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Virtual Machines don't start after converting from physical

Posted on 2010-01-05
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I installed a new copy of ESXi, downloaded the 60-day trial of VMware vSphere Client and the Converter Standalone Client.  I ran the converter to get a copy of a working Windows 2003 server. The process seemed to go without error.  When I turn on this virtual machine and watch the console, nothing much happens. I get a blinking cursor on a black background.

I'm new to the details of VMware ESXi.  What's the most likely cause of this VM not working?
I've been trying to restart it and press the F2 to get into the BIOS of the virtual machine, for instance, and it just keeps dropping immediately into the attempt to boot from the Ethernet from a PIX image (which isn't available on the network at the moment).
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Question by:studios
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by:ryder0707
ID: 26178227
Did you disable stop/physical hardware related services prior starting the conversion?
Disable other services which you think not suitable to be run in VM as well
Or at the VM console you can try to go into safe mode and disable those services
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by:studios
ID: 26178244
No, I didn't.  I (probably mistakenly) thought it was a "simple" enough server that I didn't dumb it down before copying it.  I'm thinking about installing a copy of Acronis with Universal Restore, and just recover a backup image into the virtual machine that way.   I'm still learning a bunch about the physical-to-virtual process, as you can tell.
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by:ryder0707
ID: 26178269
That's fine and yes you can import disk image as well using vmware converter, you should be able to stop/disable in the vmware converter itself, look closely you will have the option to do so
Cheers!
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by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 26179794
On the hardware properties make sure the boot hard drisk is listed as scs(0:0) I've seen it change it to 0:1 and cause this error.  If you server converted as a buslogic controller change it to an LSI parallel controller and see if resolves the issue
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by:coolsport00
ID: 26180087
Ahh....SOMEONE ELSE GOT THIS TOO! I just did a conversion and it workd flawlessly. I did a second conversion and this very thing happened. Thanks for the info "Paul"...I will look more closely at the scsi association, as well as the buslogic properties.

~coolsport00
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by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 26181123
You should also use an iso of floppy or CD with an application to check the active boot disk.  If the second disk is set as active you may need to change this as well
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by:studios
ID: 26190054
The server I virtualized is a little Dell PowerEdge pizza-box server, with a Celeron CPU and 256MB of memory.  It's disk system is all IDE. There is no SCSI controller. The video is from the motherboard, and shows up as an ATI Rage with 8mb of video memory.

Although it is a Dell, I installed Windows 2003 server standard on it with as no Dell addons, other than what was required (device-manager-wise) to get a clean view in Device Manager.

One odd symptom seems relevant: In vSphere, when I reset this vm, I see the vmware logo, and I  quickly press the F2 key, but it never has let me into the BIOS.

I can easily enough re-run the Converter process, but there's not much to turn off that makes this server unique.
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by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 26190095
Try this:

Download a trial copy of Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery Server and image the server.  then use the vConverter to convert the image to a VM.

f you're using Dell OEM Windows license you will have an issue, it will not let you register Windows since the OEM license is looking for Dell hardware.  You may need to perform a Windows repair using a Volume License Disk and license.
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by:studios
ID: 26190293
I ran the "Configure Machine" task in the vCenterConverter Standalone product, and now I'm able to get into the BIOS with the F2 key.  I ran through the BIOS options, and they looked OK and jibe with what the physical server is.  

Now, I get a hardware vmware logo, a hardware BIOS post, a booting mode, and then the blinking cursor on a black field.
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by:studios
ID: 26190347
A second VM on the same setup is supposed to virtualize my Netware 5.1 server.  There, I'd like to start the VM running an ISO image of Portlock Storage Manager.  I've uploaded the ISO that I used to burn the CD, and the CD boots other PCs.  I've pointed to that ISO as the CD in the settings file. But the VM keeps going straight to trying to boot from the Ethernet card and look for a PXI image, which isn't available on the LAN at this time.

I tried downloading one of the appliances from the VM Marketplace, so that I could confirm that some VM, any VM, would run on the host.  It did run.

I'm unclear why my VMs won't boot my ISO images.  They're bootable in Hyper-V.
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coolsport00 earned 500 total points
ID: 26193238
"studios"...I had this problem too. I P2V'd a Proliant DL145G2 server a week or so and it converted just fine (and a couple linux boxes -> Dell Optiplex 270s), but when I P2V'd a 2nd DL145G2, it acted the same as yours above. In speaking with VMWare support, they didn't have a definite answer for resolution (they had this list of things to just "try"). 1 thing they suggested was to install the Converter Standalone on the server you're wanting to convert. I tried that and it did no good. Another option was to do as you did above...disable services. Obviously, that did no good either. For me...what I ended up doing is P2V via vCenter. I have a 'normal' ESX set up in my environment so I tried to do so that way and it worked like a charm. I then used the Converter Standalone tool to 'move' (Export) the VM from my vCenter infrastructure to my ESXi4 host. I'm not sure if you have that option or not, but it worked for me. Wondering why this happens? I'm getting ready to do another P2V (doing so for all my branch servers, which are of the same model described above)...am hoping it works like the 1st one did.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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