Disk2vhd Turns Your PC Into A Virtual Machine

Windows only: Free Sysinternals application Disk2vhd takes a snapshot of your PC, and turns it into a Microsoft Virtual PC virtual hard drive — while your system is up and running.

Using the software, which requires no installation, is as easy as launching, selecting the drives you would like to create into a virtual disk, giving the file a name and clicking the Create button. The utility uses the same volume snapshot feature that Windows uses for backup utilities, so it doesn't matter if software is running or not — but you'll have best results if you create the virtual disk on a separate drive.

Once you've created your virtual drive, you can use the free Microsoft Virtual PC to boot the image of your PC, which you can then use for testing, or just as a great way to completely backup your computer. Disk2vhd is a free download for Windows only.

Disk2vhd v1.0 [Windows Sysinternals]


Comments

    i'm looking for a free solution to backup my computer (running xp) onto an external drive - something like apple's time machine. would i use disk2vhd as part of this process?

    A solution that allows for converting to a single virtual disk format irrespective of the application that will host it is what I want.

    FYI: You can also open VHD files using Sun's Virtualbox, which means you can keep a copy of your PC on a Mac!

    Gill Bates: I'd recommend Acronis True Image if you're after a backup of the entire PC. You can set it to take differential backups on a schedule. It's not so simple for just backups of data files though and it'll never look as cool as Time Machine!

      @Raphael
      I'm more concerned with ease of use rather than how pretty it looks. All I want is a simple solution so that in the event of my computer dying, I have a simple process whereby I can restore it (or its replacement) with as little fuss as possible to a relatively recent state.
      I'll look into Acronis. Thanks

    Try Norton Ghost. I set my pc as sweet as I can, then ghost it up and keep the image for when the pc gets a bit slow, fire up the Ghost and off we go.

      bah, norton yuck!
      Clonezilla .. free

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