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Restore Ghost Image to a Virtual Machine (Read 20744 times)
Pleonasm
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Restore Ghost Image to a Virtual Machine
Dec 19th, 2005 at 2:36pm
 
Here is a clever idea:  test a Ghost image by restoring it to a virtual machine using VMWare (http://www.vmware.com/).

   Ghost 9
   http://www.vmware.com/support/kb/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1920

   Ghost 2003
   http://www.vmware.com/pdf/p2v_thirdpartyimage.pdf

If you have experience with restoring a Ghost image to a virtual machine, please post your observations.
 
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Restore Ghost Image to a Virtual Machine
Reply #1 - Jan 11th, 2006 at 3:21pm
 
VMware – a manufacturer of “virtual machine” software – now offers VMware Player, a “free desktop application that lets you run a virtual machine on a Windows or Linux PC”.  Now here’s the interesting part . . . .

Quote:
To start VMware Player:
1. Open VMware Player.
Select VMware Player from the Start > Programs menu in Windows …
2. Open a virtual machine. When you open VMware Player, a dialog box is displayed. Enter or browse for the configuration file of the virtual machine you want to play.  Use the field Files of type to filter the files that are displayed when you browse.  VMware Player can open .vmx files, .vmc files,
and .sv2i files
.
When you have entered or selected a virtual machine configuration file, click Open.
VMware Player automatically opens the virtual machine and powers it on.

It appears that VMware player can open and launch a virtual machine defined by a Ghost 9/Ghost 10 image backup (see Answer ID 1926 in the VMware knowledge base).

For documentation and download information on VMware Player, see:
   http://www.vmware.com/support/player/doc/releasenotes_player.html
 
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Restore Ghost Image to a Virtual Machine
Reply #2 - Jan 11th, 2006 at 4:59pm
 
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Restore Ghost Image to a Virtual Machine
Reply #3 - Jan 11th, 2006 at 6:39pm
 
Pleo, I had to try it. Naturally.

I installed VMPlayer to my bare-bone WinXP partition. Then opened a .sv2i file. It asks for LiveState Recovery .sv2i files but it works with Ghost 10 files. WinXP loaded (SLOWLY) in the virtual machine window but at the Desktop stage it asked for a Microsoft activation, which I gather is normal. I deliberately don't have an internet connection for this partition so I coudn't proceed.

I've tried the Microsoft Virtual Machine in the past. It's so slow that trying it a second time is a chore.

I'd prefer restoring an image to an empty partition than using a virtual machine.
 
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Restore Ghost Image to a Virtual Machine
Reply #4 - Jan 12th, 2006 at 12:12pm
 
Brian, thanks for posting your observations on the VMware Player.

Maybe the VMware Workstation (US$199) product is faster?  Symantec uses that tool to create 200 virtual PCs onto which Ghost images are restored for purposes of its own internal software testing, as described in the case study found at http://www.vmware.com/customers/stories/symantec.html. ; I doubt that Symantec would proceed in this manner if doing so significantly reduced speed and therefore productivity.
 
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Restore Ghost Image to a Virtual Machine
Reply #5 - Jan 12th, 2006 at 2:50pm
 
Brian, your experience with VMware Player and being prompted to activate Windows prompted me to wonder whether a second Windows license is required in order to legitimately run a Ghost image of a PC on a virtual machine running on the same PC.  From Microsoft’s perspective, it might be the case that the virtual machine is considered a unique instance of the operating system (thereby requiring it own activation key) despite the fact that the virtual machine is running in Windows on the same hardware as the physical PC.  Stated differently, I wonder from a licensing perspective whether the virtual machine is considered to be just another application running in Windows, or whether it is truly considered to be a distinct and separate PC itself, independent of the physical PC on which it is executing.

I have sent an email to Microsoft specifically inquiring about this issue, and will post what I learn.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Restore Ghost Image to a Virtual Machine
Reply #6 - Jan 12th, 2006 at 7:03pm
 
Pleo, I understand the Activation stage is normal and Microsoft have no objections.

Have you tried VMware Player yet?
 
