Oh, all right, it’s nothing to do with the alphabet, but it is about P to V – physical to virtual: one problem you may come across when trying to create virtual machines from physical ones.
I had a customer who needed to send me a copy of their PC: so they took a ZEN image, put it on a DVD and posted it to me (it was about 3.5gb, and uploading that to ftp.novell.com was going to take just a bit too long). I used the DVD to create an image in VMWARE, but immediately got a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) saying INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE. I slapped myself around a bit, for forgetting that VMWARE, when creating new virtual disks, likes to create SCSI disks, which wasn’t what I needed! So I deleted the disk, created an IDE one and repeated the process – same problem 🙁 What was happening was that W2k (in this instance, but XP does it as well) had only installed the disk drivers for the controller in the original PC, and so couldn’t find my virtual disk. So at this point, I did what most people who work in IT would do: I used a search engine… lots of hits, but the most succinct was this Move an IDE Drive w/Windows 2000 or XP to A New System which shows that you need to add at most four files to your image plus some registry entries to make it work on all standard IDE controllers.
The sneaky thing that I did was rather than ask the guy to send me the whole updated image, I sent him the .reg file from the web site, asked him to apply it to his PC, then re-image it, but delete everything from it except c:\winnt\system32\config\system (obviously with XP that would be c:\windows\…) which is where HKLM\system is physically stored. I used image explorer to replace the system file in the image, added the device drivers, and the image boots just fine!
Now all I need to do is fix the problem that led him to send me the image in the first place…
Stop Press: See the post from Klaus Arpe, where he points out that you can load the “system” file into regedit under a temporary hive, which would have saved me even more work – thanks Klaus!