Disk2vhd - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Disk2vhd

CNET Editors' review

Microsoft's free Sysinternals Disk2vhd utility creates a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) image of a physical disk drive for Microsoft Virtual PC and Hyper-V virtual machines. It's built on the Volume Snapshot capability introduced in Windows XP. Disk2vhd uses this capability to create accurate "snapshots" of disk volumes selected for conversion. Disk2vhd can also create VHDs on local volumes, even those that are being converted. It preserves your disk partitions and only copies the data on selected disk volumes, which lets you convert only system volumes while excluding data volumes. The biggest difference between Disk2vhd and other disk virtualization tools is that Disk2vhd works on online systems.

This compact tool downloads as a self-extracting compressed file that runs upon opening, so it's portable and has a wide range of potential uses, including a command-line option. The tool's interface is nothing more than a small dialog listing the target system's disk volumes with checkboxes to select below an entry field for the VHD disk name and directory. Create, Cancel, and Close buttons are the only controls, except for a Help button and a link to the developer's site. You simply check the volume to image, create a destination, click Create, and the tool does the rest, displaying a green progress bar as it works. We chose a Vista installation to image; a 150GB physical volume required 45GB of disk space for a VHD and took no more time to create than a thorough backup. To use VHDs created by Disk2vhd, you simply need to create a virtual machine and add the VHD to it as an IDE disk. Be careful not to attach a VHD to a system you plan to boot from or Windows will change the disk signature.

Disk2vhd works in copies of Windows XP SP2, Vista, and 7 with Software Assurance. It's free, and it simplifies the process of creating VHDs for VMs in Windows.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews

Results 1-3 of 3

  • 4.0 stars

    "Testing worked perfectly"

    August 26, 2011  |   By sneaky_sean

    Version: Disk2vhd 1.63

    Pros

    free. worked in test environment.

    Cons

    none so far

    Summary

    Took a while for VirtualBox to boot image the first time, but was speedy after the drivers were all in order.

    Updated on Aug 26, 2011

    In VirtualBox had to change the settings for the virtual machine under system to allow the extended feature "Enable IO APIC" and the machine boots right up.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Worthless!"

    October 30, 2009  |   By rpesq

    Version: Disk2vhd 1.21

    Pros

    Cost is Free

    Cons

    VHD that is created is often not even bootable in your VM because this app does not prepare the VHD properly. Thus, the VHD file it creates is WORTHLESS. Use VMware Converter instead. Disk2vhd is worthless right now.

    Summary

    Bottom Line = worthless for intended purpose. If the VHD isn't bootable in your VM, then this is useless.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Released too soon"

    October 27, 2009  |   By rpesq

    Version: Disk2vhd 1.2

    Pros

    Generally, Sysinternals develops excellent tools. This one was released too soon, and is castrated anyway.

    Cons

    Repeated false "insufficient disk space" errors = will not run. Reports from other users say that this tool does NOT properly reconfigure the VHD image anyway, so it will not boot and run correctly in the VM, which makes it 100% worthless.

    Summary

    I have no doubt that the Sysinternals guys will fix the "disk space" issue, but longterm if the app does not properly setup the VHD so that it boots + runs in the VM without hassle or reactivation, that it will be worthless. VMware Converter does ALL of those things and I have done several P2V conversions without hassle, assuming you are willing to run a VMware virtual machine (Vmware Server, Workstation, Player, etc.). This sysinternals tool would be good for using MS Virtual PC or Sun Virtualbox if it ever works the way that it should. (I suspect that Microsoft really does not want this P2V conversion to work as smoothly as the Vmware Converter makes it, and since sysinternals is owned by MS, I suspect that this tool is being castrated from the top leadership.) So even if the primary bug is fixed, this tool serves no purpose if people cannot boot the VM without HAL errors, MBR issues, activation prompts, etc. Do it * right * or abandon it.

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