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ESXi 4.1 & Windows 2003 SBS, Converter Standalone destination format questions

I am wanting to use Converter Standalone to make an image copy of the SBS VM. In case of complete recovery, I plan to use Converter SA to copy the image to the new host, then use other granular backups to get my server back up. I notice there are several destination options in the following areas:

VmWare Workstation 7.0.x, 6.5, 6.0, 5
VMWare Fusion 3.x, 2, 1
VMWare Player 3.0.x, 2.5, 2.0, 1
VMWare Server 2.x, 1

also, an older version of the converter (4.0.1) has:

Virtual appliance

Can somebody give me a recommendation on the pros and cons of these options for making an Image Backup of a Windows 2003 SBS VM. Also, if I am way off and there is a better (low cost) way to make an image backup, please let me know.
VMwareWindows Server 2003

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8/22/2022 - Mon

The options depend upon what you are going to have as your target - if you're going to use ESXi as a platform then that should be an option?

Failing that I'd go for Workstation as thi is similar format and can be easily used on an ESXi box

My target will be a VM on another ESXi system. The hardware probably would be different.
Luciano Patrão


Converting a SBS can be a problem, or we can encounter many issues.

For this I recommend that you use the converter BooCD from VMware. To download this tool you need a VMware Enterprise license.

Since SBS is a DC and a Exchange Server, this conversion needs to be created offline. If you do hot migration, you can get many issues. Since the server is running and updated.

You need to stop all the services from the SBS, except the SO services.

Please check my article how to P2V Windows Servers. If you want to use the vConverter Standalone, follow all the tasks from the article. Install the vConverter on SBS stop the services, but do not stop vConverter Standalone services.


Hope this can help

I started with Experts Exchange in 2004 and it's been a mainstay of my professional computing life since. It helped me launch a career as a programmer / Oracle data analyst
William Peck

VMWare Enterprize license is cost prohibitive. I have moved SBS DC's around a few times and had no problems. Frankly, I dont know what all of the fuss is about. However, my network is very simple; a SBS 2003, a W 2000 DC, and about 5 users. Maybe the problems others have encountered is because the have large forests or something.

I am interested in the VM side. Are there pro's and cons with with the different destinations?
Luciano Patrão


Moving DCs around(from P2V or V2P,etc) is not a good practice. This is not recommend. Is not recommend to migrate a DC. But since this is a SBS I always say that SBS we can since this is the only DC on the domain.

It doesn't matter if you have 5 or 5000 users. The issues is the same. You did not encounter, but you can, and by doing the right way to can bypass any of this issues. Mainly regarding AD and updated objects during the migration.

Did not understand the last question. Different destinations? You mean convert into ESX/ESXi, Workstation or VMware Server?


On the destination panel, there are different choices for a dest type VMWare workstn or other vm:  Workstn, Fusion, or player. They all seem to convert your VM to a file or group of files on disk. I plan on converting my SBS VM to one of these formats.

Imagine my esxi host being hit by a beer truck. My recovery would be:

1) Buy an new machine (using my hit-by-a-beer-truck insurance money).
2) Install ESXi.
3) Use converter to create the VM from a file(s) on my client
4) Restore user data from a recent backup.

I want to know which format will make option 3 the smoothest.

The only thing I want to know is which format will make step 3 work the smoothest.
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