CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Discussions related to using VirtualBox on Windows hosts.

Re: CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Postby mpack » 18. Sep 2009, 10:36

hangerglide wrote:What steps do I take to get vbox to recognize the new file as a vm?

At the moment it's just a clone of a hard disk, not a complete VM. You need to create a new VM for it.

  • If the new VDI is still called "Clone of..." then rename it to something more meaningful that reflects the purpose of the new VM.
  • Run VBox then go to "File | VirtualBox Media Manager" and register the new VDI [ step not required since VBox v4.0.0. ].
  • Create a new VM in VBox, but when the wizard gets to the hard disk question, select "Use existing" and point VBox at your new VDI. [since VBox v4.0.0 the best thing to do is move the VDI into the VM folder, then select it].
  • Before running the VM, go back and check all your settings, making sure they are the same as the original VM, especially the hard disk controller type and the IO APIC setting. If the guest is Windows then you need to make the MAC address the same as before too, otherwise Windows will prompt for reactivation.
Last edited by mpack on 16. Apr 2014, 11:46, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Add notes about VBox v4.
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Re: CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Postby mpack » 18. Sep 2009, 10:39

undefined wrote:It worked great, thanks! With your program I expanded my 10 GB virtual drive to a 30 GB virtual drive (and I used gparted to expand the existing partition).

Thanks. I'm hopeful that in a future release you won't need to use any third party tools at all to perform common VDI operations such as expanding the partition.
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Re: CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Postby hangerglide » 19. Sep 2009, 19:19

Thanks MPack, that was pretty simple. What a great add on for virtualbox! It might be worth adding these next step instructions for those of us that have never gone through the cloning process before.
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Re: CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Postby mpack » 19. Sep 2009, 20:03

hangerglide wrote:It might be worth adding these next step instructions for those of us that have never gone through the cloning process before.

I already did, right after I answered you. :)
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Re: CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Postby mpack » 20. Sep 2009, 21:17

NEW VERSION RELEASED - v1.20 (see root message for download link).

Please note that I've released a new version of my CloneVDI tool (v1.20). This new version adds read support for VHD files. The release notes have been updated to reflect this. This release also includes a very minor bugfix: under certain circumstances a zero length temp file was being left behind.

VHD support should be regarded as experimental. I don't have many VHDs to play with, which limited my test capability.

And just to be sure that everyone knows: converting a VHD to a VDI does not guarantee that it will run under VirtualBox. In the worst case you have Windows guest in VHD form that runs happily under Virtual PC, Virtual Server, Win 7 etc: these VM environments do not emulate the same hardware as VBox does, so when you move this VHD over to VirtualBox (whether or not you convert it to a VDI), then the guest will see a lot of hardware changes and may complain about them. Complaints may range from BSOD on startup, or Windows prompting you to reactivate. These issues have nothing to do with the VHD to VDI conversion.
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Re: CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Postby Perryg » 20. Sep 2009, 21:30

Question.
Say I have already taken a VHD file and moved it to VBox (This is a licensed copy and registered). Should it be possible to convert this to VDI and it retain all entry keys and thus not trigger activation? I know I can still re-activate it but with the way I trash virtual programs I need to keep as many activations down to a minimum as I can. Great Product Don!
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Re: CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Postby mpack » 20. Sep 2009, 21:43

If it already works under VBox, and if you use the "Keep UUID" option then the result should be usable under VBox and should not trigger reactivation. You can also use the "Compact" and "Enlarge" options during the conversion if you want.

