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how can I tell if a WINDOWS 2003 server is virtual or physical?

I just took over a job where a previous IT person walked out of. No one has a clue what is going on. My new boss thinks many of the servers are virtualized using VMWARE 4.1. How can I tell if a server is VMware? Will I get a different OS if I log into the server, right click COMPUTER and go to properties? Also, is there a discovery process to find the ESXi servers? I am thinking if I can get into one of the servers, I can use the VSPHERE client to organize the virtual servers. All advice is appreciated..thanks
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Thor2923
Asked:
Thor2923
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2 Solutions
 
bgoeringCommented:
Take a glance at device manager, if virtual it will show VMware VGA/SVGA adapter, VMware CD/DVD, etc.

Good Luck
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brutaldevCommented:
There are many applications that use a simple trick to figure out if the OS is running in a virtual machine. For more info on this (and a small app to test it) go here: http://www.codeproject.com/KB/system/VmDetect.aspx
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
does it have VMware Tools installed?

Run MSINFO32, it will tell you.
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brutaldevCommented:
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bgoeringCommented:
I guess I don't really understand the other part of your question... Do you not know where the host VMware servers running ESX are? Do you have a vCenter server?

Most larger deployments would have a vCenter server that you can log on to with the Windows Administrative credentials, then will have the other ESX or ESXi servers organized within the vCenter.
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bearpeidogCommented:
Use vsphere to connect to the VMware server.  From there you can list the virtual machines.

Also, you can look at the services installed on a given server - you will see VMWARE Physical disk help server, VMWARE tools service - I have 4 vmware servers installed.

Good luck with your new position!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
port scan your network looking for servers that respond on 902/903 TCP and 80/443 TCP

you'll find the ESXi/ESX and may vCenter server if you've got one.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
another quick method, sweep your network with CC Get Mac Address

http://www.youngzsoft.net/cc-get-mac-address/

Sort all the MAC addresses by order.

00:50:56:XX:YY:ZZ

any MAC addresses similar to above are Virtual Machines.

if you also use NMAP to sweep your network also, anc check these lists for open ports, you will also find ESX, ESXi hosts and vCenter servers, if you've lost them.

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1012382
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Thor2923Author Commented:
whew..thanks for all the advice...I forgot about vmware, I can now identify which servers are virtual. As far as vCenter. I am still not sure. I have the vSPHERE client loaded on my workstation, I will try to find the ESXi or ESX servers now
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
ESXi and ESX hosts should be easy to find.

once you found a host, if you login direct to it with the vsphere gui client, it will tell you its being managed by vcenter at following ip address. if its being managed and added to vcenter.

so then you will have the vcenter ip address which you can then rdp or vsphere client to as well.
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bgoeringCommented:
If you have the prior admin's machine available you may be able to glean some hints from the registry on the machine where he was managing VMware.

In particular

HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-his_guid\Software\VMware\Virtual Infrastructure Client\Preferences\UI\ClientsXml will contain a list of keys where the key names show the various places where the admin has connected his vSphere client...
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nappy_dCommented:
Even better, if you have the old admin's wrkstn, reset his acct password and login. Run the machine and apps as that person. This will give you a good indication of what they were doing. If the vSphere client is installed, connect to it as the old admin.
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Thor2923Author Commented:
I think I found a vm host. I will call it 10.1.0.191. If I point to it with vSphere client, I get prompted with a security warning about an untrusted SSL certificate. This looks very similar to what I used to get at my previous job when logging into vSphere. I cliick IGNORE and get prompted for a name and password. I have tried the previous engineer's login, the Domain administrator and my own login and get an "incorrect user name or password" error. Is there a default or built in VM login that I could modify to use so I can at least get in to a host and look around? Also, if I open a browser and enter https://10.1.0.191/  i get directed to a VMware ESXi 4 webpage where I can download vSphere, vCenter and several other things. Does this mean I have found the ESXi host?...thanks
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bgoeringCommented:
Yup, you have found a host. Unfortunaltely re-installing is the only official way to reset the root password for ESXi. However if this is an ESX host see http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1317898 for a procedure to reset the root password.

Unless the ESX/ESXi has been configured for Active Directory the domain credentials will not work.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No there isn't./

you could try a root account.

Yes, you've found the ESXi 4.x host.

you will need to login at the console, and reset the password if you do not know it.

see here

http://www.bock.nu/blog/reset-root-password-vmware-esxi-4.1
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bgoeringCommented:
If your shop has some standard root password you might want to first try logging on with a userid or root and that password....
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bgoeringCommented:
yeah hanccocka - that is why I said only OFFICIAL way :)

Besides an ESXi reinstall is pretty trivial...
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Thor2923Author Commented:
ahh, I think i remember that the login to vSphere client is root, but I do not have the password. Is there a way to change the original root password without bringing down the entire ESXi server?
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Thor2923Author Commented:
ahh I see you have already answered my question while I was playing with the vsphere, thanks
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
@bgoering: no there isn't is a response to the authors comment, about standard login for ESX Server. If you look a the timestamps on the posts, they were both submitted at 03/05/11 03:09 PM.

That wasn't a response to your post.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No, you must bring down the ESXi server, if you do not know the password, either way, re-install or otherwise, non-official!
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bgoeringCommented:
Agreed - the host will need to come down in order to regain administrative control if you cannot determine the existing root password.
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Thor2923Author Commented:
The former employee finally made contact with me and gave me the root pw. I thank you for your efforts, I have learned a lot
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