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P2V, Keep It Simple

November 15, 2012

Guest post by Charles Carson

Doing physical to virtual (P2V) conversions can run the gamut from simple to pull your hair out frustrating. There are some steps I’ve learned to help keep your conversion on the simple side.
First thing, read the best practices guide on VMware Converter. Follow the steps in the “prepare for conversion” section of the VMware KB article. I’m also a fan of making sure I inject the vmware SCSI drivers before the conversion, those instructions are located here. You may not need to inject the drivers but it’s a simple process and may save you from having to do another attempt at the conversion.

TIP: Something else that may be mentioned in case you are doing it (and hopefully you aren’t but that’s another post) is to break any software mirror you may have prior to the migration. Once you break the mirror, you’ll want to make sure that you only convert the main system drive and ignore the “new” drive that used to be the mirror.

This gets you through most of the problems but I recently ran into another issue that is worth discussing. After the conversion of a Windows 2003 box on hardware that was at least 8 years old, I received a BSOD when booting the new VM. VMware has a KB for troubleshooting these issues, although it didn’t have the information that I needed. After some research, I discovered that the C: drive was converted to an IDE device instead of SCSI. Here are the steps I used to solve this problem.

1) Looked at the .vmx file and saw the following:
ide0:0.present = “TRUE”
ide0:0.fileName = “server.vmdk”

Changed this to:

scsi0.present = “TRUE”
scsi0:0.present = “TRUE”
scsi0.virtualDev = “lsilogic”
scsi0:0.fileName = “server.vmdk”

That fixed the .vmx file. I removed the system from vCenter and re-added it. Huh, why is there no drive on this server? Oh, shoot, I forgot to modify the .vmdk file. That has references to devices as well.

2) Opened up the .vmdk file and saw:
ddb.adapterType = “ide”

Changed this to:

ddb.adapterType = “lsilogic”

After removing the system from vCenter and re-adding again, the disk was now seen and the system booted like a charm.

Charles has over 12 years experience in IT as a network/systems administrator specializing in Microsoft, VMware and Cisco technologies. Charles currently holds many industry certifications to include MCSE, CCNA, Network+, A+, ITIL Foundations.

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