Switching from VMWare to VirtualBox

I have been using VMWare for a couple of weeks now. Unfortunately it was not a very good experience. Once in a while it crashed during startup or shutdown of the virtual machine, after which I manually had to remove the lock file in order to be able to use it again:

vbox1

But the most annoying issue was that in NAT mode the internet connection worked but I experienced several network related problems, and in bridged mode I simply had no internet connection. Trying to fix it with several solutions I found with google resulted in no solution.

Then I tried to quickly create a virtual machine with VirtualBox. After a few minutes I noticed that everything just worked out of the box, in NAT and bridged mode. So the decision was taken to move to VirtualBox.

I found that this does not mean that all of my virtual machines should be recreated, because VirtualBox also supports the VMWare hard disk format (vmdk)! It requires only some small manipulations to get this working.

First, power up the original virtual machine with VMWare, uninstall the VMware tools and shut down the machine:

vbox2

Start VirtualBox, create a new machine.

vbox3

Click next.

vbox4

Now copy all of the original VMWare hard disk files into the created folder:

vbox5

Click next to continue the creation of the virtual machine, and select the main vmdk file:

vbox6

Click create. Do not start the virtual machine yet!

Select the virtual machine and click settings:

vbox7

In storage, remove the SATA controller:

vbox8

In IDE controller, uncheck ‘Use host I/O cache’ and click the ‘add hard disk’ icon:

vbox9

Choose the existing hard disk file:

vbox10

That’s it! Start the virtual machine. Windows will now update its drivers accordingly, and a couple of restarts may be needed. Eventually, your virtual machine will be up and running in VirtualBox. Then, select ‘Install guest additions’ in the Devices menu, so that you unlock the full power of VirtualBox:

vbox11

After an hour of work, my four virtual machines were converted successfully:

vbox12

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