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P2V - SBS Server to Virtual Box?

Posted on 2014-04-25
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I would like to convert an SBS server (SBS 2008) to a VirtualBox Virtual Machine for the purposes of archiving the server. Basically, we want to sell the hardware the box is on, and keep the server in case we ever need anything off of it.

I tried (briefly) to create a new VM in VirtualBox and restore a full disk SBS backup, but gave up rather quickly when it was having a hard time booting into a restore environment.

Does anyone have success with this? Anyone have any guides to follow?
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Question by:DrDamnit
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8 Comments
 
LVL 121
ID: 40023778
We do not often use Oracle Virtualbox, but this can be done to VMware Player (free for "non-commerical" use or VMware Workstation (availalbe as 60 day trial).

The issue you may come across if the OS, is OEM, and then you may find the OS will not Activate on Virtual Hardware, and we can discuss OEM at length here on EE! (as to whether it's legal or illegal, based on your Country of Origin.).

But install VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5 on the physical server, and Convert away, the resulting images, created for VMware Player or Workstation should run with ease.

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5

HOW TO: FAQ VMware P2V Troubleshooting

Last once you have it working on Player/Workstation, you can transfer to Oracle Virtualbox, as it also supports VMDKs.

Your issue with Backup and Restore to Bare Metal, unless using a Universal Restore option that Acronis or Symantec System Recovery 2013 has, the storage drivers, are not matched to the new virtual hardware, and OS will not boot.

P2V clones, restores, and injects the correct drivers (storage and network) to ensure the VM Boots correctly.
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LVL 32

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by:DrDamnit
ID: 40023808
The license is not OEM. It is retail, so no worries there.

VMWare Player would be acceptable (I think) for this purpose - I would prefer to once-and-done the process, so VirtualBox is not a requirement. I just forgot about player.

The source system uses RAID on an HP p400 card. I am not (conceptually) grasping if this requires we boot with a boot disk and then image, or something else. Conceptually, what are the 1,2,3 short sentence versions of the process?
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Billy Roth
ID: 40023814
Hi Michael,
I agree with Hancock that the easiest first option would be to use vmware vcenter converter first.  Then take that image, put it in virtual box (making sure all of the add ons for usb are installed in your virtual box first), setting conservative compatibility settings for processor, install very compatible intel nic or something, and boot.  Once booted you can install virtual box drivers, reboot, and ramp up any processor settings you think may be applicable.

The main reason I wanted to post was not only to clarify some of those settings that I would use on virtual box, but also a second option if that fails.  I have had some luck in other cases with clonezilla.  Clonezilla is not a p2v or a backup software per say, but it would be like hooking up your original drive to virtual box, and booting with driver problems and all.  Once booted though, usually the system can clean up the driver issues (if you select very compatible settings in your vm setup and nic card), and then you can install the virtual box drivers and reboot.
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LVL 121

Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 40023819
Just let VMware Converter, handle the conversion!

Best Practice, install Converter, on the host to be P2Ved.

Remove ALL HP Software before hand (it helps).

1. Install VMware Converter on the server.

2. Run VMware Converter on the server.

3. Click Convert this Local Server.

4. Follow the Wizard

5. Select VMware Workstation as Destination Image

6. Select a remote Windows Share (VMware Player PC!)

7. Wairt for Conversion to finish.

8. Open in Player - done!

That's the Theory, but read my FAQ!

See my Articles, watch the videos...

sometimes it goes wrong!
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Billy Roth
ID: 40023916
One thing I would say if he decides to go ahead with virtual box instead of player, no need to open in player and have it install all the vmware tools and drivers.  Goods steps though.
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LVL 62

Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40024158
Actually you need to make image of the server, no matter it is then restored to new server or any type of virtual machine.
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LVL 32

Author Comment

by:DrDamnit
ID: 40059465
I haven't had a chance to circle back around to this. Will advise once I make forward progress.
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LVL 121
ID: 40059501
No problems, no rush! Take you time!
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