A lot of fuss is being made these days about disk image backups
being rendered for virtual machines. Microsoft has actually
integrated this ability into the latest versions of Windows, so
simply creating one is no big deal. However, a program such as
Paragon’s Go Virtual that will not only create them in Microsoft
format, but in VMware and Oracle’s VirtualBox
format as well, is rare and useful. VMware and VirtualBox have
historically offered more features and have users/fans who simply
do not wish to switch.
To use Go Virtual, you’ll need to get a product key and serial
number from the company’s Web site. You’re sent there from one of
the installation dialogs and the info is then e-mailed to you.
Refreshingly, the checkboxes for receiving advertising email from
the company are actually unchecked by default. There is a button on
the main screen to upgrade to the company’s Virtualization Manager
2010 Professional, which adds the ability to create a virtual
machine from plain Paragon drive image files, but Go Virtual should
actually be enough for the average user.
Paragon Go Virtual uses a wizard to walk you through the image
creation process: selecting the partitions to image, which format
the image will be in, and where it will be saved. It also asks you
some other questions such as what type of virtual hard drive you
want it to mimic, IDE or SCSI, etc. Just accept the defaults and
you’re good to go.
Go Virtual will also convert virtual machines it has already
created between any of the three popular formats, you don’t have to
waste time creating multiple images of the same partition. Note
that the conversion process operates upon the existing VM; it
doesn’t create a new one. Also, your virtual hard drive won’t be
bootable unless it’s an image of an operating partition.
All in all, Go Virtual worked perfectly and is perfectly useful
in its free incarnation. If you’re into VMs at all, it’s a download
Note: This software comes in 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
This is the 64-bit version, which is for 64-bit PCs running a
64-bit OS. If your PC is running a different supported OS, please
32-bit version instead.
–Jon L. Jacobi