Sunday, 11 February 2007

VMware Converter - It Rocks !

This may be of use/interest: -

http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/

I'm just in the process of using it to convert my Café Culture demo from a Windows XP hard drive image to a VMware virtual machine.

It was smart enough to read the entire WinXP setup ( two NTFS partitions ) from a SATA drive installed in the Ultrabay of a Thinkpad T60p, and turn it into a set of .vmx and .vmdk files on my new 320 GB USB2 drive.

I'm now in the process of pruning down the content of the VM, as the image is a bit large - but disk is cheap, right :)

PS Three things to be aware of: -

1) You will need to reactivate Windows XP, as the underlying hardware on which it runs has changed from a real Thinkpad to some VMware virtual hardware - therefore, make sure that it's a pukka copy of XP before you start
b) You will need to remove all the Thinkpad/ThinkVantage drivers n' stuff, and install the drivers for the VMware hardware e.g. network cards etc. but this is pretty painless
iii) You'll need to install VMware tools ( as per usual )

2 comments:

Dave Hay said...

An email comment: -

1) Reactivate XP? This is in the VMWARE created????
2) How many drivers, done after creating the image I assume and how? Do they need remoiving, can they be left, and/or does VMWARE prompt for new ones?

Dave Hay said...

My responses via email to this: -

1) Yes, you do need to reactive XP within the VM itself. This is because the underlying hardware (HAL) has changed - you would likely need to do this if you upgraded your motherboard on a real PC. It's an online process, and should be painless *IF* you are using a real version of XP - the problems could arise if you have a copy from an unusual source.

VMware does warn you of this, and you are prompted when you first boot the VM - you have 3 days to activate it before the VM becomes unusable.

2) XP within the VM has all the original IBM/Lenovo drivers - these aren't needed because the underlying hardware is no longer a Thinkpad T60p - it's now a set of VMware virtual hardware. For example, you no longer have/need the Bluetooth drivers - therefore, these can be removed via Add/Remove Programs.

Similarly, ThinkVantage Access Connections will not work within the VM because it no longer has the native Thinkpad Ethernet hardware ( wired and wireless ).

Access Connections did prompt me accordingly. However, I chose to remove the other stuff manually to slim down the VM.