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VMWare Converter Standalone Error to Convert

Posted on 2010-08-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hello,

My vCenter server is running on a Virtual Machine on one of my hosts. My goal is to resize its disk because I would like to activate the Fault Tolerance for that VM. The VM has 100GB using thin disks and I would like to resize it to 25GB because with the Fault Tolerance enabled I know it will convert it to thick and I dont want to use that amount if I just need like 10GB for the VMWare VM.

The way I found to do this was using VMWare Converter Standalone to resize the disk. The problem is I tried dozen times to convert that VM and the software always fails. I have realized that every time it fails I lose access to the vSphere client connected to the ESXi destination I am sending the VM to (I was connected with vSphere to the server destination while running the Standalone converting the VM).

Anybody have any ideas ? I have the logs with me but I dont know which one to post. If its useful for you, let me know which one and I will attach it here.

Thank you very much.

Guilherme
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Question by:maxihost
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by:SysExpert
ID: 33517351
I would do it from another VM, with vcenter VM shut down
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Author Comment

by:maxihost
ID: 33517362
The Converter Standalone doesnt let it proceed if the VM is up and running. Its already down.
I am trying to convert it now with the sysprep files copied to the machine.
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33517411
You shouldn't need the sysprep files so long as you aren't planning on bringing up the "old" version anymore once you get it converted.

What OS is your vCenter server machine? If perhaps it is Windows 2008 R2 or Windows 7 the current version of stand alone converter doesn't support those OS types. You might be able to get away with changing the Edit Settings - Options to Windows 2008 (not R2) or Vista and try your V2V conversion again. Of course the new Enterprise vCenter Converter 4.2 (available with vSphere 4.1) does support that, but vCenter has to be up in order to use it. To take that route first clone the vCenter machine, then convert the clone.

Good Luck
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Author Comment

by:maxihost
ID: 33517677
Hello bgoering,

You are right, even with the sysprep it didnt not help the situation. It failed again on 20%.

I have tried with both Converter 4.0 and 4.1 and both failed. Also I tried with the actual vCenter machine and cloning it to a new VM and converting the Clone.

The OS is Windows Server 2003 x64 R2.

Thank you very much.
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by:akhalighi
ID: 33517685
hmmm... does this disk contain system/boot partition ? one possible solution is to attache this disk as a secondary Virtual disk to another VM ; then create a 20 GB fresh virtual disk and attach it too VM. next copy over all the contents to new 20B disk and at last disconnect 20GB disk and add it as a secondary
to the original VM.
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33517868
Well - you would need to install vCenter 4.1 and its associated converter and guided consolidation tools to support converting your clone. That will give you the Enterprise Converter 4.2 that supports 2008 R2.

You might first try my earlier suggestion and change the vm type to Windows 2008 64-bit (no R2) and see if it will convert, if it does than change it back to R2 on the converted vm. I have heard mixed results from folks doing this - it seemed to work for some and not for others.

Good Luck
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Accepted Solution

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DarrylHadfield earned 500 total points
ID: 33518392
  1. Shutdown the virtual machine you want to resize
   2. Add a second virtual disk of the new smaller desired size to the VM you want to resize to. Use Ghost to clone the first disks partition to your second virtual disk
   3. Once complete make sure the second virtual disk is ‘Active’
   4. Switch your disks by editing the virtual machine settings and switching the SCSI id’s (0:0 and 0:1)
   5. If the virtual machine boots OK and you verify that everything works then shutdown the VM and remove the larger disk and delete it
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Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 33519394
Hi

If you will use or have space in the same Storage/LUN in that VM and If is Windows 2008 or 7 you just change/resize  the Virtual Disk space(in VM settings), then you can used on the SO without any changes

Jail
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Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 33519408
Hi

Forget to mention, always create a VM backup  or snapshot of your VM before any test, or try any solution

Jail
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Expert Comment

by:DarrylHadfield
ID: 33521053
Adding extents does not automatically make the drive larger within windows.
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by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 33523153
Hi

@DarrylHadfield have you test this any time? If not please do not say that is not possible

Just extend in the VM settings the disk size, in the Windows choose disk management you will see an partition with the space that you have extended and then on the choose the partition that you want to increase the size choose extend, then choose the rest of the disk(that is the size of your extend VM disk)

Like I said, this only works in Windows 2008 and 7

Jail
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by:DarrylHadfield
ID: 33523266
Yes, I have tested it.  It was discussed during my VCP training earlier this year, and I tried it myself, last week, with a Windows Server 2008 R2 system in my lab at home.  Yes, you can go into disk management and increase the size of the partition - but that's not automatic, as I said.

MORE IMPORTANTLY...Jail - you, and everyone else apparently, has missed the original poster's primary reason for doing this:  "The VM has 100GB using thin disks and I would like to resize it to 25GB..."

