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[Scale Computing] Import Physical Windows Machine to HC3 Virtual Machine.

Scale Computing actually has a fairly undocumented foreign VM Import method that seems to work reasonably well if you know what to do! What follows is the instructions provided by scale computing + a few extra steps provided by me to get everything working.

The following steps will work for Windows 10 / Server 2016 and include a step for converting from EFI to GPT (EFI isn’t support by HC3 virtual machines). The following steps should also work pretty well for a virtual machine in another hypervisor but I’ll be focusing particularly on importing a physical machine.

You will need:
1. A /export share, accessible from your physical computer and your scale computing system with enough space to fit all the contents of the physical machine.
2. A Windows 10 / Server 2016 install iso (uploaded to them media on the scale computing cluster).
3. AOMEI Partition Assistant (Free)

 

Physical -> Virtual

First of all, we have to convert our existing Physical machine to a virtual disk file. There is actually a nice and easy tool provided by sysinternals called Disk2vhd that will do the job for free. It’s enough to use.

1. Download Disk2VHD on the physical machine you want to convert

2. Open Disk2VHd, Tick use VHDX, Use Volume Shadow Copy and all the volumes available on your system
Disk2vhd
3. Change the save location to the /export share you setup for this task.

GPT -> MBR

Now we need to convert the existing EFI/GPT boot type to MBR as GPT/EFI is not support in HC3.

1. Double click your VHDX to mount it on the system you are working on

2. Open up AOMEI partition Assistant.

3. Find the VHDX you just attached and select Convert to MBR

4. At the top you now need to click apply for this action to be applied.

5. From disk management Eject the VHDX file.

Import to Scale Computing

First we need to create a new VM in the cluster with roughly the same settings as the physical machine you want to import i.e. same memory, same cpu cores and same OS type. Also set the drivers to compatible. Add 1 disk to the VM for each VHDX you need to import.

  1. Export the VM you have created to the /export share we created earlier.
  2. Find the exported vm folder, should be at /server/export/vm_name
  3. In this folder will be an xml file and a qcow2 file for each disk you created.
  4. ¬†Add del- to the front of the qcow2 file, we don’t need this file.
  5. Copy your VHDX into this folder
  6. Rename your VHDX (Including the file extension) to match the qcow2 file
  7. Now import this folder back into your cluster.

Fixing the Boot Record

Before we can boot into the VM we will need to fix the boot record. To do this:

  1.  insert the Windows 10 / Server 2016 into the HC3 virtual machine and change the boot order so it boots into the CDROM first.
  2. Turn on the VM and Connect to the console.
  3. Your VM should be booting into the Windows 10 install environment
  4. Select the default language and click next.
  5. At the bottom click Repair your computer instead of Install now
  6. Click Advanced and then open the command prompt. Type the following commands
    DISKPART
    SELECT DISK 0 (or the disk you want)
    LIST PARTITION
    SELECT PARTITION 1 (Number is which ever is your 100MB boot partition)
    ACTIVE

  7. Now type EXIT and then
    bootrec /fixmbr
    bootrec /rebuildbcd
    Y

Now you should be able to boot into the VM as usual. If this still doesn’t work go back into the Windows 10 iso and choose startup repair.