I’ve had a nice shiny T60 on loan for the past couple of months for a project I’ve been working on. Unfortunately the time came to return it, at which point I thought I’d try out the free version of VMware Converter. This enables you to take a physical machine and convert it to a VMware image. The idea was that I would create an image of the laptop before giving it back in case there was something on it I still needed.
Having copied the VMware images that I had been working with off the machine (running VMware under VMware seemed a little pointless!) I was left with about 13GB. It took Converter about 45 minutes to create a VMware image of a similar size on an attached USB hard disk. So far so good. Unfortunately, when I then attempted to start the image on my own laptop (having remember to drop back down to a single processor) Windows XP activation decided to kick in (which is probably reasonable enough). There was no chance of completing activation though as the image couldn’t get a network connection. (VMware network connectivity always seems a bit of a black art to me.)
Anyway, the effort wasn’t entirely wasted as I could still us the free VMware DiskMount (now included as part of VMware Workstation 6 I believe) to mount the image as a drive so I can still access all of the files. I could also still run Adobe Framemaker from the mount which is good as that’s one of the pieces of software that I don’t have installed on my own machine.