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Converting NT4 to VMware

Posted on 2014-09-21
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I'm in the process of converting an old server running Windows NT4 Server SP6, I have read many posts online and there are some successful conversions using Norton Ghost, at first I was able to boot the old NT server with a Norton Ghost 2003 floppy and cloned the entire system to an old external USB drive, so I'm very happy about that, but when I went to my ESXI 5.1 host and created a NT image in order to restore the cloned ghost image, it does not recognize the virtual hard disk, it says that there is no disk. Is there a trick? Have anyone done this??? Any help will be appreciated, I'm open for any other successful histories as well please, whatever take to have the job done.
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Question by:jdff
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19 Comments
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Paul S
ID: 40335984
try chaging the disk controller type in vmware. maybe ghost will see disk that way. (LSI, LSI SAS, BusLogic, etc..)

if that doesn't work. I would use a newer disk imaging solution (Drive Image XML, newer version of Ghost, Acronis, UBCD has a couple, etc... that are many). If they  have a bootable disk, that can clone FAT32/NTFS that it should not matter that you are doing an old OS.
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Author Comment

by:jdff
ID: 40336001
I just though about something here, I will need to install the vmware legacy drivers for the scsi controller and network adapter at the old server first, and then clone it, correct? Otherwise the NT image will blue screen upon booting for not having the proper drivers for the network, scsi, and etc..., in fact it may not even boot windows. am'i correct? If someone has done this, please let me know, this way I could save some precious time here.
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LVL 121
ID: 40336051
I would not bother doing it that way, and there is no need for the Network Interface driver, because the AMD PCI32 works okay, and the VMware Tools has a driver for VMXNET (old VMware Tools).

Either use "VMware Converter", and you will need an older version because NT 4.0 support has been removed from the latest.

The version you need is VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.0.1.

HOW TO: FAQ VMware P2V Troubleshooting

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

OR, do it the old fashioned way before VMware vCenter Converter Standalone was born, we used Ultimate P2V, which was a CDROM Boot Disk, you boot the VM with the Boot disk, making sure the disk is the correct size and using the Buslogic Interface Storage Controller, Ghost the Image to the VM.

This will not BOOT, and fail with a BSOD, but then use Ultimate P2V scripts to inject the Buslogic Drivers into the registry and copy them to the VM.

Done, it's easy - if you can find the Ultimate P2V scripts/BartPE cdrom.

see here

http://searchvmware.techtarget.com/tip/Ultimate-P2V
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:deroode
ID: 40336061
You should be able to use VMWare's vCenter Converter 4 to perform a P2V of an NT4 server. The converter software injects the correct drivers.
https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/evalcenter?p=converter
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 40336635
I would even try an older version of VMware converter 3.x.  Use it to point to the ghost image if using version 9

 


1. The Symantec family of products includes the Backup Exec System Recovery (formerly LiveState Recovery) products and the Norton Ghost 9 (and higher) products. Only images from the Backup Exec System Recovery products are fully supported, but images from Norton Ghost 9 (and higher) are likely to work.
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Author Comment

by:jdff
ID: 40337869
Will the 4.0.1 converter install on a NT4?
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LVL 121
ID: 40337938
Yes, it's compatible with Windows NT 4.0 SP6.

Make sure it's 4.0.1 you download, because support has been removed after this version.
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Author Comment

by:jdff
ID: 40338014
So what you are saying, is for me to download the 4.0.1 converter into the NT4 server, install it and then convert the computer to an image, correct? And once I migrate that image to ESXI is should run it without any problems because the drivers were injected by the converted? Have you attempt this already? Just want to make sure I can get somewhere here. Thanks again.
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Author Comment

by:jdff
ID: 40338341
Andrew, can you please confirm?
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LVL 19

Accepted Solution

by:
deroode earned 250 total points
ID: 40338478
This is how we converted our last NT4 server. It seems a bit of a risk since you have to install new software to an old server, but all went fine. After the P2V you can leave your old server up and running, mount the image on an ESX server and startup. Leave the network disconnected, and do some additional reconfiguration if necessary and acceptance testing.
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LVL 121
ID: 40338531
Yes, that's correct, we've been doing this for years, every day, and every week!

BUT please read my P2V FAQ article, because it's not always "plain sailing"
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Author Comment

by:jdff
ID: 40345192
Ok guys we have some wrong information here!!! I've tried to install the vm converter 4.0.1 and look what message I got!
IMG-2823--Medium-.JPG
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LVL 121

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 250 total points
ID: 40345196
you will have to seek out an older version of 3.0.3 and that may be difficult as VMware have removed it for download.

here is a download for 3.0.3
(http://www.brothersoft.com/vmware-converter-158647.html)

Otherwise use Ultimate P2V

(the release notes seem to contradict between versions 4.0 and 4.0.1)

Supported Guest Operating Systems

Converter Standalone 4.0.1 supports the following guest operating systems:

Windows NT SP6 and later

Source
https://www.vmware.com/support/converter/doc/releasenotes_conv401.html

but an earlier version, does not state NT 4...

if you install it on Windows XP or Windows 2003, can you perform a network conversion (rather than actually trying to install on the Server to be converted)
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Author Comment

by:jdff
ID: 40345264
Ok, I got it now, do you know if it can convert to ESXI 5.1 as an infrastructure? or if I have to have a matching ESXI host server 3.0.3?
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Author Comment

by:jdff
ID: 40345318
Andrew it worked like a charm, the only think is that now there is no virtual network adapter within the OS. It still looking for the 3com adapter but of course it can't find the adapter.
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LVL 121
ID: 40345501
Add the AMD adaptor, or VMware Tools has a nic for NT 4.0, but you'll need to find a very old VMware Tools, not sure its in the latest.
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 40345526
0
 

Author Comment

by:jdff
ID: 40347321
I have tried with 2 different drivers, both are giving me trouble, please look at the screenshots. The the intel driver PRONT4, gives me a regedit error and it does not install the driver fig1. I'm logged as administrator so I'm not sure whats the deal! Alternatively I've tried the vmware driver, which installs fine but it does not work, when I try to request an ip it says that there is no adapters binded to see fig2. Any ideas? I'm stuck!
Capture.PNG
Capture2.PNG
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Author Comment

by:jdff
ID: 40347327
Never mind guys! I've figured out, for some reason regedit was on a different folder, so I've just copied to the winnt folder and everything worked fine. It is now acquiring an ip and I can feel assurance on converting the real server. Thank you all.
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