just demonstrate a simple conversion of a local Windows XP machine to a Virtual machine. So lets get started!

- Download the VMware's VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Windows binary from (a free registration might be registered with VMWare)

 - Start by double clicking the exe

- Start next to install

- Agree to agreement, next

- Choose default program location


- Choose local installation


- Click Next to start the application install


- Click Finish and run the Converter Standalone Client from the desktop icon


- Click on Convert Machine


- In Specify Source tab, choose "Select Source Type" to be "Powered On Machine" and under "Specify the Powered On Machine" choose "This local machine" and click next


- On the Specify Destination tab, select "Destination Type" to be "VMWare Workstation or other VMWare Virtual Machine" , Choose "VMWare Server 1.x" from the "Select VMWare product drop down box. Give your virtual machine a name , provide a location to store the Virtual Machine file and click next


- In "View/Edit options" tab choose the default presented options and click Next


- On "Ready to Complete" tab, click on Finish to start the conversion process


- You can view the Task Progress in the VMWare vConverter StandAlone Window, it would also show you the estimated time remaining

You should now have your Virtual Machine file created in the directory you had specified. You can now open and play this file in VMWare server or Workstation, your physical machine has now been virtualized