Few weeks ago I wrote here that I had been busy helping a small clinic on most weekends with their IT needs. The business is very small and can’t afford to hire an IT staff to manage their systems.

The IT work around the business isn’t much for a full-time or part-time employee and that’s why they hire consultants when needed. I have been one of the many consultants they have brought on over the last few years.

When I first started, the business ran all Windows services from a single Windows 2000 domain controller. One server, a Windows 2008 was dedicated to their IP based application, another server, a Windows 2003 server hosted Microsoft Exchange. Other physical servers hosted other business applications.

The business desperately needed an upgrade so I encouraged the owners to invest a little on two beefy servers so I could collapse these individual dedicated servers running single application into a virtual servers. By doing this we could cut down the 5 or more servers into two.

I have stood up the two new servers and have installed domain controllers on each. Print/File services have also distributed across the two servers running Hyper-V

Using Hyper-V I have been partitioned to host these dedicated application servers that are spread across the environment into a virtual environment.

The reason I am writing this post is that I found a perfect tool called Disk2VHD developed by Microsoft engineers that could help anyone who need to migrate physical servers into virtual ones that support Hyper-V.

I used this lightweight program to migrate two physical servers and one VMware server with no single issue. The tool did a great job converting these machines with ease.

In fact, you can perform an on-line conversion (or while the machine is running) and save the vhd disk onto an external drive. This is sweet and this tool is a life saver.

If you need to convert your servers or machines into suitable format to run on Hyper-V, then look no further than Disk2VHD. You won’t regret.

Disk2vhd is a utility that creates VHD (Virtual Hard Disk – Microsoft’s Virtual Machine disk format) versions of physical disks for use in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). The difference between Disk2vhd and other physical-to-virtual tools is that you can run Disk2vhd on a system that’s online. Disk2vhd uses Windows’ Volume Snapshot capability, introduced in Windows XP, to create consistent point-in-time snapshots of the volumes you want to include in a conversion.

Download and unpack the utility onto the machine you wish to convert. The machine could be a physical or virtual machine, it doesn’t matter. Unzip the tool and run it. Then check the box to use Vhdx to create a VHDx disk format for a Hyper-V running Windows 2012 servers.

VHDX is a new disk format that was introduced in Windows Server 2012. Compared to traditional VHD, VHDX has several improvements, including a special internal log to reduce the chances of data corruption, a bigger capacity (up to 64 TB) and other great features.

After saving the vhdx disk format of the physical machine, copy it to the Hyper-v server, then create a new virtual machine using existing disk.

Browse to the disk of the machine you converted and select it.

That’s all, in no time you should be running a fully functional virtual server created from a physical one.