How to P2V a Physical Windows server?

Posted on 2015-02-11
Last Modified: 2015-02-24
This is a planning to do a P2V conversion on few old MS Windows 2003 OEM servers. I know that I can use VMware convertor to do the conversion. But, how about the server license? can these OEM server works as VM with the oem license? As I heard that a product key is prompting upon the first bootup, and it normal won't accept the OEM product key. Does this mean that I have to change by upgrading to a volume license?

Please help!
Question by:MichaelBalack
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • +1

Assisted Solution

by:Matthew Borrusso
Matthew Borrusso earned 200 total points
ID: 40604959
here is the deal.
the OEM license is technically only valid on the OEM hardware.
Your getting bit because the P2V process changes the hardware and the OS picks that up.

Microsoft has been cool about this: check out the following URL. MS gives you keys to get yourself sorted when you run into this.
LVL 42

Expert Comment

ID: 40605026
If you have a Microsoft Open License to cover this you can perform a P2V and perform a repair using the VLK disk and license.
LVL 120

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 300 total points
ID: 40605108
You are correct, and it does depend on which country your reside in, as to whether Microsoft will re-activate the licenses.

Some P2V with OEM licenses have been found to re-activate with no issues!

Microsoft will state this...

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.


Best thing is to go ahead and try it, also Microsoft at the moment, are encouraging sites to move off Windows 2003, and move to Azure for FREE!
Webinar: Aligning, Automating, Winning

Join Dan Russo, Senior Manager of Operations Intelligence, for an in-depth discussion on how Dealertrack, leading provider of integrated digital solutions for the automotive industry, transformed their DevOps processes to increase collaboration and move with greater velocity.


Author Comment

ID: 40607061
Hi Matthew and Andrew,  

Thanks for your articles. Let me read through them and get back to you guys.

Expert Comment

by:Matthew Borrusso
ID: 40608557
Good luck with it..

Author Comment

ID: 40620596
Hi Matthew and Andrew,

I need to setup a test lab to really visualize the p2v process. I will only able to start this on next monday (23/2) due to lunar chinese new year long weekends.
LVL 120
ID: 40620831
Look at my videos and articles with screenshots P2Vs are often misunderstood and many think point and click some P2V can be others maybe more difficult see my FAQ.

Expert Comment

by:Matthew Borrusso
ID: 40621264
Also, in support of what Andrew is saying, while much of the P2v can be simple, do not just "next" your way through. Google the settings if you not sure what they are.

Last but not least, shutdown any databases on the system, back the data up! Shutdown any application services that may be running (if you have anything funky going on). This way, when you initiate the process, your not dealing with any "live" files or open tables.

Granted, the process should not impact the source, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40627661
Hi Andrew and Matthew,

Please see how I did the conversion, and moved it to the hyperv:

-      Copy Disk2VHD folder into the C:\ drive
-      Double-click the exe file to open the console
-      Select a drive at a time, click Create to start the conversion
-      Tick Volume Shadow Copy option; if failed, untick it to continue (Does this matter?)

On MS HyperV Manager, select to create new virtual machine and continue with the activities as follows:

-      Select Edit to convert the disk to fixed disk
-      Choose the values for vCPU, RAM, NIC
-      Boot up the virtual machine, select to skip when prompted for Windows activation (as NIC not recognized)
-      Select to insert the HyperV Integrated Services CD; proceed with the setup
-      HyperV display, NIC, and other components are installed
-      Configure the IP Addressing, and then reboot the system
-      Upon rebooting, select to proceed with the Windows Activation via Internet connection; browse to C:\Windows\System32\oobe, and run “msoobe /A”

So far, I tried on 2 physical servers, and they can be converted and run as HyperV VMs without any problem. I think the most important part is, get ready the w2k3 R2 standard edition w/sp2 ISO VL (although they are not needed). In both cases, the original physical servers are installed with VL license, so no issue. The second important part is the NIC, as it wasn't identified until the hyperv integrated services are installed successfully.

Appreciate a lot with the guidance and link references to get the confusions un-rooted.

Featured Post

Free Tool: IP Lookup

Get more info about an IP address or domain name, such as organization, abuse contacts and geolocation.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
Migrating a Linux server to VMware 3 113
ESXi NTP 4 60
VM sizing 2 44
Time server on domain 3 25
HOW TO: Upload an ISO image to a VMware datastore for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) using the vSphere Host Client, and checking its MD5 checksum signature is correct.  It's a good idea to compare checksums, because many installat…
Restoring deleted objects in Active Directory has been a standard feature in Active Directory for many years, yet some admins may not know what is available.
This tutorial will walk an individual through the steps necessary to enable the VMware\Hyper-V licensed feature of Backup Exec 2012. In addition, how to add a VMware server and configure a backup job. The first step is to acquire the necessary licen…
This video shows you how to use a vSphere client to connect to your ESX host as the root user. Demonstrates the basic connection of bypassing certification set up. Demonstrates how to access the traditional view to begin managing your virtual mac…

697 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question