Virtual machines are blessing and can be useful for home users and professionals alike. Whenever I’m testing some new system configuration ideas, trying software or learning how to remove newest virus, I can do it without fear for my system. I get to check on niche OSes like Aros and Haiku without need for server farm in my room. I was using VMWare Workstation recently as they offer 30-day trial, but found it too heavy on resources – with my moderate usage and one VM at most, four Windows Services are overkill.
It’s back to Windows Virtual PC for me. Unfortunately Microsoft virtual machine doesn’t recognize disk images other than it’s native format. You can convert live drive to virtual disk but can’t import VMWare Workstation files which are in an open format. Good luck trying to find support on Microsoft website, their solutions aren’t helpful or are hidden behind dead links.
Read after break to learn how to convert *.vmdk to *.vhd for free in Windows
Thankfully StarWind Software offers freeware V2V Image Converter which sole purpose is to convert between VMWare hard-files, Virtual PC format and raw drive image. It supports both fixed-size and growable virtual drivers in *.vmdk or *.vhd, VMWare ESX virtual disks and *. img raw images. Application copies source image sector by sector ensuring that converted image contains perfect copy of virtual partition.
Starwinds Software V2V Image Converter is lightweight single-purpose application that perform it’s task commendably. Interface, although minimalistic is functional and helps you convert your virtual disks with ease. There aren’t any unnecessary options nor configuration dialogs as if all design decisions were focused on delivering solid tool.
I tested it with 4GB growable Icaros hardfile and converted it to growable Virtual PC disk. Both source and output files were located on system partition of SATA2 hard drive. There was no performance drop for the user and it took 7:41 sec to finish conversion. That should satisfy most of the home and professional users.
Starwinds Software V2V Image Converter Free is simple and solid tool. It’s minimalistic design focuses on core functionality instead of additional features which is it’s greatest strength. With 6.7MB instalation directory it uses almost no system resources making it perfect addition to my ever-growing software tool kit. There are features I’d like to see in future versions, like batch processing or command-line interface to automate conversion, but I’m happy with V2V as it is now.