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VMWare Converter corrupts Windows 2008 / Exchange VM

E C
E C asked
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a Dell 2950 running VMWare ESXi (4.1).
On top of this I have a VM running Windows 2008 Server R2 (64-Bit) and Exchange 2010 Server.

This VM runs fine and in fact, it is my company's Exchange Server.
I need to shrink the size of the C drive on this VM, so here's what I did:

1. I stopped all of my Exchange services
2. I set them all to disabled
3. I shut down the VM
4. Using VMWare Converter (standalone), I 'copied' the VM to a new VM.
5. At the same time, I reduced the size of one of the Virtual Disks from 220 GB to 120 GB.

Converter ran all night, and was *successful*.

However, if I log into vCenter, select my newly-cloned Exchange Server VM, and click 'Power On'...
... I see the BIOS screen
... then ... I see a message "Windows Error Recovery: Windows Failed to Start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause"

My options are:
- Launch Startup Repair (recommended)
- Start Windows Normally

If I select *either* option, the VM reboots. It's caught in a loop and will NOT boot into Windows.

I have tried converting my Exchange VM two more times, and each time I get the same result.

Why/how could VMWare converter corrupt the Operating System inside of the VM??!!
I thought these VMs were pretty bullet proof.

I have resized drives before and the VMs have always started up just fine.

Need to know how to fix. This is mildly annoying.
In the meantime, my original Exchange VM is running just fine.
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