VMware ESXi 6:  Migrate  Windows 2000 Server guest from ESXi 4.1

Ralph Scharping
Ralph Scharping used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi,

I have a Windows 2000 Server guest running in VMware ESXi 4.1.
The hardware beneath is ambling and I need to migrate the guest off that host.  The guest is running an old software product that cannot be run under newer OSes.

vCenter Server 6, which is the only choice for ESXi 6, cannot add ESXi 4 hosts.  Converter Standalone can't install the converter agent.  I can't install it manually:  installer crashes.
I could, of course, move the VM to a preliminary ESX5 first, but before I do that, let me ask you this:

-  Is there any chance this guest will run stable under ESXi 6?  It does not need much:  2 LAN cards, 2 vCPU, 2GB vRAM and two virtual disks, 60GB and 1.2TB

-  Could I export the VM to an OVF-file and import it in ESXi 6?

-  Should I dare install VMware tools inside the VM once it's at it's final destination?

I know Windows 2000 is no longer supported and this application should be replaced.

Thanks,
Ralph
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Senior Infrastructure Specialist
Top Expert 2016
Commented:
-  Is there any chance this guest will run stable under ESXi 6?  It does not need much:  2 LAN cards, 2 vCPU, 2GB vRAM and two virtual disks, 60GB and 1.2TB
Yes, at least it is supported https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=software

-  Could I export the VM to an OVF-file and import it in ESXi 6?
Yes, you can.

-  Should I dare install VMware tools inside the VM once it's at it's final destination?
Always recommended, but take a snapshot before.

About the vCenter Converter, did you tried the old versions ? And this VM is stored on local or shared storage ?
Ralph ScharpingDigital Therapist

Author

Commented:
Hi,

thanks for this valuable information.

The VM is stored on a NFS-mounted filesystem.  It seems to be a SuSE Enterprise server with V2.2 kernel.

Can I use the older converters on ESX6 as target?
Richardson PortoSenior Infrastructure Specialist
Top Expert 2016
Commented:
Since your virtual machine is stored on NFS, you may try mount this NFS on the new ESXi 6 host, shutdown the virtual machine on the old host, remove from inventory and on the new host, add the virtual machine to the inventory, power on the virtual machine, and if you want move the virtual machine from NFS to another datastore, just migrate the virtual machine using the Storage vMotion.

About use the old converter with ESXi 6 target, it may not be supported but it may work. Take in mind that the version that supports Windows 2000 is the version 4.0.
Ralph ScharpingDigital Therapist

Author

Commented:
I hesitate to mount the NFS on the new box because I fear it might alter the VM files and if it does not start up it might not afterwards start on the old box anymore, either.
Am I paranoid?

Converter 4 installed on the VM- that's your suggestion?  (just to make sure)

I have no decent backup of this old VM.  Their old support just cronjob-copies the VM-files off the NFS-share and I can't believe this will produce a working backup of a database in access...
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
Mouting the NFS will not change the datastore, and then you  can move the VM off the NFS datastore, or copy if you are paranoid.

Completing a conversion with Converter will be worse, if you are paranoid! It CONVERTS the VM, so changes it!

Why not export and import....

see here

Part 10: HOW TO: Backup (Export) and Restore (Import) virtual machines to VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 for FREE

works for all versions of ESX/ESXi.

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