HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)
MVE^2, Expert of the Year 2017-2011, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2018-6,2013-2012 VMware vExpert 2019-2011 30 years of experience.
If you need to complete a Physical to Virtual (P2V), Virtual to Virtual (V2V) conversion to a VMware product (VMware Workstation, Player or VMware vSphere (ESXi) ) for FREE, then there is some good news...

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone was released on the 22 May 2018, VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Build 8466193 replaces the previously released VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 6.2 Build 7348398.

As of November 2019, VMware vCenter Converter Standalone is the current release, before the awaited release of VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 7.0, you've guessed it to support ESXi 7.0!

  • Interoperability with vSphere 6.7 Update 1
  • Support for additional guest operating systems: Windows Server 2016, Ubuntu 16.
  • Converter Standalone 6.2 adds a new configuration option in converter-worker.xml for Linux migrations. 
  • With Converter Standalone 6.2 you can change the default destination provisioning disk type from thick to thin. 
  • VMware Converter Standalone can convert offline virtual machines from Hyper-V, the following Hyper-V virtual machines are supported for conversion
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit)
    • Windows Server 2012 (64-bit)
    • Windows Server 2012 R2 (64-bit)
    • Windows 10 (64-bit)
    • Windows Server 2016 (64-bit)

This release fixes the following issues common issues seen reported in Experts Exchange.

  • Conversion of a powered-on Windows machine to an SMB share fails
  • Converting Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016 source machine with incremental sync in progress fails if the machine reboots in between incremental steps
  • Cannot virtualize a physical machine from within VMware Workstation 14.x
    Interoperability with VMware Workstation 14.x does not work.

Please note the following, as with all releases of VMware vCenter Converter Standalone, when an operating system vendor discontinues an Operating System, VMware also removes the support from VMware vCenter Converter Standalone. With the release of VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 6.0, Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP3 (32-bit and 64-bit) support has been removed, the last version that supported Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP3 (32-bit and 64-bit) was VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5.3.

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 support ended on July 14, 2015, because of the need to migrate these physical servers to VMware vSphere (ESXi), I am noticing more Experts Exchange questions on How To P2V Microsoft Windows Server 2003?

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 6.2 does not have support for P2V a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 server.  VMware or Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit).

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit) support was removed from VMware vCenter Converter Standalone, after VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0, and support for Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 SP6 and Microsoft Windows 2000 SP4 was removed after VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.0.1. See the following table

Note that it does not specify in the version, only the build number has changed!

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone is a free product, but it does have some limitations, P2V and V2V have to be conducted manually, also you may find some conversions troublesome and difficult.

If you have a budget for P2V/V2V software, there are other commercial products that do exist, and we have used, which you may want to investigate.

If you have a large estate of physical machines to migrate, these products have a scheduler and can perform automated workflows, but these are commercial products and not FREE like VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

The products are listed below:-








HOW TO: Perform a Physical to Virtual (P2V) Conversion the easy way from a computer backup (image)

If the operating system is Windows 2000 or Windows NT 4.0, select VMware vCenter Converter Standalone version 4.0.1. for Windows 2003, use 5.5.3. Support for legacy operating systems has been removed from v6.2. 

If you have recently upgraded to vSphere vCenter Server 6.5, and are looking for the Convert/Import vCenter plugin which existed with 4.x, it's no longer available and has been removed, and you will need to use  VMware vCenter Converter Standalone for your conversions.

And if you do use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone, and you want to make your transfers 60% faster there is no longer the requirement, to disable SSL, which was a common modification required with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

Hints and Tips can be found in my other EE Articles, which discuss Physical to Virtual conversions and VMware vCenter Converter Standalone.





VMware Product downloads here (you will need to create a login for VMware and login to download)





If you have issues, you may want to consult the following articles and guides



Some Videos I've developed for Experts Exchange members to show the VMware vCenter Converter process.



Basic VMware Articles Series:

Part 1:  HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5)

Part 2: HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) using the vSphere (HTML5 Web) Host Client 6.5

Part 3: HOW TO: Create an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image (*.iso), and MD5 checksum signature, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5)

Part 4: HOW TO: Upload an ISO image to a VMware datastore for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) using the vSphere Host Client, and checking its MD5 checksum signature is correct.

Part 5: HOW TO: Enable SSH Remote Access on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5)

Part 6: HOW TO: Suppress Configuration Issues and Warnings Alert displayed in Summary status for ESXi 6.5 after enabling SSH or ESXi Shell

Part 7: HOW TO: Create your first Windows Virtual Machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) Host Server

Part 8: HOW TO: Install VMware Tools for Windows on a VMware Windows virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) Host Server

HOW TO: Deploy and Install the VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 (VCSA 6.5)

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