Can't get virtual machines to boot.

Posted on 2007-10-08
Last Modified: 2008-05-06
I've created a couple of virtual machines using VMWare converter.  The machines were:

- created "hot".
- No software mirroring used.
- No dynamic disks used.

When attempting to boot the virtual machines, I get a message along the lines of files being corrupted or missing, and that recovery console could be used to repair the OS.  

I got the virtual machines to boot from a WinXP cd, but then the XP installer couldn't find any
disks.  I managed to find a VMWare SCSI driver, and this enabled the XP installer to at least see
the virtual disk and it's current installation.

 I think the problem is possibly related to the lack of VMWare SCSI driver.  If I could get WinXP to do a repair installation, the SCSI driver would be included and I think the problem may be resolved.  However windows doesn't give the option to do a repair installation- I have to do a fresh install, and this defeats the purpose of having created the virtual disk from our preferred production XP machines in the first place.

My guess is that I either need to be able to do a repair install, or have the VMWare SCSI driver included
in the image prior to running VMWare converter.  Any advice appreciated.

Our enviornment is:
- VMWare Converter 3.0.1
- Virtual Infrastructure client 2.0.1
- Virtual Infrastructure server 2.0.1
- VMWare ESX server 3.0.1

Question by:chico2
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    I don't have the page on me but I believe you are running into the same problem many people have when trying to create a "hardware independent image".  There is a way you can add the Mass storage driver to the windows install through the unattended install file.  This is also why if you install the driver at the start of the windows install you should not have an issue.
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    by:Luciano Patrão

    What type off controller SCSI have you add? BusLogic, or LSI Logic?

    Windows 2003 R2 recognize both drivers, Windows XP SP1 only LSI Logic, but i think Windows XP SP2 recognize both.

    You can download the Buslogic driver from the vmware

    See the guide

    Check this

    Hope this can help

    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution


    there's always issues surroundiing booting vm's. It's either the boot disk driver issues, or the partition or the disk is not recognised.

    VMconvertor is aparently not that good with transfereing images from some legacy based hard disk controllers and in some cases hot migrations fail altogether.

    you can try an alternative;

    See details below on how to do this. i have done it a few times, works like a gem.

    1) Get Shadowcraft's ShadowProtect IT Edition, get the 30 day eval {FREE} (if ou get iso, make a cd)
    2) VMware Server version 1.4 {FREE}, and VMware workstation 6.0.1 [30 days eval, FREE]
    3) Place the ShadowProtect IT Edition cd on the pc and autorun (no need to shutdown ) the cd's or manual run the cd program. (see it edition instructions from web)
    4) Make a full backup on the fly, and you can backup to an external disk or network drive.

    ----------------------Now the Fun Part-----------------------------------

    1) Install VMware Server 1.4 on the server (please don't ask for instructions), and make sure you disable DHCP option in VMware Server., and install VMware workstation on another desktop pc , and and make sure you disable DHCP option.
    2) Import your shadoprotect backup file via vmware workstation, see instruction here:
    please make sure when you import the virtual machine, the output format should be vmware server compatible, or ESX compatible.
    Please do not start the virtual machine.
    3) Open Vmware server, and open the new virtual machine you created above, or maybe copy to the server's HDD for better I/O Performance. Make sure you have all the physical servers ip address and details.

    4) start vm and test, if it works ok, install vm tools, and uninstall any drivers from the VM, thats not required.
    shutdown the VM, and copy the VM to your which ever ESX Server, guess that will have to be a SAN storage.


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