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Easy P2V for VMware VI3 January 8, 2010

Posted by General Zod in Tech, VMware.

Recently, I had to migrate the OS from an HP ProLiant DL380 G5 into a VM.  I played around with VMware’s Converter software before proceeding, and loved it!  Seriously, it was the easiest migration I ever did.  The following is the procedure that I wrote up for it.  Please note that I’ve included some of my own personally recommended steps for performing a P2V migration… so not all of these steps are required.


  1. Verify that you know the correct local Administrator password on the Server.
  2. Make note of the IP address that is currently on the machine.  If you will be changing subnets with this migration, then please plan accordingly.
  3. Delete any unnecessary files off of the system.
  4. Document the Drive Letter and approximate size of each Drive Volume.
  5. Apply any outstanding Windows patches.  Reboot as needed.
  6. Stop the following Services.

    Automatic Updates
    IIS Admin Service
    Print Spooler
    Task Scheduler
    World Wide Web Publishing Service
    Any application services applicable to the server
    Any Anti-Virus, Backup, or hardware specific services

    Note: Any changes invoked after the cloning begins will NOT be replicated to the target VM. All user services should be stopped prior to proceeding beyond this step. If you are apprehensive about allowing these services to start immediately on the first start of the new destination VM, then feel free to set them to Manual startup (but don’t forget to re-enable them later).

  7. Install the VMware Converter software onto the Server.  It can be acquired for free from HERE.  Accept all defaults during the installation.
  8. Launch the Vmware Converter application.  When prompted for licensing, click [Continue in Starter Mode].
  9. Click the [Convert Machine] toolbar button.  Click [Next] — [Next].
    Select “Physical Computer” — [Next].
    Select the “This local machine” bullet — [Next].

    Now is the time to decide on how big to make your virtual drives.  Refer to the Drive Sizes that you documented in Step #4.  (Don’t go crazy on disk space.  You can enlarge a VMDK rather easily.  Watch for a future post on that procedure!)

  10. Use the “New Disk Space” pull-down after each drive volume to select “Type Size in GB”.  Enter the desired size (in GB) for each drive.
    Check the “Ignore page file and hibernation file” box.
    Check the “Create a separate disk for each volume” box.
    Click [Next] — [Next].
  11. Select “Vmware Infrastructure Virtual Machine” — [Next].
    Enter the Hostname or IP Address of the target ESX Host.  Enter the credentials for the server’s ROOT account.  Click [Next].
  12. Enter the Hostname into the Virtual Machine Name field.  Click [Next].
  13. Enter the hostname of an ESX Host server –- Click [Next].
    Select the Data Store where the VM should be created –- Click [Next].
  14. Set the number of NICs to 1, and select the vSwitch to put it on — Click [Next].
  15. Check the “Remove all System Restore checkpoints” box — Click [Next].
    Do NOT check the “Power on the new virtual machine after creation” box.  Click [Finish].

    As the migration proceeds, there will be an estimated “Time Remaining” counter. This information is not always reliable.

    WARNING!  Do NOT proceed to the next step until the migration has been completed.

  16. Power off the Physical Source Server.  Unplug the NIC cabling.
  17. Edit the Settings of the new VM.
    For servers, I recommend reducing the number of CPUs to 2 and reducing the allocated Memory to 1024 MB (or something there about).  Remove all Serial Ports.
  18. Power ON the new VM.
  19. Use the VIC Console to login as local Administrator account.
    Allow any new HW to be detected.  Click [No] when prompted to reboot.
  20. Install the VMware Tools. Click [No] when prompted to reboot.
  21. Open Device Manager.  Uninstall any hardware with warning indicators.
  22. Reconfigure the TCP/IP settings for your new NIC (using the IP documented in Step #2.
  23. Uninstall the VMware Converter software and any hardware specific applications (such as the HP Support Paq software).
  24. Perform a clean reboot of the VM server.
  25. Request that your Application Support contact (if any) confirm the functionality of the server.


I recommend that you keep the physical server in place and as-is until you have confirmed that the server and any installed applications are 100% functional (or rather… as functional as they were on the physical box).

If you need to back out this change, then just kill the VM and spin your physical server back online.



1. Laurent - September 9, 2010

Thx, helped me a lot 8)

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