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Converting a physical machine for Fusion, Workstation, or Player using Converter Standalone (2005129)

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This article provides instructions for converting a physical computer into a virtual machine, so it can be used in Fusion, Workstation, or Player. VMware vCenter Converter Standalone is a free program that can be installed on your physical computer running Windows. Converter Standalone copies the data on your hard drive into a virtual disk file (.vmdk), which can then be used in other VMware products. This process does not affect your computer, and you can continue to use your computer after using Converter.


Before starting, ensure that you have an external hard drive or a SMB network share location that has enough free space to store the new virtual disk (.vmdk) and that is of the correct format. Ensure that you have free space equal to a physical computer's used hard drive space. This external hard drive or network location must be formatted with NTFS, FAT32, or ExFAT. Converter does not recognize destinations that are formatted with HFS+ (Mac-formatted).
Note: If you have installed the Fusion Migration Assistant, uninstall it before installing Converter Standalone.

Best Practices 

Warning: Turning off your firewall can leave your computer open to attack. This is a troubleshooting step only. If turning off the firewall resolves the issue, consult the operating system's documentation for instructions to configure it properly so that it does not completely block this connection.

  • Disable your antivirus program. Consult the Help menu of the antivirus program or see the manufacturer's documentation for instructions.
  • Uninstall any non-Microsoft drivers. These can prevent the converted virtual machine from starting up properly.
  • Disable all third party services on the physical machine, except the vCenter Standalone Converter services.
Note: If you are running an OEM version of Windows, the migration may fail. VMware cannot support OEM copies of Windows migrated to virtual machines as this is a violation of Microsoft licensing conditions. If you purchased your computer with Windows pre-installed, you are most likely running an OEM version of Windows. To check whether you are running an OEM version, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 310104.

Downloading and Installing Converter

  1. On your physical computer, download VMware vCenter Converter Standalone from the VMware Download Center.
  2. Double-click the installer file to start the installation.
  3. Select your language.
  4. Select the default installation options. On the Setup Type screen, select Local installation.

For more information about installation, see:

Converting your physical machine

  1. Start vCenter Converter.
  2. Go to File > New > Convert Machine.
  3. From the Select source type menu, select Powered-on machine.
  4. Under Specify the powered-on machine, select This local machine and click Next.
  5. From the Select destination type dropdown menu, select VMware Workstation or other VMware virtual machine.
  6. From the Select VMware product dropdown menu, select the VMware product you want to use to run the virtual machine.

      If the current version is not available, please select the previous available version. The virtual machine can be upgraded to the latest version in the VMware Product which you are using.

  7. Click Browse and navigate to the connected external hard drive or SMB network share. Choose a location on that drive to save the files and click OK.
  8. If you want, change the name of the virtual machine by editing the Name field under Virtual machine details.
  9. Click Next.
  10. (Optional) Click the Edit button beside Data to copy to make adjustments to the partitions you will import. If your computer only has one partition, or if you want to convert the entire disk, skip this step.

    Note: If there are more than one partitions listed, choose the C: drive as the main partition to convert.

  11. Deselect the partitions that you do not want to convert.

    Note: If your physical machine has a recovery partition, deselect this partition.

  12. Click Next.
  13. Click Finish to start the conversion.

After the conversion process is complete, disconnect the external hard drive that stores the converted virtual machine and connect it to the machine that is running your VMware product (Fusion, Workstation, or Player).

To create a new virtual machine from the converted virtual disk files, see:

Additional Information


download-converter  converter fusion player vcenter-converter vcenter-converter-standalone workstation

See Also

Update History

08/15/2012 - Added best practices to follow before conversion. 08/23/2012 - Added Fusion 5.x to Products 09/05/2013 - AddedFusion 6, WKS 10 and Player 6 to product version 08/25/2014 - Updated for Fusion 7.x 02/12/2014 - Updated for Workstation 11.x 02/12/2014 - Updated for Player 7.x

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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  • 44 Ratings