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How to hot clone a Windows VM/physical server

When cloning a VM, it is recommended that you shut down the VM on the ESX server. Perform this procedure only if you don’t want to take down your VM. When cloning a physical server, the server must be on.


  • VMware vCenter Converter Standalone must be installed on the machine where you want to save the cloned VM (e.g., your laptop/desktop).
  • Decide which machine will perform the hot cloning. The local machine (the VM to be cloned) or a remote machine (e.g., your laptop/desktop).
  • The cloned VM must have at least 50% free disk space.
  • If you choose to perform the hot cloning from a remote machine, it should have free disk space equal or greater than the size of the cloned VM.
  • Temporarily disable any firewalls (Windows or other) on the server to be cloned and on your local machine.

To hot clone the VM:

1     Open VMware vCenter Convertor Standalone.

2     Click the Convert Machine button.

3     As the Source type, select Powered-on machine.

4     Enter the server IP address or name, user name, and password.

5     As the OS Family drop-down list, select Windows.

6     Click Next.

7     If security warning appears, click Ignore.

8     As the Destination type, select VMware Workstation …

9     As the VMware product, select VMware Workstation 9.0.x.

10  Set the location where you want to save the virtual machine, use a network path to a shared folder on your local machine (e.g., \\\shared_folder).

11  Enter the user name and password of your local machine (your desktop/laptop).

12  Click Next.

13  Edit the options (only if you know what you are doing), then click Next.

14  Verify that the information is correct, then click Finish.

15  Wait for the cloning process to complete.

16  Upload the cloned machine to Ravello using the Import Tool.

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