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How to perform an offline P2V VMWare conversion

Posted on 2009-04-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Looking for feedback on the best solution to perform a cold clone VMware conversion. Best solution options must be Free, or cheap.... very cheap
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Question by:jcorso1212
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13 Comments
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:asawatzki
ID: 24131403
You can't convert directly using VMWare Standalone Converter, but what you can do is create an image using either Backup Exec System Recovery or Acronis True Image.  I've worked with both of these products, and you can create an image file from outside the OS.  I've only worked with them on Windows machines so this is assuming that's what you're dealing with.  Once you have a .tlb or .sv2 file you can use the VMWare StandAlone Converter for free (http://www.vmware.com/download/converter/) to convert that image into a virtual server.  

Kind of dumb that they can work with an image file, but not the files directly...
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:isiHelpDesk
ID: 24131701
Can you please explain "You can't convert directly using VMWare Standalone Converter"

I have done many P2V using VMware's Converter...hundreds in fact.....I think maybe I am not understanding the scenario.  Can you humor me and explain what I may be missing.  Thanks.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:asawatzki
ID: 24131982
Yes.  By that I mean you can't do an offline conversion.  The machine you are converting has to be on in order to do the conversion.  This person is asking about doing a cold conversion where the machine is not booted.
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Expert Comment

by:isiHelpDesk
ID: 24132037
Converter does...or Did support Cold conversion.  I am checking with my team to see if this was in v3 but was removed in v4.  But it definately was supported before.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:asawatzki
ID: 24132103
Attached is a screenshot of the drop down box for possible sources for conversion in the latest version. Not sure if they removed it, but I don't remember seeing that option in 3.  You may be able to mount and OS  drive as a secondary drive in another system and through some messing around get it to convert and boot properly.  But this may not be a viable option if it is on internal hardware RAID storage.
VMWareConverterOptions.jpg
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Author Comment

by:jcorso1212
ID: 24132207
would I use true image home? is there a free trial of this I can use?
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:asawatzki
ID: 24132312
Is this a server or a workstation? I think you could use Home if the server is offline, but not sure.  You'd have to install it on a XP or Vista PC.  It has a 30 day trial that used to be fully functional.  Not sure if it is now.  You'd just need to created the restore media and boot to that CD to create the image.  Of course I'm not sure if the latest version of True Image home has the create an Image on the CD.  I know for a fact that the lastest version of Backup Exec System Recovery has the ability to create an Image from the recovery CD.
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Author Comment

by:jcorso1212
ID: 24132570
server... This sucks. The machine is a SQL 2000 box, and it wont play nice...
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:isiHelpDesk
ID: 24132685
ok, I just verified that Converter had the Cold ability in 3.03 and previous, but it was removed due to lack of use.  :(
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:larstr
ID: 24137298
The cold clone cd in converter 3 was not only available to customers with VI3 Enterprise licenses.

And it's still available with Converter 4.0.3 for subscribing customers (see pic below).

If you want to build such a CD yourself (with Converter v3), you can do that with the freely available MOA CD that you can build quite easily: http://www.sanbarrow.com/moa.html

Lars

cold-boot-cd.png
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:isiHelpDesk
ID: 24139162
That is strange.  I will recheck with the Converter team, that is not what they told me :(
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:aldanch
ID: 24163295
If you're going to use an imaging software, such as that from Acronis or Symantec, be sure that you get the license for Universal Restore. You'll need the server edition of the imaging software in order to convert the image to a VM. The Home version will simply error out. This will run you about $1000 (about 600 for license, 300 for UR)

The Cold Clone CD for vCenter Converter Enterprise is available with a paid license (Enterprise). This boot CD enables you to do P2V on an offline server. The server is unavailable for use during conversion. The Enterprise license also enables you to run multiple conversions at the same time (the standalone does one conversion at a time).

See if you can convert your server live via vCenter Converter Standalone. That's the most economical means versus the two mentioned about.
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asawatzki earned 2000 total points
ID: 25001968
Did you ever find a resolution to this?
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