Vmware Converter Fails to see physical machine HDD during p-v

I'm attempting to convert a Physical server running on a Dell Power edge blade onto a VSphere 4 server running on another Dell Power edge blade. The VSphere server runs fine and has several other servers already running happily on it. The Physical server runs fine as a physical server but need to be migrated. The Physical server has a standard Dell SAS 6/iR controller with non raid 68GB HDD. I'm using Vmware converter standalone to do the migration and it connects to both server fine and present all the options etc. I configure them like I want with the exception of the "Data to copy" section no volumes are displayed here in either basic or advanced view. IF I try to finish the task without this I get an error about an incorrect parameter.

Why are the volumes not showing up and how can I get vmware converter to see them in order to perform the P-V migration?
charles_dilgerAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Have you installed VMware Converter on the Source Machine you want to P2V?
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coolsport00Commented:
It's been a little while since I did a P2V, but I recall having some issues during the process. What I had to do to resolve it was close out of Converter, stop/restart the VMware Converter services, re-open it and retry the conversion. Most of the time it worked. Try that and let us know...

Regards,
~coolsport00
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coolsport00Commented:
Fellow expert "bestway" has written an extensive article on P2V and troubleshooting:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_3639-VMware-vConverter-P2V-for-Windows-Servers.html, as well as this VMware KB that may help: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1004588.

~coolsport00
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charles_dilgerAuthor Commented:
Hanccocka,
No I have the VMware converter on my desktop i typically use to manage the server from. I used the IPs to connect to the physical server as well as the vsphere server. While the VMware converter connected to both servers without problems and read config information and authenticated correctly it's another piece that doesn't necessarily need to be there. It does install what it called a temporary client to facilite the conversion but that might not be as full featured as the full utility. I think it;s work a shot running the converter on the server directly.

Coolsport00,
Your first link seems a little dated, and makes references to NT and windows 2000 servers. I'm converting a windows 2008r2 server. It also focuses on using the boot cd method over with the second link recommended against and I'm worried will have problems detecting the hardware in the blade. The second link however made a similar recommendation to hanccocka's about installing the converter on the physical server. Another reason to give that a try.

I'll install the VMware converter on the physical server and give this another try. I'll report back it it still has problems accessing the local disk.
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Danny McDanielClinical Systems AnalystCommented:
Is the disk listed as GPT type under disk manager within the server you are attempting to convert?
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charles_dilgerAuthor Commented:
Danm66,
No it's a Dynamic disk with a single simple volume. It used to be part of a hardware raid 1 but for this operation i broke the raid and configured it as a regular SAS disk now.
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Danny McDanielClinical Systems AnalystCommented:
The hardware RAID should be fine with converter.  I'm wondering if the breaking of the raid is causing the issue...
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JRoyseCommented:
You can use another backup type product to grab a disk image of the said physical machine - then use Vware converter to read it in, and convert to virtual.  Something like gohst, acronis, even a Windows 2008 VHD.  
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charles_dilgerAuthor Commented:
I tried running the converter on the loval server and still can't see the HDDs. For fun I tried it on my desktop computer as well as though i was going to convert it and I'm getting the same result. In all cases i see everything as expected except for the physical computers HDDs. I don't understand this. It should work. I've included a screen shot of the data to migrate page where i should see the HDD and volums but nothing is displayed.

The Image file options sound interesting. I don't have a license of Acronis handy although I think that would be the best option. I'd like to give the VHD a try but I'm unsure how to create the VHD. I'll google it and see what i come up with.
Conversion-screen-shot..jpg
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Danny McDanielClinical Systems AnalystCommented:
what do you see if you use diskpart and do a list disk, list volume and list partition?
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JRoyseCommented:
Is your version of the converter recent/current?

So you tried different machines and you don't see the HDD on any of them?

have you disabled the firewall on the the PC(s) involved in the conversion?

In Windows 7/Server 2008 you can run a system image backup and the result is a VHD disk.  You can actually restore from it with the Operating system media (You know, boot the VM with the OS media, then choose the VHD to restore), or feed it into the vmware converter.  VHD is a normal format for a windows virtual machine also.
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charles_dilgerAuthor Commented:
List disk shows disk's 0 and 1 status online correct size, 0b free * under DYN (I assume for dynamic) and nothing under GPT.

List Volume shows only Volume:0 Ltr:c, Label, FS:NTFS, Type:simple, Size, Status:healthy, Info:System

Both show the same excpet my desktop also has a dvd drive and usb drives added to the list.

Seems fairly standard to me.

The converter was just downloaded today from vmware on the server so it's current.

Only firewall used is the windows firewall and it's off for the domain profile.

I don't have windows server 2008 R2 which has the updated backup tools I only have server 2008. I don;t see any easy ways to make a VHD image of a physical drive in 2008.
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JRoyseCommented:
Run the Vmware Standalone converter from a separate workstation.  

Workstation->launh vmware_converter->connects_to_Physical-server
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charles_dilgerAuthor Commented:
LOL that was how I started. then switched to trying it on the physical server itself.
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coolsport00Commented:
At this point "charles_dilger", it may be worth trying Acronis True Image or Symantec System Recovery to 1st image the server, then use Converter to convert it to VM. Or, it may be quicker to just build up your server from scratch. That is VMware's best practice anyway, although I certainly understand not always practical.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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charles_dilgerAuthor Commented:
That is defiantly an option but them im adding the cost of Acronis to this, what should be, simple migration.  There must be something missing here. This is a simple p-v migration from a very standard configuration server with a very popular raid controller. This should be like a textbook conversion. Are you guys seeing your local HDD if you run the converter on your computers? If so are they raid, SATA, SAS etc. There must be a reason for this. I can't be the first to convert a Dell m600 blade to a VM.
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coolsport00Commented:
FYI - You can trial Acronis for 30days...
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Danny McDanielClinical Systems AnalystCommented:
I keep thinking about this and how you said that it wasn't just this one system that you couldn't see the drives on...  Do you have any security software on these systems that could be interfering with the converter application?  Maybe try using msconfig.exe to only boot with MS services and then try the conversion???
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charles_dilgerAuthor Commented:
While it's not free it is a solution. I still don't understand what's preventing it from seeing the drives normally. Our servers are well secured but just through group policy, mcafee av etc. nothing that I suspect to prevent this one application from seeing the local drive.

Thank you all for your efforts.
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Danny McDanielClinical Systems AnalystCommented:
the quick test would be to build up a new system (even a VM) and before you add it to the domain, see if Converter can see the drives.  Then add it to the domain, put it in the proper AD group, wait a couple of hours or a day, then try converter again.  
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