By Alison / Last Updated July 8, 2022

How to clone VMDK to physical disk

As virtual machines provide secure sandbox environments for testing and development, in practice, there is occasionally a need for virtual machine conversions. For example, converting a physical machine to a virtual machine for further testing, convert VMDK to ISO or converting a virtual machine to a physical machine for better performance.

How to clone VMDK to physical disk

If you are using VMware products, you may want to convert VMDK to physical disk. However, currently there is almost no native approach for V2P conversion, most times it is achieved by third-party software such as Clonezilla, and is still likely to fail. Therefore, it is very essential to perform virtual machine backup in advance.

Today in this article, I will introduce a simpler tool to clone VMDK to physical disk, not just for the VM conversions (P2V, V2V) features, but also for its ability of backing up systems, partitions, disks, and files.

Simple and effective tool for VMDK to physical disk conversion

AOMEI Backupper Professional is a Windows-based backup tool that enables you create a system image (or full disk backup) with simple clicks and restore it anytime you need. It has an Universal Restore option to resolve the boot issue caused by the compatibility between virtual machine and physical machine.

What's more, there's a built-in tool to Create Bootable Media. Thus even if the physical machine has no OS installed yet (or cannot boot properly), you can start it into WinPE to perform the system restore.

You can click the button below to download the free trail:

Download Free TrialWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

 How to install:

If the physical machine has OS installed: Install the free version on the virtual machine to create system backup, and install the Professional on physical disk to support the "Universal Restore" feature.

If the physical machine has no system: Install AB Professional on the VM to create system backup and a bootable media. Then boot the physical machine via the media and then perform "Universal Restore" in WinPE.

Next, I will demonstrate how to use AOMEI Backupper to clone VMDK to physical disk without an operating system (the 2nd case). If your physcial machine has OS already, just skip the "Create Bootable Media" part.

How to clone VMDK to physical disk using AOMEI Backupper

1. Install AOMEI Backupper on your virtual machine. Open it and navigate to Backup > System Backup.

System Backup

2. Select a destination path to store the backup file, as AOMEI Backupper will select the system and boot partitions as source by default. Click Start Backup.

Note: You can backup the system to a network share or removable device for later use.

Start Backup

3. Navigate to Tools > Create Bootable Media.

Create bootable media

4. In the pop-up window, select Windows PE – Create bootable disc based on Windows PE option and click Next.

Create bootable disc based on Windows PE

5. Plug in a USB flash drive and select bootable media as USB Boot Device, click Next to make a bootable USB device.

Select USB device

6. Use the USB flash drive to boot the physical machine which has no operating system.

AOMEI Backupper will pop up automatically, then navigate to Restore tab and click Select Image File.

Select image file

7. Specify the system backup you just created on the virtual machine, click OK to continue.

Specify system backup file

8. Select Restore this system backup option, and check Restore system to other location below, click Next to continue.

Restore system to other location

9. Select a destination partition, make sure Universal Restore option is ticked, and click Start Restore to execute the task.

Start restore


If you want to clone or convert VMDK to physical disk without an operating system, third-party software can help you while there’s basically no native approach. In this article, I introduced how to use AOMEI Backupper to clone VMDK to physical disk on Windows PC.

But if you are a Windows Server user, you will need to use the AOMEI Backupper Server specially designed for Windows Server users. And if you have mulitle virtual machines/physical machines to manage, you can turn to AOMEI Centralized Backupper.