How to Convert a Physical PC into a Virtual Machine (P2V)

The purpose of this blog post is to provide the guidance and the steps needed to convert a physical computer into a virtual machine using VMware’s P2V Virtual Machine Converter. This converter can be found and downloaded from the VMware vCenter Converter site. Please keep in mind you’ll need a VMware account (free) to access this converter.

This VM will be configured on a physical server (Dell PowerEdge R720) which includes the following hardware:

  • 384GB RAM
  • 2 x e5-2620 v2
  • Dual SD module w\ 16GB SD cards
  • H710 mini perc
  • 16 x 2.5 bay system that includes 1TB hard drive in each bay
  • Idrac express
  • 4 x 1GB on-board NIC
  • 2 x 10GB daughter NIC

Once the converter was downloaded to the physical computer I want to convert to a virtual machine, I proceed with the software installation process (see below). Enter your VMware username and password. On the following window, click Go To Downloads and then click the Download Now button. Once the download is complete, click on the .exe to begin the software installation process for the P2V converter.

When prompted, please select Yes at the UAC (User Account Control) pop-up window. The software will then begin to install. Select Next twice, Accept the License Agreement and then select Next. For the remaining prompts, please accept the defaults for the purpose of this guide.

The VMware vCenter Converter Standalone window will now open. To begin the process of converting a physical machine to a virtual machine, please select Convert Machine. Since the P2V Converter software has been installed directly on the physical machine we are attempting to convert to a virtual machine, please select This Local Machine from the drop-down list and then select Next. Please select VMware Infrastructure Virtual Machine from the drop-down list and then enter your VMware Infrastructure Server details (IP/FQDN) and credentials, then select Next to proceed (feel free to Ignore the Certificate warning). You can provide a new name for the virtual machine at the Destination Virtual Machine window or keep as is, then select Next. At the Destination Location window, please select Next to proceed. You can edit the settings at the Options Window or proceed by selecting Next. Select Next at the Summary window to proceed with the conversion process.

The Converter begins to convert the physical machine to a virtual machine and the VM will appear in your lists of VMs shortly thereafter.

If I have missed anything or if you have any suggestions, please let me know.

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