We're not talking about INCREASING the size of the VMDK... he wants to SHRINK it.

Creating a second VMDK of the desired size, adding it, and ghosting from the larger size to the smaller size will achieve this.  To my knowledge, there is no mechanism available within VMware to 'know' what is whitespace vs. what is data - but Ghost does.

It's not an ideal solution, but it does achieve the desired end result with a minimum of frustration and complexity, when vCenter Converter is choking on it.

D.
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Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 33523559
Hi

Upsss my mistake... I read and see 250Gb, not shrink it but increasing, my apologies for that

But increasing you can do this automatic and in 2 minutes

Yes shrinking is a big problem, I have almost 100 VMs to shrink and I am testing the best and the fast way

Also the way I have tested for now is the disk image copy. Did not have the time to test nothing more for now. I only need do this next month so...

Once again DarrylHadfield my apologies for my mistake and not read it right

Jail
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by:DarrylHadfield
ID: 33523692
No worries, it happens to all of us. :)

Seems to me that there's something in vCenter that should allow this to work correctly - as the OP stated he was doing - I just have to think on it a bit more, maybe it'll come to me...
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Author Comment

by:maxihost
ID: 33523840
Darryl,

I have downloaded Norton Ghost 15.0 but its not compatible with Windows Server 2003 (I am running that on my workstation). Now I am downloading it on a Windows 7 desktop to follow your instructions.

Let me know if I am on the right direction.

Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:DarrylHadfield
ID: 33524234
No, you need a tool that you can run within the vCenter server, which as I understand, is running Windows 2003.  My comment to ghost was a slight error; I should have referenced it as a 'disk imaging utility.'

What I'd use is something like Acronis...  Disk Director, I think.  Set it as the ISO to boot from, and then start the vCenter VM but have it boot to the CD. It'll see the current provisioned 100gb thin-provisioned disk, as well as the 25gb thick-provisioned disk (assuming you connected it to the VM), and will let you make the ISO from one to the next.

After that, move - don't delete - the original 100gb thin disk elsewhere, and take the 25gb thick disk and change its SCSI ID so that it's seen as the primary disk for the vCenter machine. Assuming the vCenter VM boots up as desired... you can throw away the 100gbn thin disk, and move ahead with your FT plans.

Does this help?
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33524446
How about a helper VM?
1. Create a VM (XP, any Windows)
2. Attach the thin 100 GB disk to helper VM as SCSI 0:1
3. Create new 25 GB thick disk from edit settings on machine to shrink as SCSI 0:1
4. Attach the thick 25 GB disk to helper VM as SCSI 0:2
5. Bring up helper VM, Create partition on 25 GB thick disk, format to NTFS
6. Bring up helper VM, in Disk Manager assign drives - say E: to 100 GB, F: to 25 GB
7. xcopy e:\* f:\* /s/e/h/f/r/k/x
8. shutdown helper VM
9. Edit settings on original vm, remove (do not delete from disk yet) original 100 GB thin disk
10. Change scsi addressing on 25 GB disk to SCSI 0:0
11. test/test/test

If all goes well then you can delete original disk

Good Luck
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Expert Comment

by:DarrylHadfield
ID: 33524944
Xcopy won't do it; your MBR won't copy.  
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by:bgoering
ID: 33525297
The step 5 format to NTFS will create the MBR on a basic partition, Win2k3/XP and up I believe
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by:DarrylHadfield
ID: 33525391
Formatting will not create the MBR - it will simply prepare the physical drive to store files per the NTFS schema.
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by:bgoering
ID: 33525942
You may be right - I find booting in recovery mode from cd and run fixmbr... and fdisk /mbr - might have to add a step to do that.

I know creating boot floppies I just format, copy the loader files and boot.ini, edit boot.ini and I am done, so had assumed format took care of bootstrap code
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Author Comment

by:maxihost
ID: 33527632
Darryl,

I have followed your directions using Acronis Disk Director Server with a bootloader.

I have copied the 100GB into the 25GB and set it as Active. When I try to boot it complains that is missing a windows file at c:\windows\system32\....

Its very weird, because it completed sucessfully.
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33527826
You might try booting from cd and running a repair on your new image.

Good Luck
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by:DarrylHadfield
ID: 33528340
It sounds like you were in windows during the clone, and it didn't copy the swap file..
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by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 33529451
Hi

I think the best way to do this is use the Converter

Just use Converter to create a clone of that VM and in the configuration the new VM just change the size of your VM, after this shutdown the old VM, check the new VM if everything is ok, then delete the old one

This is I think I will do to all my VMs that I need to shrink

The only disadvantages on this option, is that we need to have Storage space to create more VMs until we delete the old VMs

Jail
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Author Closing Comment

by:maxihost
ID: 33531842
Thank you so much.
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