Need to convert esxi virtual machine to physical.

victor ramirez
victor ramirez used Ask the Experts™
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Hi,

I am tying to convert a esxi virtual machine domain controller to a physical server. What would be the best way to approach this. I was recommended to try and use windows server backup and then restore the image to the physical server through the recovery wizard. Any recommendations are appreciated.
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Sr. Systems Administrator
Commented:
build a new domain controller and migrate
it starts to get messy with domain controllers going from P2V or V2P
safer to just build a new one and move off it
CESNetwork Administrator

Commented:
Agreed, P2V or V2P will often fail with a domain controller, as it is too chatty to get an accurate snapshot the machine while converting.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Is this a single DC  in the Domain or multiple DCs ?

I would have to disagree with my fellow Expert @CES IT, with care and expertise Domain Controllers can be P2V and V2V, V2P like any other virtual or physical server.

The problem is often lack of knowledge as how Domain Controllers function. Although Microsoft may not recommend P2V, V2V, V2P, and the method of installing a new server and transferring the roles is recommended, it is technically possible, and sometimes there is no choice, that it must be P2V, V2V, V2P.

So Not Recommended, BUT Possible, using the right skills, software products and technical good understanding of your AD environment.
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victor ramirezSystem Administrator

Author

Commented:
Single domain controller. I thought doing it from scratch would be my best best but wanted to see if there was an alternative.  With that being said I should be looking into creating a new domain  and new forest and migrate the users and servers to it when ready?
CESNetwork Administrator
Commented:
I would make a new physical domain controller in the same domain, then move FSMO roles and decomission the current DC.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Well look at it this way, you should really have TWO Domain Controllers.

So quickest and simplest for you is build a new physical server, add the AD Role, wait for replication and transfer the roles.

BUT WHY do you want a physical ? Just leave the other as virtual ?
victor ramirezSystem Administrator

Author

Commented:
The client brought me in to take them off their virtual environment since its a small business they don't want to continue to pay for esxi licensing and support for new versions. They are only running two virtual machines on a very old host that looks like its on its last legs. With that being said I can see their are two domain controllers the main DC looks like its dead and right now they are running on the backup domain controller. Should i still be good to go and build a new physical server and add the ad role and let the backup domain controller replicate?
victor ramirezSystem Administrator

Author

Commented:
So currently they are up and running on the backup domain controller. Without access to the main DC that leaves me out of the option to migrate the roles from that machine. Could i do it with the backup DC? Its a virtual machine as well.

Thanks
victor ramirezSystem Administrator

Author

Commented:
The backup DC is a Global Catalogue Server from the looks of it.  So what i was thinking is I should sieze the roles from the PDC that is dead and  then remove the meta data from the  lost server. then looking at creating the physical machine to DC?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
The backup DC is a Global Catalogue Server from the looks of it.  So what i was thinking is I should sieze the roles from the PDC that is dead and  then remove the meta data from the  lost server. then looking at creating the physical machine to DC?

Correct and ideal plan.

and then create another two physical servers, and transfer roles, and de-commission old virtual server.
victor ramirezSystem Administrator

Author

Commented:
So Attempting to sieze the FMO roles and when I get to connection when entering the server name it wont take and tells me invalid syntax. I even tried the FQDN and it wont take.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems Administrator

Commented:
you shouldn't have to seize the roles
the other domain controller is running so you need to transfer
seizing roles is only if the domain controller in question has failed for good
need to follow the 'transfer fsmo role' section of the article cited earlier

what command is giving you an invalid syntax?
victor ramirezSystem Administrator

Author

Commented:
The command I was using was using was connect to server servername. I was just using server name instead of the entire command. So even though the Primary Domain Controller has failed I can still transfer the roles instead of seizing?

Thanks
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems Administrator

Commented:
So even though the Primary Domain Controller has failed I can still transfer the roles instead of seizing?

missed that earlier
in that case, you will need to seize the roles
connect to the active domain controller
victor ramirezSystem Administrator

Author

Commented:
So upon seizing the roles I see that it mentions not to seize the infrastructure master if the server is a gc which in this case it  is. Can i ignore sizing that one and proceed with the metadata cleanup?
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems Administrator

Commented:
go ahead and seize it
for a very large environment you could separate the roles, but for the most part they can all exist on one server
seize everything first before doing a cleanup
victor ramirezSystem Administrator

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the clarification. Last thing just want to make sure during the seizing it tries to transfer first then it errors out before proceeding to the seizing, is this  normal  process?

Thanks

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