Obviously VBox still won't let you register two virtual disks which have the same UUID (file format doesn't figure in this), so you would need to unregister the VHD before registering the VDI. After that you can mount the VDI in the existing VM and it should work fine. All of these steps are reversible if you run into problems.
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Re: CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Postby Perryg » 20. Sep 2009, 22:46

One funny thing that I have noticed. Using XP pro and changing the UUID does not by itself trigger an activation notice. But I have not tried to change the UUID and the MAC at the same time.
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Re: CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Postby BillG » 21. Sep 2009, 06:06

Just used the newest version to convert a .vhd to a .vdi . Worked beautifully and the XP guest booted up fine in VirtualBox. Well done!
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Re: CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Postby mpack » 21. Sep 2009, 09:53

Perryg wrote:One funny thing that I have noticed. Using XP pro and changing the UUID does not by itself trigger an activation notice. But I have not tried to change the UUID and the MAC at the same time.

I don't actually know whether XP cares about the UUID as far as activation goes: for me it's an elegance thing, a clone ought to be the same as the original, the cloned guest should not notice any difference. It was still a surprise when you told me (elsewhere) that Win7 cares about the UUID.

On the other hand I know that the MAC is weighted heavily in XPs activation check (the MS site says so). It is possible, though I can't remember trying it, that a MAC change alone could trigger activation.
Last edited by mpack on 30. Aug 2010, 13:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Postby mpack » 21. Sep 2009, 09:56

BillG wrote:Just used the newest version to convert a .vhd to a .vdi . Worked beautifully and the XP guest booted up fine in VirtualBox. Well done!

Thanks Bill, it's nice to have it confirmed that the feature works for someone else. :-)

@Perry: did you try that VHD conversion you mentioned before? You may have been referring to it in your last message, I wasn't sure.
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Re: CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Postby mpack » 21. Sep 2009, 11:42

Oops! I found a bug in the handling of VHD files >4GB. I've posted a new version (v1.21) which fixes it.

The bug wasn't actually in the VHD code itself, it was in the code it was using to validate the input file. It was calculating the number of sectors in the file, and getting the answer wrong if the file size was >4GB. Not a catastrophe, it meant the VHD would fail the validation checks and the tool would refuse to do anything.
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Re: CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Postby Sasquatch » 21. Sep 2009, 12:00

Mpack, about the W7 activation, I've talked with Perry on the weekend about that, doing some tests, and the activation of W7 isn't done through VDI UUID, but VM UUID. I made a clone of my W7 VDI, changed the UUID and the MAC address on the VM itself that used to have the original VDI, no reactivation triggered. As soon as I changed one number of the UUID in the XML files (VB.xml and machine.xml), it went on the "3 days left" message. Restoring the number made it activated again. We haven't found the location where W7 stores or reads the VM UUID. It's not in the registry, at least as plain text. Inside files takes a long time due to the need of an index of the whole hard drive.

I'll try the latest version with Wine some day. I doubt it won't work, but you never know ;).
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Re: CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Postby mpack » 21. Sep 2009, 12:12

Sasquatch wrote:Mpack, about the W7 activation, I've talked with Perry on the weekend about that, doing some tests, and the activation of W7 isn't done through VDI UUID, but VM UUID.

That's strange: I wonder how the VM UUID gets reported to the guest? Some kind of motherboard signature? (DMI?). Thinking about it, this news does make me happier about Win7. It means that upgrading the hard drive on a Win7 PC can be done without hassle from MS, it's only upgrading the motherboard which would give problems - and that was true of XP as well.

Yes, please do try the new CloneVDI under Wine. You can never have enough testing (as the VHD 4GB bug proves :-)).
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Re: CloneVDI tool - Discussion & Support

Postby Sasquatch » 21. Sep 2009, 12:21

I just remembered another W7 activation point. A new CPU ID doesn't trigger it either. I had the VM installed on my Intel laptop, booted it on my AMD pc and no new activation. That proves another point that the activation is less trigger happy than on XP. I wonder how Vista handles a new VM UUID, and Windows XP. Since I have only VLK VMs of XP, and no Vista, I have no idea how that is done.

Maybe we should have a separate topic about this, to keep it clean here :). It is a nice discussion subject for running multiple Windows VMs through one installation.
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