Did a p2v test last night, transferring my current workstation to vmware. Took a bit getting it to work, but that wasn't PVM2010's fault - I attribute it to the fact I was doing the operation at 3am. I forgot to include the Win7 Boot Config Data partition, so obviously the system wasn't bootable; marking the partition as active and running the "fix problems" thing from the Win7 install CD twice made the virtualized system bootable, though. Wasn't super usable, but that's because of the quirky way I have %docs% and %temp% set up on my workstation. Verdict: p2v was a success!
Today I brewed a strong can of coffee and set out to test v2p. Created a vmware install of Win7-x64, using a version 6.0 disk format rather than 6.5 (not sure if this is necessary, but I noticed that for yesterday's p2v, PVM2010 created a 6.0 format - better be on the safe side). Did a few minor tweaks after install, nothing major; basically I wanted to be able to tell whether v2p was going to nuke my user settings (Microsoft's sysprep does that). Realized my external USB enclosure was fried and my largest usb flash is 8gig, so I had to copy the vmware disk image to my fileserver; thanks doyc for gigabit lan.
Proceeded to burn the WinPE based PVM2010 recovery/advanced-stuff ISO image, and booted my test machine from it. Entered the "Full Scale Launcher", connected my virtual disk image (networking worked out of the box, <3 WinPE), nuked the existing partitions on my testbox and did a "Copy Disk" operation. ~12 minutes and ~8 gigabytes later the copying was done and I disconnected the virtual disk. Finished the operation by running the "P2P Adjust" wizard (without injecting any new drivers), rebooted the system and crossed my fingers.
Lo and behold, the system booted. Started doing a checkdisk + reboot (probably a normal procedure after restoring an image), and then entered a "preparing your computer for the first time" screen. "Oh great", I thought, "it's probably sysprepped and will have wiped user accounts clean". But nope, after this preparation it booted into the customized user account just like I had hoped.
Verdict: v2p seems to work
This is going to be so
comfortable for doing new OS installs... get everything right in vmware, from the comfort of your existing & smoothly working OS, without suffering reboots of the physical machine, or "oh gosh, I screwed up, reinstall time", along with the benefits of vmware snapshots and all that jazz. When satisfied, you have a quick image restore (rather than installing OS + apps and multiple reboots) and a superfast p2p-adjust operation, and you're good to go.
I'll do a more comprehensive test today, it's time to upgrade my laptop from Vista-x64 to Win7-x64. If that goes smoothly, I'll progress to getting a vLite tweaked version onto my workstation, before the Win7 RC I'm currently running expires