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VMware converter worked but Virtual Server won't boot

Posted on 2011-03-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Trying out VMWare ESXi 4.1.0 for the first time.
Built up the server using go.vmware.com without any issues.
I created a virtual machine and installed Windows 2008 Server on it and that functions just fine.
I then used VMware converter to copy from a stand alone server to virtual.  The Virtual Server that won't boot is a windows 2003 SP2 Server.  There were no errors when using the converter to create the virtual server.
When I power up that server, I just get a black screen.
Suggestions please?
Thanks,
Mike
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Question by:mcrossland
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Accepted Solution

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danm66 earned 500 total points
ID: 35087747
typically, that's caused by the resulting guest being created with IDE disks instead of SCSI or a couple of other reasons.

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1006296 goes over most of those.
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Expert Comment

by:larry urban
ID: 35087783
Black screen after a P2V conversion of a Windows server using VMware Converter
Symptoms

After a successful P2V (physical to virtual) conversion of a Windows-based system using VMware Converter, the resulting virtual machine may experience the following symptoms:

    *

      A black screen immediately after the virtual machine has completed the Power-On Self-Test (POST).

    * The guest operating system does not appear to boot.

    * The logs do not contain any errors or messages that indicate a problem with VMware Converter or ESX.

Note: If you mount the virtual disk (VMDK) from the problematic virtual machine as a secondary disk to another virtual machine, you can see that data was converted from the physical machine successfully.
Resolution
This issue occurs if the boot.ini file from the original source machine contains the parameter /burnmemory = <number>. This parameter reduces the amount of memory available to the Windows operating system by a specified amount.
 
For example, if a physical server has 8 GB of RAM memory and its boot.ini file is configured with the parameter /burnmemory = 4096, the RAM is reduced to 4 GB. As a result, the converted virtual machine has 4 GB of RAM memory. When the virtual machine is booted, the burnmemory = 4096 parameter that still present in the boot.ini file reduces the RAM another 4 GB, which leaves the virtual machine with 0 GB of RAM.
 
To resolve this issue, remove the /burnmemory = <number> parameter from the boot.ini file:
 
Note: For more detailed instructions, consult the Windows documentation.

   1. Attach the virtual disk of the converted virtual machine to another virtual machine (known as a helper virtual machine).
   2. When Windows is booted, remove the /burnmemory=<number> parameter from the boot.ini file.
   3. Save the boot.ini file.
   4. Remove the virtual disk from the helper virtual machine.

Additional Information
For more information about the parameter /burnmemory = <number>, see Microsoft's knowledge base article Available switch options for the Windows XP and the Windows Server 2003 Boot.ini files.
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by:mcrossland
ID: 35087879
OK.  So I see "preserve Source" under disk controller in step 3.  
I should change that to IDE or SCSI?
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Expert Comment

by:danm66
ID: 35087909
Don't preserve...change it to SCSI
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Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 35087971
Hi

We can find many issues on P2V.

Black screens on boot can be many. But controllers is one of them.

Check you Virtual Controller from the new VM, and see if is IDE. If yes, then try to use this

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1016192

You can also change the IDE to SCSI converting again the VM doing a V2V, and use the vConverter to change the disk controller.

But in my opinion you should do a clean P2V and get clean all that issues that we can encounter on a P2V.

This is my article how to P2V Windows Servers. I recommend that you convert that physical machine again with all the issues resolved.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_3639-VMware-vConverter-P2V-for-Windows-Servers.html

Just follow the article to create a good VM without any issues.

Hope this ca help

Jail
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Author Comment

by:mcrossland
ID: 35088013
danm66,
I'm running that new task with the disk controller changed to SCSI LSI.

Todar,
Thank you for your post but the boot.ini does not have that entry so that is not the solution.
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Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 35088183
If all else fail try the following:

Download trial version of Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery, install on Windows 2003 Server

Image the system using the product then use vmware converter to convert the image.  VMWare converter can natively convert BESR images to a VM
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Author Closing Comment

by:mcrossland
ID: 35088608
Perfect!  Worked great selecting LSI SCSI as the disk controller for win2003 server.
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