Converting HP Proliant G3 server to Hyper-v

Posted on 2014-12-30
Last Modified: 2015-01-04
The server is a web server having about 10 websites and specs are;

HP Proliant G3 server
2X36.4 GB in Windows software mirror (one disk failed, one disk alive, but has bad sectors)
Windows Server 2003 STD OEM

I have to convert an old windows 2003 server STD to a Hyper-V VM. But the server failed on the Windows software mirror, now runs on a single drive which has bad sectors. Will this be converted? I used only VMware Vconvert, will try this time also. But please give any input for following questions;

1. Will the failed single software mirrored disk be converted? The disk also has bad sector.

2. The server is HP Proliant G3 with OEM license of Windows Server 2003 STD. In this case, what will happen if I turn the VM? Will it work or not or work for some time and deactivated? I already read the articles on this issue. some say license has to be converted to volume licensing, cannot converted from OEM to VL, there is no problem running OEM convereted VM, all kinds of different answers or maybe their just assumptions, so if you really have experienced it, please advise what actually happens on VM covnerted from OEM windows 2003 STD

3. If you have converted HP proliant server to VM and have anything to advise, please do so. This is the first time actually trying to convert HP server with OEM license, so as much as input or your complete steps are appreciated.
Question by:crcsupport
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

yo_bee earned 100 total points
ID: 40525279
From what I know about Microsoft Licensing is that is you have a license for the OS that is good enough.
So if you install VMWARE on your old G3 server and run your converted P2V Windows 2003 server as a VM you are still in compliance with the License Agreement.  Lets use a fails servers as an example.  There is no way to fix it is a cost effective way so you by a newer server (Off Brand) for cheaper than you could fix the old server.  This new server has no OS with it, but you have the License Key for your OS that came with the G3.  Since  you are only running a single instance of this licensed OS you are in compliance with MS.  

1: So is your plan to reinstall the OS or try to P2V (Physical to Virtual) current unstable server?

2: Not really sure you should build a VM on a G3.  From the Specs of the server it only looks like you can use 2 GB Memory Sticks Max per Slot x 6 = 12 GB.  This is not really a lot of memory is you are building a Hypervisor.  (Specs on the server)  
For Lab and testing purposes this probably will be fine.  

3: if you keep this server you will need to replace the HDD that may cost more than the server itself.  You are talking about G3 server when they are 6 generation ahead of this now.  

4: Are you able to export the hosted Web Sites and stand them up on another server?  If this server is only do the Web Hosting it might be easier to port them off to a newer server.

5: What product are you planning to use as the Host Hypervisor?
LVL 121

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 300 total points
ID: 40525342
The biggest issue with OEM software, you can certainly P2V, but you will find activation breaks on the new hardware.

see my EE Article how to P2V to Hyper-V

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.


1. You will need to break the mirror first.

2. OEM licenses, technically breach the license agreement if moved, and may break activation.

3. REMOVE ALL HP software and drivers before you start the P2V.

Author Comment

ID: 40525782
I still can't get answers by calling Microsoft and HP support.
First, I talked to two HP reps, their official response was, they don't support P2V conversion and if you have to, license activatation issue with OEM is upon Microsoft side.

Second, I called Microsoft activation support, the rep seems not familiar with licensing issue with VM. But what he says is, just give the installation ID on activation screen to him and he will activate it. I explained the oem to different hardware activation, he put me to hold and spoke to his supervisor, his answer was the same. He seems very sure he can just reactivate.

There are two many different answers, it was like a cup cake to reactivate by calling Microsoft or some folks couldn't, so reinstalled VL license.

I can upgrade the OEM license to VL before I convert, but it may give lots of break on applications if patches I installed are wiped out. If I upgrade OEM to VL, do I have to reinstall all patches?
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 300 total points
ID: 40525872
Sometimes you can just call Microsoft, and they will re-activate! but they do not have to!

Depends on the Country of Origin, because Microsoft lost the OEM case in Europe!

So OEM rules does not apply in Europe!

Author Comment

ID: 40526001
You mean US.
LVL 121

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 300 total points
ID: 40526065
Call them after the P2V, "if it does require re-activation!"

we've known, some P2V with OEM, just work with  no issues!
LVL 30

Accepted Solution

pgm554 earned 100 total points
ID: 40526085
Here's the long and short of it,if the OEM license is from HP,it's keyed to their BIOS and will not activate on non HP hardware(which is what a VM is).

Same for Dell,same for IBM.

As for bad sectors,the hard disk automatically does something called sector sparing,which means that bad sectors are redirected to a known good spare sectors.
You should be OK when doing the conversion as these should be skipped.
You could do a chkdsk using a sector recovery switch and it might remark them as usable.
A lot of times in a HW RAID situation a sector will be flagged as bad if it gets no response in 7 seconds .
On desktop drives ,that timeout is upped to about 30.

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