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P2V made easy with QEMU

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#1 Nuno Brito

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 12:55 PM

Hi everyone!

I've been reading more about P2V* and most guides only mention their troubles on slipstreaming drivers into an already existent windows installation - but I notice that this is only applied for Vmware software.

QEmu comes with XP recognizable emulated drivers, sizes under a megabyte - doesn't require any installs and is free!

So why not using qemu instead of any vmware?? :)

People might say that speed matters, but I'm not much worried about this - all it's necessary is to boot onto a OS found inside the disk and do my repairs.

*P2V stands for Peer to Virtual - making an OS installed on a physical machine run inside a PC emulator


How to P2V with qemu?

Warning: This is experimental and very likely to damage your installed OS

My tests were done on my laptop where I keep three partitions.

The first two partitions were used for installing OS's (both XP) and the third one is where documents are kept. So this machine is dual booting to an OS on each partition.

Each OS was installed using an nlited source (not many changes, only a few tweaks).

How to setup your tools to get started?

If you're using winbuilder - open the Code box tab then copy&paste:


Title=Qemu test	 

Description=quick P2V with qemu


ShellExecute,open,#$q%Tools%\qEMU\qEmu.exe#$q,"-boot c -m 192 -hda \\.\PhysicalDrive0 -L #$q%Tools%\qEMU#$q"

What will this do?

Notice the -hda \\.\PhysicalDrive0 - it will use your physical disk and boot from it - on my case it will display the initial boot menu to select which OS to boot (I'm not using grub or anything else - remember I have two XP OS's installed?).

I select the second OS - which is used for these testings - and the OS is a bit sluggier but boots ok!!

No changes were done, no tweaks to slipstream drivers on the OS installed on disk - nothing. Just run qemu and boot the machine.

Beware that this only worked twice - after these trials this test OS started to BSOD without solution (guess it needs to be reinstalled..) - if you're willing to try it out - beware it will very likely damage the tested OS

This is the easy way to p2v instantly - you can also use command line from cmd.exe, but the parameters may give you a little more work to get right unless you have some experience with DOS commands.


Need your help!

This was fun, but I need help to understand the reasons why the OS becomes damaged after a while. There can be all sort of reasons but would be really great if anyone could test and reproduce this quick P2V - as you can see - it's so easy that it would be shame that we wouldn't even try to learn more - what do you think? :yahoo:


Also think that ACPI is the reason why boot up is a slug - look here - I'm using a dual core CPU so this would be a good reason to give confusions when emulating the OS.

Standard ACPI can also be used when installing windows for the first time (good to speed up inside a virtual machine) - if you press F7 when the initial "Press F6 to install drivers.." appears on the install setup or F5 to have a menu to choose an appropriate HAL that supports ACPI

http://www.hs-lab.co..... Problems.php


One other idea is to add an image that keeps all changes that supposely should be made on the physical disk, then choosing to commit the changes to disk if needed.

Anyone wishes to help on this part?

Have fun - and remember - only use this info on test machines.. :)

#2 sanbarrow


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Posted 13 August 2007 - 12:16 PM

which mass-storage driver is used on your test-system ?

If you do this with Qemu I guess it has to be something compatible with IntelIDE.

With VMware it can also be IntelIDE or BUSLOGIC or LSILOGIC.

Anyway - no matter if we use Qemu or VMware - this will only work on a few hosts without patching the guest first.

#3 was_jaclaz



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Posted 13 August 2007 - 02:25 PM

This might help:


#4 sanbarrow


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Posted 13 August 2007 - 03:00 PM

Yes - this patch should allow a system - originally installed to an IDE-disk to run in VMware, Qemu or Virtual PC and Parallels.

If Nuno's Qemu trick worked he very probably used it on a system with Intel-IDE chipset.

I have an ASUS-board P4 that also uses an Intel chipset - I can directly boot it as a VM without having to patch it first.
An older P3 of mine with an VIA-chipset needs to be patched first.

To run SCSI-based systems as a VM (VMware ) you can easily patch
2k-systems to use VMscsi/buslogic
2k3-systems to use LSIlogic

check Mike Lavericks site on P2V.
You will find the fix-vmscsi plugin for BartPE that does this kind of patching.

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