Tools to Convert Virtual Machine from VMDK to VHD Format


I recently decided to run all my VMs in Hyper-V on Windows 10 and see how it stands to compete with VMware Player. Since I am a long time VMware user, I have all my VMs created in VMDK format. To avoid reinstalling system from scratch, I decided to convert them to VHD format and see how the process and tools work during the process.

Here is a list of the tools needed to finish the job, converting virtual machine formats from VMware’s VMDK to Microsoft’s VHD.

Convert A VM from ESX or vCenter

If you are converting a live VM hosted on ESX, the best tool out there that works and that is also free is the one built by Microsoft itself, Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0. It’s a standalone tool made specifically for IT Professionals who wants to:

  • Convert virtual machines and disks from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts and Windows Azure
  • Convert physical machines and disks to Hyper-V hosts

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter - 2015-06-15 14_49_53

Convert a VM not hosted on ESX

If you need to convert a VM hosted only on the local desktop computer to VHD, you need a tool other than the powerful Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter which does almost everything else but this.

2Tware Convert VHD Free

2Tware Convert Vhd 1.0.4 - 2015-06-15 14_54_05

2Tware Convert VHD is a simple application that helps users easily convert virtual hard drive images from VMWare’s VMDK format into the Microsoft’s VHD format. This is a sector by sector copy operation from one format to the other and the source file remains unaltered. It converts not only a VMDK disk but also, as the screenshot shows, a physical disk to VHD as well, which could be used as a forensic tool to seize a physical disk in VHD format before working on the case.


Vmdk2Vhd - 2015-06-15 14_58_06

Vmdk2Vhd is another simple utility that could come in handy when other conversion tool fails though it only does VMDK to VHD conversion.

StarWind V2V Converter

StarWind V2V Converter - 2015-06-15 15_10_58

StarWind V2V Converter converts virtual machines freely from one format to another, not only from VMDK to VHD but the other way around as well. When converting the VM to VHDX format, StarWind V2V Converter enables the activation of Windows Repair Mode. This way the virtual machine will automatically adapt to the given hardware environment and negate any compatibility problems.

In my own test, I had the good result from 2Tware Convert VHD but failed to get my VHD copy through Vmdk2Vhd. But that could be the result of my own environment. I’d recommend that if you are converting from VHDK disk to VHD, try 2Tware Convert VHD first, then Vmdk2Vhd, then StarWind V2V Converter. I put StarWind at last not because it offers less feature or it runs in less power, it’s simply because in order to get a copy of this free conversion tool you need to register with a bit of your own information first.




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