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VMware P2V BSOD Windows Server 2003 R2

Hi Experts,

We've P2V'ed about 5 servers running Windows Server 2003 R2.  They p2v'd fine without errors but a few days later the servers started BSOD with x050 errors.

I have opened a case with Microsoft, but to date they haven't solved the problem.  We have tried a process of elimination using msconfig, but cannot get a consistent response -- sometimes it looks like backup software, sometimes it looks like vmtools.  The dump file didn't show us anything.

Also, we were looking at the possibility of incompatible CPUs.  Something about going from multi cpus vs single cpus, but that doesn't seem to be it --so far.

On one server, I did a repair by reinstalling over the old OS, but that seems to cause other problems.  

These servers are in production and used 24 hours a day.  I would hate to have to rebuild them.  My goal is two fold -- get these servers stable and then figure out what part of the P2V process caused the issue.

Thanks,

S.....
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svillardi
Asked:
svillardi
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1 Solution
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Have you removed all the physical related software?

have you removed all hidden devices and drivers?

have you installed VMware Tools?
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
VM Tools is one of the programs which "seems" to cause it crash.  I think all of these machines are IBMs.  I have one program in Add/Remove called Automatic Server Restart SMBus Driver Install, but I can't get that to uninstall.

Other hidden devices and drivers seem to be uninstalled.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Are you using multiple CPU HAL ?
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
OK, so we looked into that, but I am not sure how to check it, etc.  Can you walk me thru?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Is it Uniprocessor Multiprocessor HAL?

Was the physical server, single or multiple processoers?
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
Multiprocessor.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
so you are using a multiprocessor HAL on a single CPU VM?

or it was a multiprocessor physical server, and is now a single CPU server?
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
multi to multi.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Do you need multiple CPUs?

How many?
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
So, here's the full disclosure.  I don't know how many before or after.  Based on the age of the servers, I am assuming they are multicored procs.  I simply p2v'd them without checking.

During the troubleshooting earlier this week, Microsoft had me look into this a bit.  Looks like a couple of machines are at 1 socket, 2 or 4 cores.  We tried changing drivers, but no help.  I don't know how many cores/cpus I need.  I tried booting with one proc and it still blue screened.

I have one machine which I can "play" with.  I can do any test you suggest.

I tried even a chkdsk /r to see if that was the issue.  I can boot into safe mode by disabling vm tools.  Microsoft can't (so far) find any kind of driver issue after checking the dump.

I hope that helps.
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Pramod UbheCommented:
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
We are at 5.0 and the virtual hardware is 8.
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
Clarification:  VSphere 5.0, virtual hardware 8.
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
My case, escalated twice, with Microsoft is saying that the problem is related to VMware tools.  Tools was installed after the P2V.  Microsoft is recommending running a Windows  repair.

To me, none of this makes sense.  How would VMTools cause this issue when it was designed to work with vms?

Thank you for your assistance and help.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Run the P2V again, but this time, do not install VMware Tools.
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
We didn't install vmtools during the p2v.  We require it after so that's when I installed it
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Do not install VMware Tools at ALL and re do the P2V

This will confirm if BSOD is being caused by VMware Tools.
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
The BSOD is being caused by VMware tools.  I do not have the physical server anymore.  it was retired.  Even installing VMware tools without any of the drivers (custom install) causes the machine to crash -- during the install process.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If Microsoft cannot cure the issue, I'm afraid there is little hope, if the machine crashes even with no VMware Tools.

Have you removed all the hidden device drivers, and software which was a physical dependancy.

We would not have retired the physical server so quickly if, the P2V was not successful, unless this is an issue carried over from the physical server. (or physical server was dying!)
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your reply.  I don't think you fully understand what happened.  The P2V  was successful for days if not weeks.  Tools was installed immediately after the p2v and the physical box was retired.  Then after days, weeks, the BSODs started.

Uninstalling the Tools seems to solve the issue, but we are running crippled without it.

Opened case with MSFT and VMware and have not been able to solve yet.

Yes, we did remove hidden devices.

Thanks again,

S.....
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
But you stated, if you install VMware Tools now it crashes with a BSOD ?

Maybe time to consider transferring the data or services to a new server, this is always the risk with a P2V.
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
But cleaning up the mess doesn't help in preventing the mess.  Our goals are twofold - get our servers (about 5) working properly, and also to determine what is causing it?  All of these servers are 2003.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
all five are like this?

I would Request Assistance on this question, to get other Experts involved with your Windows 2003 BSODs.
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
Unfortunately, all FIVE are like this.....  the problems started within days of each other.

How do I "Request Assistance"?
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
OK, none of this helped, but Microsoft finally came up with a solution.  What they had me do was copy the default hive to a later machine, in this case, my Win 7 workstation.

It seems that there is some kind of health check that occurs when you mount the hive in Win 7/2008, etc.

I dismounted the hive and replaced the original.  No save, no edits.  Just mount it and then dismount it, and replace the original.

The server is now stable.  Thank you for your help.

At this point, I do not understand what is causing this corruption.  Any ideas would be great.  I do not feel safe P2Ving any other Win 2003 machines.

S....
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It would be interesting to know, what Microsoft Support thought the issue was, and was it caused by P2V "hot-cloning"

I've never seen this issue with any of the P2Vs we have performed, and we've done many on 2003 R2.

It's possible hot-cloning is causing an issue with the registry.

Request Attention link is at the bottom of the Opening Question.
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
We are moving towards a possible problem with one of the hosts, perhaps a memory issue.  Seems that this issue has happened again, and on Win 2008 as well as 2003 machines during by putting hosts into maintenance mode.  Lots of BSODs after moving VMs from 8 different hosts, so we are seeing if one host is in common.
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
This issue was resolved after moving to VMware 5.5.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Glad it wasn't the P2V then!
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
Thanks for helping Andrew.  You're always there for a lot of us.  There should be a way to give points or something for people who try to help, even if their solutions do not work.  That way we can show appreciation for the effort.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Your words are enough!

Many Thanks for your kind words.

Prosperous VMware New Year!
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
None of the suggestions led me to a solution, however after a vmware upgrade, the issue resolved itself.
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