Almost foolproof method of converting a Windows VM to a Physical system (V2P Virtual to Physical conversion).


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Hafnarfjörður IS
Windows XP,7,10,11 Linux Arch Linux
Hi folks
This method seems to work with the least amount of hassle on converting a Windows VM to a Physical Windows installation while also if on the same target machine's hardware preserving activation whether the guest is on Linux KVM/QEMU or Wmware WKS or on Windows Hyper-V / Vmware wks.

I don't like Oracle's Virtual box so I haven't tested this on that type of VM. However in theory I can't think of any reason why this method won't work with VBOX VM's.

Before you start -

1) ensure you have a physical disk available -- it needs to be a whole disk (GPT) with at least a target partition / unformatted space for the target windows system.

2) ensure your VM is updated to the latest whether an insider version or not

3) ensure the VM has the appropriate extra's installed such as vmware-tools / win-virtio etc otherwise at ist boot of your converted system you'll probably have mouse and video problems on large monitors --basic 640 X 480 VGA doesn't render well on large 48 inch UHD monitors !!!!!. --Been there --done it --bought the T-Shirt etc.

4) copy the following 2 folders from the latest W11 system you have (physical system):
windows->system32->drivers and DriverStore to a USB stick -- this will be used later.

5) in the VM's config add the windows target disk as a physical device --in the case of KVM/QEMU and vmware wks it's simple enough. For KVM/QEMU enable editing of the VM's config file and add in the devices part :

<disk type="block" device="disk">
<driver name="qemu" type="raw"/>
<source dev="/dev/sdc"/> ---- change for your system
<target dev="vdb" bus="virtio"/> --normally leave but change if required (vda, vdc etc)

for vmware wks check the documentation but easy enough.

Now the procedure.

6) boot the VM

7) clone the disk to the physical disk. (

Note : If several windows systems are in this single VM then clone the whole disk not just the booted windows VM.

Macrium Free is still good for this.

8) power off he VM and shutdown the Host

9) boot the copied / cloned disk together with the device that has the windows drivers on it.

10) get into device manager and start first with updating the Ms basic display driver to the appropriate one for your system by selecting update driver --manually locate drivers and point to the driver file on the device you stored them on.

11) now go through all the other items which have unknown devices the same way.

12) reboot system

13) job done -- resize / create partitions to suit.

If your Windows VM was activated then this *Should* preserve activation too -- I don't know the mechanism of Ms's activation but I've found it seems to preserve activation providing you do the V2P on the same system as the VM was on.

You also don't need to remove the virtual drivers (only a tiny bit of storage) . --the reason also is good since if you cloned to an external device Windows can see it as a Windows to Go system and you won't be able to install new releases -- however cloning that back to a VM means you can update without having to mess around with the virtual device drivers - and then simply clone back again after updating to the new Windows release.

There may -- probably are other ways but this isn't as complex as it looks and it's worked for me for ages preserving activation both ways. So try it and have fun. !!!

Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows XP,7,10,11 Linux Arch Linux
    Computer type
    2 X Intel i7
A much easier way is create custom install.wim of vm installation using dism and inject host drivers into the cusom install.wim. Then create installation usb replacing install.wim with custom install.wim and install wherever you like e.g. on a host pc, or in native boot vhd, vm (any mainstream vm tool)

All the above steps are simply explained in the Tenforums tutorial. The only prerequisite is to install the dism adk package first).

No need to use Linux ever!

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Screen Resolution
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    Yep, got one
    Yep, got one
    Stella Artois
    Built in
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
    Edge mostly
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0
Or skip the intermediate step of making an image and use winntsetup wincopy

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Computer type
    gigabyte b365m ds3h
    2x8gb 3200mhz
    Monitor(s) Displays
    benq gw2480
    bequiet pure power 11 400CM
    cryorig m9i
  • Operating System
    Computer type
    pentium g5400
    gigabyte b365m ds3h
    1x8gb 2400
    xfx pro 450

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