VirtualBox P2V Success
I’ve been using VirtualBox prior to 1.4, and P2V’ing a Windows host into VirtualBox has been close to impossible. With some hints from Katsumi Inoue and a comment from Robert, I’ve been successfully able to P2V my primary Windows host at work. The following is a quick rundown on how I did it with VirtualBox 2.1.2 and VMware Converter.
- Get a copy of VMware Converter. I went with the standalone version, and if you don’t have an enterprise agreement or license with them, you will need this version too.
- Install it.
- Run VMware Converter and convert the physical host that you installed it to. I opted to write the conversion to an external USB drive, and it took about 2 hours to migrate a 37GB disk. Converter opted for multiple .vmdk’s instead of one monolithic image. In the past this is where we had to apply some black magic to get VirtualBox to work with a .vmdk. With the new 2.1 series (this was tested on 2.1.2), VirtualBox is able to use vmdk’s. With 2.1.2 (possibly earlier), it can deal with a sliced image making this processes extremely simple.
- Import the VMDK into VirtualBox. Make sure that you grab the correct vmdk and not one of the slices.
- Create the new guest and attach the VMDK.
- In the setting configuration of the guest, make sure that you initially have the “IO APIC” selected.
- The machine should boot without a complaint but will run slowly due to IO APIC.
- In your new Windows guest, open up the device manager and update the driver for “ACPI Uniprocessor PC”. Update the driver to use “Advanced Configutation and Power Interface (ACPI) PC” instead.
- Shutdown the guest and modify the settings and unselect the “IO APIC”.
- Startup the VM and enjoy a newly converted guest!
Finally. A fully working guest that was P2V’d and didn’t require 24 hours of endless searching or head scratching to get it to work. Hooray!