If you want to turn a physical machine into a ready-to-run virtual machine in VirtualBox, continue reading below.
Sometimes you may need to save an old computer for the programs and files on it. In this case, you can keep the old computer (if it has no hardware problems) or turn the physical computer into a virtual machine that you can open with VirtualBox.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to turn a physical Windows XP machine into a VirtualBox machine. The same instructions can be used to convert any physical machine running Windows 7, 8 or 10 OS to VirtualBox.
How to Turn a Physical Windows PC into a VirtualBox Virtual Machine
Step 1. Convert the hard disk of the physical machine to a virtual disk.
The first step in turning a physical machine into a VirtualBox machine is to convert the physical machine’s hard drive to a Virtual Hard Disk image file (VHD or VHDX). All you need is the disk2vhd utility from www.sysinternals.com.*
* Information: Disk2vhd A utility that can create a Virtual Hard Disk Image file (VHD or VHDX) from a physical disk for use in VirtualBox, Microsoft Virtual PC, or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs).
To convert a physical disk to a virtual disk using disk2vhd:
1. Download and extract the Disk2vhd.zip file on the computer you want to turn into a VirtualBox machine, or on another computer where you have attached the disk of the physical machine you want to turn into a virtual one.
2. From the extracted folder, right click enabled disk2vhd64.exe and select Run as administrator. Then ask Yes In the UAC warning.
3. In the disk2vhd window:
- Remove the mark the Use vhdx checkbox. *
- Select the physical disk that you want to convert to a virtual disk. (In this example, I connected the disk that I want to make virtual to another computer).
- Choose a destination folder and write a name for the created virtual disk file (eg “WindowsXP.vhd”). **
- Finally, click To create to create a virtual disk image from a physical disk.
1. VirtualBox supports VHD files but not VHDX.
2. If you’re running Disk2vhd on the same machine you want to make virtual, save the virtual disk file to a different drive than the C drive:
4. Now wait until the virtual disk file is created. Once done, move on to the next step.
Step 2. Convert the VHDX image file to a VDI file (iPTIJONAL). *
Note: As I said before, VirtualBox can read VHD disk image files without problems, but it cannot read VHDX files. If for some reason you have created a VHDX file, follow these steps to convert it to a VDI file, otherwise, move on to the next step.
To convert VHDX to VDI:
1. It’s open Command line as administrator.
2. Type the following command in the command prompt and press Enter:
3. Now issue the following command to convert the VHDX file to a VDI file:
*Note: where FILENAME1=filename (and path) of the VHDX file & FILENAME2=filename of the converted VDI file. for example:
Step 3. Install a new VM in VirtualBox using a VHD file.
1. It’s open VirtualBox Manager and select new to create a new VM machine.
2. Give a name for the VM machine and click The next one.
3. Specify the amount of memory allocated for the new VM and click The next one.
4a. Choose Use an existing virtual hard disk file and press Review.
4b. Choose Add and select the VHD (or VDI) file.
4c. Finally choose To create to create a new VM machine.
5. When the virtual machine is created, go System and within Motherboard settings apply the following actions:
Installation Hard disk such as first boot device.
Enable I/O APIC extended feature. (otherwise the VM machine will not start).
Also, if the guest operating system is UEFI-based, Enable EFI (custom operating systems only). (Otherwise leave this setting unchecked).
6. Start the Virtual machine.
7. Once the VM is started, continue Install the VirtualBox guest additions Optimize your operating system for better performance and ease of use, and you’re done!
That’s it! Let me know if this guide helped you by leaving a comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.