Backup current Windows OS as a virtual machine

These are the time in the PC era that many people are taking the radical and controversial switch to the much debated Windows 8. As with any OS update or installation there are many things that could go wrong and leave you stranded, customizing the new OS while you actual work gets piled up.

Wouldn’t you love to have your essential work done in your previous OS environment while you continue to customize the new OS?  For Microsoft Windows disk2vhd is an application that will create a virtual machine clone of your existing OS. One of the best things about Disk2vhd is that you can run the VM created by Disk2vhd on a system that you have cloned it from. Creating a VM of your existing OS is very simple. The steps involved are…
1. Download disk2vhd (Its just 811 KB!) and run it.

2. Open Disk Management. To open Disk Management press WIN+R and type diskmgmt.msc .
In the Disk Management windows check for disk partition that have System and Boot in their Status section. There are the drive that will be needed to create a proper bootable virtual machine. In my case the drives were called “System Reserved” and “OS”.

3. Bring up the disk2vhd application and select the drives that were in the “System” and “Boot” status. Enter a suitable name for the VHD file name and click Create. The creation process will take some time depending on the disk usage space.

4. Once done, open Oracle VirtualBox and click the New button.

5. In the window that opens up, enter a name of your choice and select the OS that your VHD file contains. In my case it was Windows 7. Click Next

6. Select an appropriate amount of RAM for your VM. Click next

7. In the next window select the option Use an existing virtual hard drive file and click the folder icon. Navigate to the VHD file you created and click Open. Click Create.

8. Now in the main VirtualBox window you should have a new virtual machine. Select that VM and click Start.