I have tirelessly worked for two weekends straight trying to create a new virtual machine from an Acronis image, with no success.
I'm using Microsoft VMM 2008 and Hyper-V on a Windows Server 2008 R2 host machine. I'm also using an Acronis True Image Echo Enterprise Server boot disc to make offline images of the server that needs to be virtualized.
I created blank VHDs for the C, E, and G partitions, which are all on our Exchange server. Our Exchange server is a Windows 2000 server, running Exchange 2003, and is also a domain controller that manages DHCP and DNS. The physical box works fine, boots fine, and seems to be fully functional. It is on almost 10 year old hardware though, and the CPU fan just died, and we want to migrate it to a virtual machine to have it on reliable hardware.
C: - Boot and Windows partition
E: - Exchange partition. This is where the Private Information Store lives
G: - Was empty, but for disk space reasons on E:, it recently became the home of the Public Info Store
I boot the Exchange server into an Acronis Boot CD, and create a new full backup. When that finishes, I boot the new Virtual Machine with the blank VHDs to that same Acronis Boot CD and begin the Recovery Wizard. It is during this process that I've tried almost every option possible. I've restored each partition to their VHD equivalents, using Universal Restore and supplying the necessary PERC2 RAID drivers. However, upon reboot of the VM, I am continually receiving the attached screenshot which tells me the SYSTEM hive is missing or corrupt.
I've used a VHD explorer program to view the contents of the VHD after the restore process finishes, and can certainly guarantee that the SYSTEM hive is present. So, is it corrupt? And if so, why does the Physical server boot fine, no problems?
I've tried both online and offline backups with Acronis. Both are resulting in the same error above. I will admit that at first, I was only trying by making online backups (while the server was still powered on). The next time I tried to make a backup, I booted to the CD and did a full offline backup of C:. The very next time I restored just the C: partition, I had a bootable OS in the VM, so I was sure it was going to work! However...once in the VM, the Exchange System Attendant and Information Store services would fail to start and thus I was back at square one. I figured the difference then, was the fact that I made my backups offline this time. But now, even offline backups and then restoring them results in the SYSTEM hive showing as missing or corrupt.
I have attempted to boot the bad VM into a Windows 2000 Server disc and performing a repair. I created a new Emergency Repair Diskette on the original Physical Exchange server, and used that in conjunction with the Windows 2000 Server disc to perform the repair. I chose the default repair option (fast) and it went through a progress bar for about 15 minutes. When it got to about 95% complete it was asking to insert another diskette labeled OEM Disk2, but I don't know what this is. It gave me options to skip the files in question but warned that the repair may not work. I had no other option but to skip those files though...there were about 5 or 6 that I had to skip before it continued with the rest of the repair. Upon reboot, I still received the same error about the SYSTEM hive being missing or corrupt.
I feel I've tried every single option. Oh, and I cannot do a proper offline P2V conversion of the Exchange server into a VM using the VMM 2008 software. I get another error message when trying. It is attached as well. I searched a little bit on that error and had one person suggest that it is because there is a mirror on the RAID. They said to break the mirror and it should do a P2V successfully. However, as you might imagine, breaking the mirror on such an old server doesn't sound very appealing to me.
Sorry this is so lengthy, but I feel it is necessary to explain all that has been involved thus far. Please, experts, I need help!!!