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How do I convert a physical server to a VMWare 4 virutal machine?

chitchcock
chitchcock asked
on
What steps do I need to take to convert a physical server to a virtual ESX 4 environment?  I understand I probably cannot make a disk image and re-constitute to a virtual box.  If you can help out with suggestions, that would be great.  One of the computers is a Windows 2003 Domain Controller with old hardware.
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IT Director
Commented:
VMWare Converter

http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/

This will take an exact copy of your machine and create files that you can import to move directly into your ESXi 4 host.
James HIT Director

Commented:
The converter has a wizard which guides you through the process step by step and is very easy to use.
There will be some additional steps required (more than likely) when converting an older system to virtual as you may have to remove legacy devices (such as network card) which will conflict with the new VM version of your server. Once you have the conversion completed, respond and we will guide you through the process.
Neil RussellTechnical Development Lead
Commented:
Be aware that if your server is running on an OEM licensed copy of Windows 2003 server (OR any OEM OS) then it will not run in a VM. Also it breaks the license terms if you transfer the OEM OS to new hardware.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
I would recommend and use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 or 4.3.

Download VMware vCenter Converter 5.0 here
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 Documentation
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 User Guide


Download VMware vCenter Converter 4.3 here
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 Documentation
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 User Guide


If you have issues, you may want to consult the following articles and guides


Read fellow Expert Bestway's article.

Best Practice Video Guide here


Some Videos I've develeoped for Experts Exchange

A Tutorial video by me:- Restore a Virtual Machine using the FREE VMware vCenter Converter to VMware vSphere 4.x, 5.0 ESXi 4.x, ESXi 5.0, ESX 4.0

A Tutorial video by me:- Backup VMware vSphere 4.x, 5.0 ESXi 4.x, ESXi 5.0, ESX 4.0 for FREE using VMware vCenter Converter

A Tutorial video by me:- VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Process at work

A Tutorial video by me:- VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 Convert monolithic sparse to monolithic flat for use with VMware vSphere 4.x 5.0 ESXi 4.x 5.0

Please also note the following:-

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) versions

Note: Physical-to-virtual hard drive migration of a Windows installation is a valid function for customers with Software Assurance and full retail copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Software Assurance provides users valuable benefits—please contact Microsoft Corporation for further information. Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 installed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) using OEM versions of these products may not be transferred to a virtual hard drive in accordance with Microsoft licensing terms.

Source
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/ee656415

Author

Commented:
Thx for the help