So far the Microsoft customers that wanted to convert their physical boxes into Hyper-V virtual machines had to buy and use System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) and its physical to virtual (P2V) migration tool.
Or buy and use a third party P2V migration tool like the ones offered by Novell/Platespin or Quest/Vizioncore.
Other less expensive (free in some cases) tools allow to perform the P2V migration as well but they usually don’t permit to convert the machine while it’s running.
Now there’s a free tool that performs a live migration: Disk2VHD.
The tool was released by the worldwide popular Mark Russinovich, founder and former Chief Software Architect at Sysinternals/Winternals and now Microsoft Technical Fellow, a couple of weeks ago.
Disk2VHD runs on any Windows system starting from XP SP2 and Server 2003 SP1.
It performs the live migration leveraging the Volume Shadow Service (VSS) like most commercial software do.
The converted VHD can be booted with a Hyper-V or Windows Virtual PC virtual machine. Or you can mount it inside the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 file system.
Like most Systinternals tools it’s a stand-alone executable that can you can even launch online.
It doesn’t have many options but it’s the perfect companion for Hyper-V if you are in evaluation.
And with some PowerShell help it probably can do a lot more.