How to Copy VMware Virtual Machine to Physical Machine

Virtual machines have become an integral part of the modern IT infrastructure. They allow us to run multiple operating systems on a single physical machine, save time and reduce costs.

However, there might be times when you need to move your virtual machines to a physical machine for greater performance or security reasons.

In this blog post, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to copy VMware virtual machines to physical machines so that you can gain all the benefits of running your VMs in a traditional environment. Let’s dive in!

How to Copy VMware Virtual Machine to Physical Machine

What is a VMware Virtual Machine?

When you create a VMware virtual machine, you essentially create a “computer” that will run on top of your existing physical computer.

This virtual machine will have its own operating system, applications, and file storage and will be isolated from the rest of your physical computer. You can think of it as a “virtual” computer within your physical computer.

There are many benefits to using VMware virtual machines. For example, you can use them to test new software or operating systems without affecting your existing setup or run multiple computers simultaneously on a single physical machine.

You can also easily take snapshots of your virtual machine‘s state to roll back if something goes wrong.

If you want to move your VMware virtual machine to another physical computer, you can copy the files that make up the VM (known as the “disk image”). In this article, we’ll show you how to do that.

Benefits of Transferring VM to Physical Server

There are many benefits to transferring a VM to a physical server. The primary benefit is that it can greatly reduce the time and resources required to maintain the VM.

It can also improve performance and stability by eliminating the need to use Virtual Machine software.

Finally, it can provide a more consistent experience when using applications on physical hardware.

Steps for Copy and Migration

You can migrate a VMware VM to a physical machine in a few different ways. You can use the native vSphere Client, which requires reloading the OS on the physical machine.

You can also use VMware Converter, which can be a bit finicky. The process described below uses System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012 R2, included in Windows Server 2012 R2. This method is fairly simple and doesn’t require downtime for your VM.

Before you begin, make sure that you have all of the necessary tools and software installed:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V role enabled
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2
  • The VMware vSphere management console
  • The SCVMM console
  1. In the vSphere console, right-click on the VM you want to migrate and select “Export.” Choose a location to save the OVA file.
  2. In the SCVMM console, click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select “Import VM.”
  3. Click “Browse” and select the OVA file you exported from vSphere. Choose a name and location for the imported VM. Ensure that “Enable this virtual machine after the import is selected.” Click “Finish” to import the VM.
  4. Right-click on the new VM in SCVMM and select “Create Hudson Job.” Enter a name for the job and choose “Copy.” Select the type of server that you want to copy to.
  5. Click “New Host” and enter the server’s IP address, username, and password. Select the host cluster or standalone server and click “Finish.”
  6. Choose a location for the VM in the Destination pane and then click “Next.” Select any customization settings that you want to apply to the VM. Click “Finish” to start the migration.
  7. Once the migration is complete, shut down the VM in vSphere and delete it if desired. The new physical machine will be ready for use.

Note: If you don’t have SCVMM, other tools like VMware Converter can also be used for this process.

Prerequisites, Snapshots, Software Requirements

Assuming you have a VMware vSphere environment, the following are prerequisites, along with tips and screenshots, for copying a VMware virtual machine to a physical machine.

  1. Ensure you have snapshots of the VM you want to copy. This is important in case something goes wrong during the process. You can take snapshots by selecting the VM in vSphere Client and choosing “Take Snapshot” from the “VM” menu.
  2. Make sure that any software requirements for the VM are met on the target physical machine. This includes things like operating system versions and installed applications.
  3. In vSphere Client, select the VM and choose “Export” from the “File” menu. Choose a location for the exported file and click “OK.”
  4. Copy the exported file to the target physical machine. You can use a network share or removable media like a USB drive.
  5. On the target machine, open VMware Workstation (if it’s not already installed, you can download it from VMware’s website). From Workstation’s “File” menu, choose “Open.”
  6. Select the copied file from Step 4 and click “Open.” The VM will now be imported into Workstation and ready to use.

Perform Transfer of Data

How to Copy VMware Virtual Machine to Physical Machine

There are a few things you need to know and know to transfer your VMware Virtual Machine (VM) to a physical machine. This process is known as P2V or “Physical-to-Virtual.”

First, you’ll need to know the source and destination of your VM. The source is the location of the VM files on the host machine, and the destination is where you want to store the VM files on the physical machine.

You’ll also need a method for transferring the files between the two machines; this can be done through a USB drive, an external hard drive, or even over a network connection.

Once these things are in place, you can begin the transfer process. The first step is to power off the VM on the host machine; if it’s running, you won’t be able to copy the files accurately.

Once the VM is powered off, identify the folder that contains its files and copy them to the destination machine.

Once all of the VM files have been copied, you’ll need to create a new virtual machine on the physical machine using whatever virtualization software you use (VMware Workstation, VirtualBox, etc.).

Be sure to select “Create a new virtual machine” when prompted during setup; this will ensure that no preexisting settings from another VM are imported and cause problems.

After creating the new VM on the physical machine, select ” transfer a virtual machine” when prompted and then point it to the copied-over files from the host machine. This will import all of the settings from that VM into the new VM on the physical machine.

Finally, start the new VM on the physical machine, and you’re set! You should now have a working copy of your original VMware Virtual Machine running on a physical machine.

Tips for Testing & Verifying Post Migration Status

  1. Before you begin, make sure that you have a backup of your VMware virtual machine.
  2. Export your VMware virtual machine to an OVF or OVA file.
  3. Import the OVF or OVA file into your physical machine.
  4. Start the machine and verify that all your applications and data are available and functioning correctly.
  5. If everything looks good, you can delete the backup of your VMware virtual machine.

Troubleshooting Any Issues After Migration

If you have any issues with your migration, there are a few things you can check:

  1. Make sure that all of your data and settings are copied over correctly. You may need to redo the migration if anything is missing or incorrect.
  2. Check to see if there are any compatibility issues between your VMware and physical machine. If so, you may need to change your settings or upgrade your hardware.
  3. Ensure your VMware and physical machine are powered on and connected correctly. If not, turn them on and try again.

If you’re still having trouble, contact your VMware support team or IT department for help troubleshooting the issue.


Copying a virtual machine from VMware to a physical machine is not as daunting as it may seem.

All you need are the correct tools and some know-how, which this guide has hopefully helped provide you. With the correct processes, your virtual machine can be successfully copied to your physical machine in just a few simple steps.

So please apply what you’ve learned here when trying to copy your virtual machines!

Related Posts