[Updated on 1/6/05.]

Virtual Server 2005 Migration Toolkit (VSMT) doesn't support migrating a dynamic physical disk to a virtual hard disk (VHD). One option for dealing with this is to convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk and then perform the migration. This isn't very practical for a migration, though, because you have to remove all of the data from the dynamic disk before you can convert it back to a basic disk. For more information, see the disk management documentation for your operating system.

Alternatively, you can skip a dynamic physical disk during migration by using the /ExcludeDrives parameter of VMScript. Then, if it contains only data and no operating system, you can manually migrate the disk. Robert Larson suggests using one of the following two methods for a performing manual migration (Thanks Robert!):

Method A

  1. Shut down any services that are using the data on the dynamic disk.
  2. Create a VHD that is the same size as the dynamic disk or larger.
  3. Add the VHD to a virtual machine that is running a bootable operating system, so that you have file access to the VHD.
  4. From within the guest operating system, format the VHD using the same format as the dynamic disk.
  5. Use a file copy tool like XCOPY or ROBOCOPY to copy the data to the VHD from the dynamic disk with ACLs attached.

Method B

  1. Shut down any services that are using the data on the dynamic disk.
  2. Create a VHD that is the same size as the dynamic disk or larger and in the same format.
  3. Add the VHD to a virtual machine that is running a bootable operating system, so that you have file access to the VHD.
  4. Use an imaging tool to image the dynamic disk to a network location.
  5. Use the imaging tool to restore the image to the VHD.

If your dynamic disk contains a system partition, your options are as follows:

  1. Image the disk and then copy it to a VHD, as in Method B. This will only work if the source computer hardware is compatible with the virtual machine emulated hardware. For one important thing, it must have a compatible HAL type. For more info, see "Supported HAL types" and the whole section titled "Loading system files" in the Virtual Server 2005 Migration Toolkit User's Guide (%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft VSMT\VSMT.chm). For details on emulated hardware, see "Emulated hardware" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide. 
  2. Skip the disk using the /ExcludeDrives parameter and then install the operating system manually onto a VHD and manually copy any data on the disk as well.
  3. Use Platespin Power P2V (http://www.platespin.com/Products/PowerP2V_Virtual_Server.aspx). It supports migration of dynamic disks. Unfortunately, it isn't a free tool like VSMT.

The option that you DO NOT have is converting the dynamic disk to a basic disk if it contains a system volume, as you can only convert dynamic disks to basic disks when there is absolutely no data, including any system files, on the disk.