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Windows 98 and NT4 Machines to Microsoft Hyper-V 2008 R2

Posted on 2013-01-30
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Wanting to virtualize a very old legacy system (Desktops and Server)

I figure if I create a VLAN on my current network I can run the whole thing on the same physical hardware/network that I have now.

Desktops are running Windows 98

Server is running Windows NT 4.0

Would like to move these to one of my MS Hyper-V Servers

any ideas?

Newest version of Norton Ghost doesn't support Win 98
All of the Physical Host to VM Convertors that I know of won't support Win98, haven't even begun to look at NT 4

Not the end of the world if I can't convert NT 4 (that servers been a tank for 15 years and doesn't seem to be going anywhere)

I can bridge the VLAN on my current network running win 98 VMs to the physical network running the NT 4 machines if that is all that's possible

Any Suggestions, has anyone had any real success doing something like this

Also would consider running a different VM Host like VMware player on the users desktops and bridging via VLAN to real NT4 machines, although ideally I'd like to see the desktops and Servers all running in MS Hyper-V so they can be consolidated into one OU. We already have a Hyper-V environment (management etc.) setup, so I'd like to stay there.

Once setup and running, I'll have my users run a remote session to interact with the win98 machines

Regards and TIA
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Question by:trevoC
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38837774
These systems are too old for new converters because no one is using that stuff any more.

I have a Windows 98 machine and an NT4 Workstation machine as virtual machines inside VMware Workstation 9. They work fine and are safe from old age because they are VM's. But I built the machines from CD and did not convert any real machine.

Surely these old machines are not needed any more.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:EMJSR
ID: 38837776
I have had good experience with BartPE and Ghost 8 (integrated into BartPE). You can also add a vmware driver into the build which would then allow you boot from a CD (and later into VM using an ISO image). You would essentially take a ghost image of your machines, restore them into a virtual machine and you should be good to go.

BartPE is a free download, you need Windows XP source files to build it, and Ghost 8 can be enabled as a plug-in. Four files are needed for that, BartPE shows you which ones; there is a list in the respective plugins subfolder of the "pebuilder" once installed). You can download the VMware HDD drivers from their website and they can also be integrated. It depends on what option you choose in terms of virtual disk creation.

I've done this a few times and it worked fine.
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by:trevoC
ID: 38838042
Surely these old machines are not needed any more.....

I wish I could say that was true, unfortunately they are. They run custom ERP manufacturing systems that aren't easily replaced (Currently 3 years into bringing these systems into NAV).

They have an inherent problem with memory management that will not allow them to be effectively run on modern hardware, and the problem isn't worth fixing when they run fine on older systems.

I'm just looking to take them off old hardware that is becoming increasingly hard to maintain.

I think you'll find more legacy systems in corporate environments than most companies would like to admit. I could wow you with all the snazzy techno crap we've implemented over the years, but at the end of the day, some of our software is still legacy, and works well (which is probably the reason it became such a big problem.... don't fix/upgrade what isn't broken).

I realize the systems are too old for modern converters... that's kind of the reason I posted.

Good to hear that they'll run/convert ok in a VMware environment (I figured as such as there's definitely more "open" support for VMware, didn't explore this much as we're MS hyper-V environment)

I'll try the BartPE method tomorrow and see how well this scenario plays out when restoring to an MS Hypervisor.

Again, I'd preferably like to see this within our existing virtual environment, but this is one battle I may have to settle outside our existing setup.


Should I make the assumption that the VMware images created in Bart are for vmplayer...

If I had to go VMware route, I'd like to see the clients/server in a vsphere hypervisor instead of on desktop copies of vmplayer. Vmplayer or any desktop host would restrict us further from the original idea of virtualizing them at the server, for easy access from anywhere via remote sessions.

its a start, thanks for your responses.

Anyone have any ideas for an MS solution?
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by:EMJSR
ID: 38838082
Oh, you're not creating VMware images. It's a Ghost image and you essentially boot the BartPE iso which pebuilder can create into VMware and then restore the Ghost image that way. So essentially like a phyiscal computer. So in theory you can restore those images in whatever environment you like. If you want to give the Hypervisor a try, by all means. Simply create a virtual machine that matches the requirements and restore the image. Worst case scenario you might need to run a Windows 98 repair install from disc, but not necessarily.

This overall method is how I have gotten this working in the past.

And I know that Windows 98 is not obsolete just yet. My wife manages her company's IT and they are in the two-way radio business. A lot of radios are still programmed using software requiring Windows 98 and/or MS-DOS. That hasn't changed in the 21st century.
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Author Comment

by:trevoC
ID: 38838103
Thanks EMJSR

I'm going to try this tomorrow. I think the day I retire the oldest NT4 Server we'll have an office party / burial.

Its literally run for 15 years with only a single hard drive being replaced that whole time... which is why it scares the hell out of me. Sometimes I forget its there, sitting in the corner as a single tower beside a behemoth of a set of refrigerated racks.

At lease I know if I buy a new radio from her, I can take it to work to program, lol.

Thanks again, will let you know my results.

Last question... will bartPE fit/boot off a 5 1/4" floppy?

just kidding.
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Expert Comment

by:EMJSR
ID: 38838130
Ha! Wouldn't that be nice? I kinda miss floppy discs at times. Only at times though; then I look at flash memory and quickly forget all the disc jokey-ing from back in the day.

To be honest, things used to work stable and computers were built to last much longer; no wonder, there used to be such a thing as "quality assurance testing". I guess when you sell things cheap-cheap-cheap, that's not really the main concern anymore of manufactuers.

If you have any questions along the way tomorrow, I'll try my best to assist!
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Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 38838666
see out older versions of Ghost and VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 3.0, and you'll be able to convert both.

otherwise you can use Ghost and Ultimate P2V (see here)

http://searchvmware.techtarget.com/tip/Ultimate-P2V

once you have converted to VMware, which will work with VMware Hypervisors, convert to Hyper-V using

Starwind V2V convertor
http://www.starwindsoftware.com/converter

to give you a VHD!
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38839064
For a while, at least, I keep an older XP Laptop that has a Floppy Drive attachment. Also, do consider just making a new Windows 98 virtual machine as it will work quite well under VMware.  

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:trevoC
ID: 38840579
Thanks hanccocka, I'll give this a try and report back.
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Assisted Solution

by:trevoC
trevoC earned 0 total points
ID: 38890961
Final Solution,

VMware center converter v 3.something (can't remember)

was not easy to find as VMware took this down from their site.

vmware center converter v3.0 link

The above link is working software, although it does install some other crap that you can't choose no. I installed it into a snapshotted vm removed the VMware software and rolled back the snapshot. Otherwise software is good.

This software created a physical to VM image of NT4 like a charm that runs great in vmplayer (free edition), will test in vsphere esxi soon.

The same software did not play well with windows 98

The clients where not as big a deal,

I created a new VM and did some serious digging for an old copy of Win98se.

solution is now working in all VM's

NOTE:
BartPE although thought it might work good is not the greatest solution, You needed to supply both a winXP CD with SP3 or greater, only had original WinXP cd's or sp3 OEM cd's which it didn't like, also Ghost needs to be supplied seperatly for the image, and that version of ghost I could not find anywhere (legit or not).

Have not converted these to Hyper-V yet, although that's next.

Thanks for all your help and responses guys/gals, appreciate the time.
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Author Closing Comment

by:trevoC
ID: 38904781
Provided more information to the best solution.
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