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Restore Ghost Image to a Virtual Machine
Reply #7 - Jan 12th, 2006 at 9:14pm
 
Brian, based on some preliminary research, I’m not confident that a user can legitimately run a “ghost” of Windows XP in VMware Player without purchasing an additional license for the virtual machine.  I hope this not true – but it very well might be the case.

Do you have any further information on why “the Activation stage is normal and Microsoft has no objections” when running Windows XP in VMware Player?  I could find no commentary about this situation on the Microsoft website.

I’m waiting for clarification on this point before I test the VMware Player.  Hopefully, I’ll receive some guidance directly from Microsoft . . . .
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Restore Ghost Image to a Virtual Machine
Reply #8 - Jan 12th, 2006 at 10:35pm
 
 
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Restore Ghost Image to a Virtual Machine
Reply #9 - Jan 13th, 2006 at 11:45am
 
Brian, thanks for the citation.

Quote:
Running Microsoft Windows XP in a copied VM triggers re-activation, which could be a licensing problem.  But Microsoft has recently softened its stance on VM licensing:  Inactive VMs no longer count toward the total number of licenses.

Source:  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1900462,00.asp

While “Inactive VMs no longer count toward the total number of licenses,” the key question is whether or not an active virtual machine (VM) running Windows XP counts “toward the total number of licenses”.  If so, then a user of VMware Player would need a Windows XP license for the physical PC and another for the virtual machine.  Sad
 
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Restore Ghost Image to a Virtual Machine
Reply #10 - Jan 13th, 2006 at 12:17pm
 
Brian, I believe I found the (disappointing) answer.

By way of background:
Quote:
Definition of Client-Based Virtual Machine Products
Client-based virtual machine products make it possible to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on one workstation. Virtual machine products are often used to run applications that are only compatible with a specific version of an operating system (e.g. an accounting system that only runs on Microsoft® Windows® 98 ), and to test applications on different versions of an operating system.

Number of Instances of Windows® Professional allowed for Windows® Desktop Operating System Upgrade Licenses Acquired through Volume Licensing
As of October 1, 2003, each Microsoft Windows® Desktop Operating System upgrade license that is acquired through any of Microsoft’s Volume Licensing programs will grant rights for the customer to install up to two instances of Windows® Professional on one desktop. The two instances may be two different versions of Windows® Professional (e.g. Windows® XP Professional and Windows® 2000 Professional). This change to the Microsoft Volume Licensing Product Use Rights (PUR) will better enable Volume Licensing customers to utilize virtual machine solutions to help them migrate to the newer operating system that they have licensed under their Volume Licensing agreement.

And now the answer . . . .
Quote:
Q. If I acquired my Windows® desktop operating system license from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or through the retail full packaged product (FPP) channel, do I have the rights to install two instances of Windows® on one PC from one license?

A. No, according to the use terms of the OEM and FPP Windows® desktop operating system licenses, you only have the rights to install one instance of Windows® on one PC from one license. It is only for Windows® desktop operating system Upgrade licenses, Upgrade & Software Assurance licenses, and Software Assurance licenses acquired through Microsoft’s Volume Licensing channels that you acquire rights, under one license, to install two instances of Windows® on one PC.

Source:
   http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/f/f/2ff38f3e-033d-47e6-948b-8a7634590be...

Thus, it appears that a user of the VMware Player running Windows has two options:
  • Join one of Microsoft’s Volume Licensing programs.
  • Purchase a second Windows license at retail.
  Sad
 
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Restore Ghost Image to a Virtual Machine
Reply #11 - Jan 17th, 2006 at 2:00pm
 
I had a conversation with the Licensing Department at Microsoft (800-426-9400) concerning this issue.  They confirmed that a home user with an OEM or retail copy of Windows XP would need to purchase a second Windows XP license for the virtual machine, the key code of which must be entered when the virtual machine boots the operating system and Windows begins the activation sequence.

To make matters yet more complicated, when the virtual machine is again started at a later date and loads the Ghost image (.SV2I file), the activation prompt would reappear – but the Internet activation itself would fail, because it would be (incorrectly) perceived as an attempt to use the same license on multiple PCs.  To correct the situation would then require a phone call to Microsoft to explain the circumstances.
 
 
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