Converting VMWare machines to Hyper V machines

I have just spent the past day converting my VMWare machines. In this blog I will take you through the steps what you need to do to convert your VM Ware Workstations machines to Hyper V machines. Part of this blog should have been written before the Upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 8. As there is some preparation you need to do within your VM Ware workstations first. And if you already upgraded to Windows 8, you will find you are unable to start any VMWare machines. To get around this, you will need to download VMWare Workstation 9 and upgrade VMWare first. Then perform the preparation steps, then remove VMWare Workstation 9. If you haven’t upgraded to Windows 8 yet, then follow the preparation steps first. Then upgrade to Windows 8, then continue the VMWare to Hyper V convertion. Preparation

  1. Each Virtual Machine you have, load it up and then uninstall VM tools. (Control Panel -> Program and Features and click Uninstall.
  2. Shut down your virtual machine. If your virtual machine is Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 you can just shut down your machine and jump to step 7, otherwise follow the next few steps.
  3. Usually your VMWare VMs are based on SCSI drives, anything older than Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 will end up with the BSOD with the error “Inaccessible Boot Device” once converted to Hyper V. So you will need to add a primary IDE channel.
  4. Add a new IDE disk drive to your VM. Make sure that you select “Adapter: IDE 0 Device: 0” under “Virtual Device Node” while creating your new disk.
  5. Boot up your VM with the IDE disk connected and check that it detects your new IDE drive. You should be able to see the new drive as “not initialized” in Disk management. (Right click Computer -> Manage -> Disk Management).
  6. Power off your virtual machine and remove the newly created IDE disk from your VM. (You can delete it from disk as well). DO NOT POWER ON YOUR VMWARE MACHINE AGAIN!
  7. Uninstall VMWare Workstation from your base machine.

At this point, upgrade your Windows 7 to Windows 8. Windows 8 has the Hyper V client on it.     Converting VMDK to VHD files. Welcome to the world of Windows 8! You will now need to convert your VMDK file to VHD format using Vmdk2Vhd utility that can be downloaded from


It used to be that link, but that’s now dead. Here is a zip of the program on my skydrive .

  1. After downloading vmtoolkit, extract the files and run vmdktovhd.exe
  2. Select your source file disk, which will be your VMWare disk file.
  3. Select your destination file. I created a new folder same name as the folder the VMDK folder but with VHD at the end.
  4. Click Convert. This will take some time to convert your VMDK to VHD file. However, you can run multiple instances of the Vmdk2Vhd application.

Installing Hyper V on your Windows 8 machine. Follow the instructions from this blog. Creating a new Hyper V machine from your VHD files.

  1. From the start menu (yes it’s weird) find Hyper V manager and click on it.
  2. Once Hyper V manager has opened, on the right hand side where the Actions task pane is, click on Virtual Switch Manager.

  3. Select create a new Virtual Switch, and select an External switch. This will allow your virtual machine to have access to the network. Click OK.
  4. Right click on your machine name on the left hand panel, and select New -> Virtual Machine.
  5. Click Next -> Type in the name of the machine, and select a place to store the virtual machine. Click Next.
  6. Assign the amount of memory for the machine. And tick “User Dynamic Memory for this Virtual Machine”. This will allow you to have multiple machines on at the same time which would use up more memory than your physical machine actually has. Click Next.
  7. On Configuration Network, select the external adapter you created in step 3, click Next.
  8. On Connect Virtual Hard disk, select “Use an existing virtual hard disk”, then find the first VHD drive for that machine. Click next and then finish.
  9. In your Hyper V manager, right click the virtual machine you have just created, and select settings.
  10. Select the IDE hard drive, and in the right panel select add new Hard Drive.

  11. On the next screen, browse to your other Hard drive for your virtual machine and add it.
  12. You might also want to go into the settings screen and give the processor more virtual processors. I gave my SharePoint 2010 environment 4 processors. Other machines only 2. You need to set the right about depending on how processor intensive your PC is.

Final set up of a Hyper V machine.

Now that you have created a Hyper V machine. All that is left is to boot up and update software for Hyper V inside the virtual machine.

  1. Right click on your newly created machine and click Connect. A window will appear which you can then click on Start.
  2. Once the machine is booted up and you have logged in, you will find you have no internet access, and the screen size is small etc. Click on the Action menu bar item of the window and select “Insert Integration Services Set up disk”. If nothing happens inside your VM, then navigate to your DVD drive and double click it. This will install all the files required for Hyper V. Similar to VMWare tools.
  3. Reboot your PC when prompted.
  4. You might find after reboot, or have already before this step, be prompted to activate windows again. This is fine. This happens because the underlying drivers and hardware has changed. Allow windows to activate. If you encounter a problem, say activate over the phone and follow the on screen and telephone call instructions. I had to do this to get my Office 2010 working again.

Dual Screen? In VMWare Workstation you could click a button to allow your VM to use both screens. With Hyper V to get this working, I’d recommend you Remote Desktop (RDP) onto your virtual machine from your base Windows 8 Machine. In the settings under display, check the checkbox that says “Use all my monitors for the remote session.” If you use the Connect option inside Hyper V, you will not be able to use the full screen mode over 2 monitors.

Lastly if all your virtual machines are working perfectly in a Hyper V world, you can go back and delete the VMDK file for VMWare.