Windows Server Backup Restore to Virtual Machine

Posted by @Cody

April 1, 2016

How to do a P2V? You can use Windows Server Backup to restore to virtual machine from a backup of your Windows Server host.

P2V using Windows Server Backup

As we know, Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) can help you to convert a physical computer to Hyper-V virtual machines, and vice versa. If you want to be able to convert to more kinds of virtual machines, like VirtualBox, VMware, you can also use Windows Server backup to restore to virtual machine. Windows Server Backup supports restoring a bare metal backup of Windows Server 2008/2012/2016 to any virtual machines. In this way, you do not need to worry about the volume size limitation, and using the restoration process the physical server system will better fit the virtual machine, which leads to better performance.

Create virtual machine from windows server backup

To do this, first you need to create a bare metal backup of your source server with Windows Server Backup, which is not pre-installed and you can install it in Server Manager. After completing the bare metal backup, move the image backup of the source server to the virtual disk of the virtual machine you want to restore to. Windows Server bare metal recovery has to be performed in WinPE environment, therefore, you need ti boot your virtual machine form a Windows installation disc or ISO file.

To restore physical server to virtual machine:

1. When the Windows Setup is loaded, Select”Repair your computer” instead of “Install now”.

Install Windows

2. Follow the instructions and select “Restore your computer using a system image that you created earlier”.

Select Location

3. In the next screen, locate the source server image backup and select it. You can also use the image backup on network location.

Select Location

4. You can specify additional recovery options if need be.

Additional Options

5. Lastly, at the confirmation screen, click ”Yes” to start this restore and wait for it to complete.

As mentioned above, you can also use this method to restore hyper v virtual machine to a physical server. However, you may also get an error or cannot locate the image backup while configuring the restore, resulting in failure of creating virtual machine from a physical server. If you happens to have such problem or you think these steps are too complicated, then you can use another simpler and more reliable server backup tool to do this job.

Another way to restore Windows Server to virtual machine

Unlike Windows Server Backup, AOMEI Backupper will give you a totally different expierence regarding backup and recovery, which is absolutely easy and fast. You can do hyper-v restore virtual machine form backup as well as restore physical machine effortlessly with this program. As with Windows Server Backup, you will also need to create a system backup of the source server. You don’t nessaccarily need a bootable media to perform the restore.

1. Download and run the AOMEI Backupper Server on your virtual machine. You can also boot your destination server from the bootable media if needed.

2. From the main interface, click the "Restore" button.

Main Console

3. In the next screen, select the prepared backup image by clicking “Path”.

Backup Point

4. After that, click "Next” to continue, and click “Start Restore” at the final screen to begin the restore.

Start Restore

It takes much less than Windows Server Backup to complete the restore. Therefore, besides Windows Server Backup restore to virtual machine, you can also choose AOMEI Backupper Server to do it. What’s more, it provides “Disk Clone” function besides backup and restore.