Converting Windows-based physical computers or other virtual machines into VMware Fusion virtual machines
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Converting Windows-based physical computers or other virtual machines into VMware Fusion virtual machines


Article ID: 328543


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This article outlines the process of converting a physical computer or virtual machine to create a virtual machine that can be used in VMware Fusion 2.x. This process leaves the original computer or machine intact and merely creates a virtual disk file that has all of the same information as the original hard disk/virtual disk.

Note: It is also possible to remove a hard drive from a Windows computer, put it in a USB enclosure (purchased separately), and use that hard drive with a Fusion virtual machine running Windows. For more information, see Connecting an external hard drive to a Fusion virtual machine (1021853).

For VMware Fusion versions 3.x and above versions: Fusion's built-in utility, Migration Assistant, converts Windows-based computers. For more information, see Best practices for using and troubleshooting Migration Assistant (1017993).


To convert a physical machine or another virtual machine for VMware Fusion 2.x:
  1. Download the VMware Converter application. For download links and product information, see the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Product Download Center page.

    Note: Version 3 corresponds with the video in step 3.
  2. Install VMware Converter on a supported Windows physical computer or virtual machine. If converting a Windows physical computer, you can install Converter on the source computer. For installation instructions, see the VMware Converter User's Manual.
  3. Convert the source physical computer or virtual machine using VMware Converter. For detailed instructions on product usage, see the VMware Converter User's Manual and the VMware Education Services channel video, VMware Fusion 2.0 Use VMware Converter.

    At step 2 (Destination in the Conversion Wizard), select Other virtual machine as the destination type. On the next screen, ensure the option containing VMware Fusion 2.x is selected. For the location, browse to a location that can be accessed by the Mac running VMware Fusion.

    Note: VMware recommends a destination location such as an external drive or network share if you are using a physical computer as the conversion source.
  4. Complete the conversion process. This may take several hours depending on the size of the source.
  5. Locate the newly created virtual machine files on the destination created by Converter in step 3. Copy all the .vmdk (virtual disk) files within the converted virtual machine to your Mac. All other files in this folder are not needed.

    • If Converter was used inside a virtual machine, you can simply drag and drop the files to your Mac to copy the files.
    • If you are using an external disk, you can use the .vmdk files directly from the disk. However, this reduces the performance of the virtual machine. If you choose this option, delete all of the files in the folder except the .vmdk files and proceed to the next step.
  6. Start VMware Fusion if it is not already running.
  7. Click File > New.
  8. When prompted during the wizard, select Use an existing disk.
  9. Locate the .vmdk files copied to the Mac in Step 5.
  10. Complete the new virtual machine wizard.

Additional Information

For troubleshooting information, see: