Relevant mostly to OS X admins
The power supply in my FIL’s old XP box recently failed, so I offered to help him use the harddrive to become a virtual machine (Via Fusion 5) on his Macbook Pro. It wasn’t as easy as I thought: here’s a number of ways that don’t work:
Plug the IDE drive into a USB adapter and use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone to convert that drive to a VM. vCenter won’t acknowledge a USB drive, in either a VM (as I first tried), or on a physical machine.
Clone the drive (via the IDE to USB converter) to a VMDK destination using Clonezilla, in a VM. The Clonezilla output was true and perfect, but I ran into a classic XP problem: the drivers for the system that it came from aren’t appropriate for the VM: result was a VM that would BSOD a few seconds after boot with a warning re BusLogic SCSI drivers. If I had the right source media on hand think I could have done a repair on XP, using a documented method from VMWare. Unfortunately, source was XP Home, and I only had XP Pro media.
What finally worked was the fortune that I had an old PC with a IDE port. I was able to plug the drive there, boot from the daily use XP drive (booting from his drive would BSOD, just like in a VM), and run vCenter from there, converting only the non-C: volume, and including VMWare Tools, which inserted the needed drivers. vCenter complained that it wasn’t a System drive, but the end result was a bootable VM.