1786: Acronis True Image Echo: V2P and P2V Migration

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You can use Acronis True Image Echo to convert a backup archive (*.tib) to a virtual disk (.vmdk, .vhd, .hdd). You can also back up a virtual disk and restore it to a physical disk

This article applies to:

  • Acronis True Image Echo Enterprise Server
  • Acronis True Image Echo Virtual Edition
  • Acronis True Image Echo Server for Windows
  • Acronis True Image Echo for MS Windows SBS
  • Acronis True Image Echo Workstation


A virtual hard disk is a file that provides storage for a virtual machine. Different virtualization software use different virtual disk format and therefore different file extensions.

Acronis True Image Echo with Acronis Universal Restore has the ability to do:

  • P2V - Convert/migrate a disk image, created with the program (.tib image file), to a virtual disk file of the type you select (.vmdk, .vhd, .hdd). You will then be able to add the disk to a virtual machine of compatible type (VMware, MS Hyper-V or Virtual Server, Citrix XenServer, Parallels virtual machine). The further usage of the disk is below;
  • V2P - Convert/migrate a virtual machine such as VMware into a physical machine, even if it has dissimilar x86 hardware and drivers to the original machine.


Physical to Virtual (P2V) Migration

Physical disk images can be converted/migrated to virtual disks as well as virtual disks images.

A Windows system image will be supplemented with appropriate system drivers during conversion, so that Windows could boot up on the VM. (In fact, the Acronis Universal Restore technology is applied in the background because the program is aware of which drivers are needed for compatible virtual machines.)

The conversion operation follows this five-step Physical to Virtual (P2V) migration:

  1. Create images of all (or some) physical machine disks, including the system disk.

  2. Convert the images to virtual disks:

    • Select Tools, Convert Backup To Virtual Disk:

    • When the Wizard pops up select Next:

    • Browse to the location of the backup archive (.tib) and select Next:

    • Selected the latest Full version of the .tib and click on Next:

    • Select the virtual disk type and then select Next:

    • Select the location of where the converted *.tib will be saved, provide a name for this file, and then click Next:

    • Confirm the conversion process and select Proceed:

    • After selecting Proceed there will be progress screen until the process completes:

    • Once the operation is complete there will be an informational pop-up indication the process completed successfully:

    The created file will be approximately the size of the original .tib file. (!) If you are converting to .vmdk, then please pay attention to the following peculiarities:

      • If you created a backup of the whole hard disk drive, then the converted .vmdk file will be the size of the hard disk drive (that is, usually, bigger than the .tib file);
      • If you created a backup of a partition, then the converted .vmdk file will still be the size of the hard disk drive (that is, definitely, bigger than the .tib file).

  3. Create a new VM with the converted system disk;

  4. Start the VM and complete the hardware driver configuration, if Windows prompts.

P2V Migration allows:

  • The fastest replacement of the physical machine with the previously created virtual copy;
  • Moving multiple workloads from legacy physical servers to virtual machines to reduce hardware maintenance and power consumption costs.

The alternative method of physical to virtual migration is by restoring a physical disk from an image to a virtual machine. The procedure is the same as with restoring physical machines. To ensure booting up the system on the virtual machine, use Acronis Universal Restore. If the target virtual drive is a SCSI hard drive, provide appropriate drivers. For example, the VMware environment requires Buslogic or LSI logic drivers. Use drivers bundled with your virtualization software or download the latest driver's versions from the software manufacturer's website.

For more information about the recovery procedure see the User Guides:

Virtual to Physical (V2P) Migration

The inverse migration - Virtual to Physical (V2P) - is done using common disk imaging and restoring:

  1. Create images of all (or some) virtual machine disks, including the system disk;
  2. Restore the images to physical disks. When restoring a system disk, use Acronis Universal Restore. Complete the hardware driver configuration if Windows prompts.

More information

Combination of the two migration features gives you the flexibility to implement many scenarios. For example:

  • Replace your physical server on the network with its virtual copy, while the server is recovered or upgraded;
  • Test the new software or other changes you wish to make to the server on its virtual copy and then apply the changes to the physical server.

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