Cloning Windows from a VM (vmware workstation) to physical hardware?

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coffeeprogrammer

Well-known member
Jul 19, 2021
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Does anyone know if it is possible to clone the simplest possible virtual machine (hardware wise) of Windows from the VM to a physical computer. The idea being to configure the VM (without hardware drivers or activation) then clone to the physical machine then only have to install drivers and active? I know generally it is a bad idea with dissimilar hardware of two physical machines. If there was a way to have windows remove and of the non-default drives and fix the HAL in any way it might need, it seems like it would be possible.
 
Just as a note, I already own terabyte unlimited image and I see something about virtual to physical, not sure what it is saying yet.
 
Just as a note, I already own terabyte unlimited image and I see something about virtual to physical, not sure what it is saying yet.
Well I found it in image for linux menus, you can copy directly from a vmdk or you can boot into the VM with the IFL iso and create a image, but I always get the error in the photo. I will email support, but it is the weekend. If anyone knows please let me know. I was testing this out on a old laptop, but I also want to redo my main machine this way because it takes so long to configure everything. My main system is NVMe.
 

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Well I found it in image for linux menus, you can copy directly from a vmdk or you can boot into the VM with the IFL iso and create a image, but I always get the error in the photo. I will email support, but it is the weekend. If anyone knows please let me know. I was testing this out on a old laptop, but I also want to redo my main machine this way because it takes so long to configure everything. My main system is NVMe.
Also, when you tell image for linux you want to move from a VM to a physical it gives lots of options for removing, injecting drivers and changing HAL (I guess x64 only has one HAL). So if other people want to do this seems like tera byte unlimited would be a good option, but hopefully I can figure out this boot error. I try to use UEFI whenever possible and that is what I used on both the vm and physical system.
 
There is a verb I remember seeing once for the process of removing the Windows image data that ties it to the machine, but I can't recall at the current moment. However, there's this:


EDIT: Ah, there it is in the document I linked ... the verb they use is "generalize", for example, from the document:
Moving or copying a Windows image to a different PC without generalizing the PC is not supported.

EDIT2: This guy (Craft Computing) may be of interest to your journey to understanding the process of Windows image management: YouTube Video by "Craft Computing" on Windows images
 
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Well I found it in image for linux menus, you can copy directly from a vmdk or you can boot into the VM with the IFL iso and create a image, but I always get the error in the photo. I will email support, but it is the weekend. If anyone knows please let me know. I was testing this out on a old laptop, but I also want to redo my main machine this way because it takes so long to configure everything. My main system is NVMe.
If you can get that real machine to boot into Recovery mode, and drop to a DOS prompt, you should be able to run the repair. You probably need to run "bcdedit /rebuildbcd". The error looks like it is trying to boot from the wrong place.
 
My company IT department uses what they call a "slam" image to load up our laptops. Dunno anything else beyond that. I just had a laptop replaced due to the battery swelling (first time for me, but it was making the keyboard bulge - eesh!) and it took them about a day to copy over all my data from the old to the new laptop - I'm a pretty heavy data user. They use scripts for that, and an intermediate USB-connected drive.
 
So here is what happened. The dell laptop previously had Kubuntu installed on it. In the BIOS configuration there was entry called “Ubuntu” in the boot up UFI images I guess you would call them. So when I went into the BIOS setup and reset to factory settings it wiped out this Ubuntu boot entry and Windows booted fine. I did notice that I could browse the hard disk and select files for UFI images. Like for example Windows 7 and up typically has a boot partition before the normal drive C. I could not get it to work correctly by browsing and adding these (I am calling images). But the factory reset did work. The second part is that Pholder was right, if I didn’t do a sysprep I got a blue screen. But when I did the sysprep and cloned from that, I could boot up and add the drivers very simply. The bios on this dell laptop is kinda of fancy, it used the mouse and has a GUI that looks like classic windows. My main system is newer but the BIOS is more text based. It is currently on CSM boot up, but I am going to change it to UEFI. I don’t know what will happen when cloning this system. The beautiful thing about terabyte image is that you can make a system back up before making big changes. So you really don’t get much down time.



Any way if someone is having a problem like this and they are on UEFI, try a BIOS reset.



PS the dell laptop added a Windows Boot Manager in the BIOS boot up list some how on its own.
 
I figured I would give an update on this as I think some of the information I have learn is helpful. So PHolder talked about sysprep, I didn’t know much about that but it can be used to customize a Windows installation. I am currently Downloading the Windows Assesment and Deplayment Kit so that I can create a custom Windows 10 image for my install. Once Steve said something about not using a page file and that is an option in creating these unattended.xml files. You can do lots of things like partition out your drives, automatically create a user and configure and skip that stupid privacy screen. You can also move your profiles (C:\Users folder) to a different drive. I also found that you can use oscdimg to create an installation iso of your custom Windows installation. I believe one could remove the crap ware from the wim image as well. Insert drivers perhaps. You can also use the bootsect program to make a flash drive bootable. I guess basically make it bootable and copy the installation files along with the unattended.xml file. I didn’t want to use rufus, because I wanted to know the 100% Microsoft way of creating an installer. Basically once you know a few things you can use ChatGpt to fill in alots of the details and ask it how to do things that you might want out of your Windows installer. I bet there is a way to get rid of the Microsoft Account junk and just use local. I am working with Windows 10 right now and will not likely move to 11, but someone with the time you do a test to figure it out. I didn’t bother to ask chatgpt because its knowledge is limited to 2021 I think.