VMWARE ESX 3 to Physical

A little emergency here - I have a ESX server that is refusing to boot because the license expired. There are many other solutions and I do not wish to renew - but I need stuff from that machine. Also - can I upgrade to the free version? What are my options?
Starquest321Asked:
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Danny McDanielConnect With a Mentor Clinical Systems AnalystCommented:
Safest bet might be to get a quality USB thumb drive (if your system supports booting from USB drives), stick it in and make it a bootable device, then boot from the ESXi Hypervisor (the new name for the free version) installation media and install it onto the USB drive.  You should then be able to see your existing VM's on the existing datastore.  Make sure your system is supported for ESXi 4.1 first, though.
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coolsport00Connect With a Mentor Commented:
You can reinstall ESXi on your drive, and just make sure to 'not overwrite the VMFS volume' (you get prompted for this during the install. But, I concur with "danm66" for the most safest alternative. Don't forget to write down your ESXi license when you go to download it. It will be on the download page. You can then add your license to the License node/section when you log into your host with vSphere Client.

If your ESX install is on separate disks than your VMFS, then it's an 'either or or' kinda thing. You can install it on USB as stated, or just simply reinstall on your drive(s).

Regards,
~coolsport00
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Starquest321Author Commented:
Can I boot the machine from vmware workstation? This  an existing sex 3.0 machine
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coolsport00Commented:
You would have to convert/move them 1st using vCenter Converter Standalone:
http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/datacenter_downloads/vmware_vcenter_converter_standalone/4_0, but yes...once moved/converted, you can power them on & use them.

~coolsport00
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Starquest321Author Commented:
Is this a free software?
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Danny McDanielClinical Systems AnalystCommented:
Converter Standalone is a free download, but you need to have an account on vmware.com (which is free, too.)  http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/datacenter_downloads/vmware_vcenter_converter_standalone/4_0
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coolsport00Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Yep :)
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