VMware Converter 3 Release Notes

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Notes on VMware Converter 3, Build 39557

Build 39557 is a release build of VMware Converter.

The release notes contain the following:

Introduction to VMware Converter 3

VMware Converter provides an easy-to-use, scalable solution for migrations of machines, both physical to virtual and virtual to virtual. Optimized for mass migration, VMware Converter is equally effective for single-machine conversions. With its comprehensive and comprehensible wizards and task manager, VMware Converter imports virtual machines faster, with fewer manual steps required, and fewer source hardware limitations than other methods. Converter can, with its ability to hot clone, import with no downtime on the source physical machine.

VMware Converter combines and expands the functionality available in P2V Assistant and Virtual Machine Importer. It eases interoperability among VMware hosted products (Workstation, VMware Server, and VMware Player), VirtualCenter-managed ESX Server 3.x and 2.5.x, and unmanaged ESX Server 3.x.

What's New

VMware Converter expands the functionality available to users of P2V Assistant and Virtual Machine Importer. Here are some of the new features and capabilities you get when using VMware Converter.

For Users of VMware P2V Assistant
In moving from P2V Assistant to VMware Converter, you see more options and abilities in migrating physical machines, along with the new ability to migrate virtual machines too.

  • A single, central management console to easily deploy, manage, and schedule conversions without the need for a Helper virtual machine.
  • Higher scalability supports multiple simultaneous conversions (Enterprise Edition).
  • New hot cloning functionality for both local and remote source physical machines (no need to reboot Windows 2003 and Windows XP source machines).
  • Broader hardware support for physical machines.
  • Custom tool for adding additional Windows drivers to the Converter Boot CD ISO image.
  • Remote cloning removes the need to walk to and physically interact with each physical machine.
  • Supports cloning a wide variety of Windows operating system platforms. See Supported Guest Operating Systems.
  • Supports migration of hosted VMware virtual machines disk formats (VMware Player, VMware Workstation, VMware GSX Server, and VMware Server) across all VMware virtual machine platforms.
  • Supports conversion of third-party disk image formats such as Microsoft Virtual PC, Microsoft Virtual Server, Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery, and Norton Ghost 9 (or higher).
  • Faster conversion speeds by means of sector-based snapshot cloning.
  • Dramatically reduced number of manual steps for conversion.

For Users of VMware Virtual Machine Importer
In moving from Virtual Machine Importer to VMware Converter, you see more options and abilities in migrating virtual machines, along with the new ability to convert physical machines.

  • A single, central management console to easily deploy, manage, and schedule conversions.
  • Higher scalability supports multiple simultaneous conversions (Enterprise Edition).
  • Local and remote hot cloning of physical machines provides live migrations with zero server downtime for the source machine.
  • Image customization feature allows modification of the virtual machine's guest operating system properties after the conversion.

Installation Notes

Uninstalling VMware Converter 3 will cause import functionality in VMware Workstation 5.5.0/5.5.1 and VMware Server 1.0 to fail. This problem is resolved by upgrading to Workstation 5.5.2 or VMware Server 1.0.1.


VMware Converter 3 can be installed on the following platforms:

  • Windows XP Professional
  • Windows 2003 Server
  • Windows 2000 Professional
  • Windows 2000 Server
  • Windows NT SP4+ (IE5 or higher required)

All target operating systems should have the latest patches available from Microsoft as of the release of this product.


VMware Converter 3 supports the following sources and destinations:

 Import from Physical Machines
 Import from Various Third-Party Formats and VMware Products
 Export to a Virtual Machine for
VMware Workstation and Datacenter Products
  • VMware Converter can hot clone and reconfigure any local or remote physical machine running an operating system noted in Platforms
  • VMware Converter Boot CD can be started from, and clone, local machines outfitted with storage controllers and network adapters that Microsoft lists as supported in Windows 2003
  • Microsoft Virtual PC (version 7 and higher)
  • Microsoft Virtual Server (any version)
  • Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery images1
  • VMware Workstation 4.x virtual machine (compatible with VMware GSX Server 3.x)
  • VMware Workstation 5.x virtual machine (compatible with VMware Player and VMware Server 1.x)
  • VMware ESX Server 3.x
  • VMware ESX Server 3.x (when managed by VirtualCenter 2.x)
  • VMware ESX Server 2.5.x (when managed by VirtualCenter 2.x)
  • VMware Workstation 4.x virtual machine (compatible with VMware GSX Server 3.x, ESX Server 2.5.x)2
  • VMware Workstation 5.x virtual machine (compatible with VMware Player and VMware Server 1.x)3
  • VMware ESX Server 2.5.x (when managed by VirtualCenter 2.x)
  • VMware ESX Server 3.x (when managed by VirtualCenter 2.x)
  • VMware ESX Server 3.x
Not Supported:
  • VMware ESX Server 2.5.x when managed by VirtualCenter 1.x
  • VMware ESX Server 2.5.x unmanaged

1. The Symantec family of products includes the Backup Exec System Recovery (formerly LiveState Recovery) products and the Norton Ghost 9 (and higher) products. Only images from the Backup Exec System Recovery products are fully supported, but images from Norton Ghost 9 (and higher) are likely to work.

2. For ESX Server 2.5.x the .vmdk files must be imported using the vmkfstools utility.

3. Only Workstation 5.5 can power on linked imports of .sv2i images.

Supported Guest Operating Systems

The following 32-bit guest operating systems are fully supported by VMware Converter 3:

  • Windows NT
  • Windows 2000 Professional
  • Windows 2000 Server
  • Windows XP Professional
  • Windows 2003 Server

The following 64-bit guest operating systems are fully supported by VMware Converter 3:

  • Windows XP Professional
  • Windows 2003 Server

Support for the following guest operating systems is Experimental. VMware Converter 3 can clone source images containing these operating systems, but the destination virtual machine may or may not work without additional configuration after import. In particular, if the source image contains unsupported hardware, you may need to modify the configuration of the destination virtual machine before using it:

  • Linux
  • Windows NT 3.x
  • Windows ME
  • Windows 98
  • Windows 95
  • MS-DOS

Known Issues

This VMware Converter 3 release contains the following known issues:


Manual cleanup required of some Converter Agent files from remote source physical machine
In some cases, the automatic cleanup of Converter Agent files from the system on which it ran is incomplete. If there are vmware-ufad-p2v-XXXXX subdirectories remaining under %SystemRoot% on the remote source physical machine after completion of the import (either successful or failed), automatic cleanup was not totally successful, and might cause future import attempts to fail. To clean up manually (recommended), follow these steps:

  1. Launch regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services
  2. Remove the stcp2v30 key
  3. Remove the vstor2-p2v30 key
  4. Remove all vmware-ufad-p2v-XXXXX keys
  5. Remove all courier-XXXXX keys
  6. Reboot
  7. Under %SystemRoot%\system32, remove all vmware-ufad-p2v-XXXXX subdirectories

Converter does not import Windows NT 4 with mirrored/striped volumes
Converter is unable to recognize logical devices in Windows NT 4 that span multiple drives. This includes striped and mirrored volumes.

Source with mixed IDE and SCSI disks might not produce a bootable virtual machine
A source machine with both SCSI and IDE disks has the IDE disks attached to the end of the disk list. If the source machine boots from an IDE disk, the target virtual machine created by Converter boots from the wrong disk because a VMware virtual machine looks for the first disk in the disk list. Workaround:

  1. Boot the imported virtual machine and press F2 to enter the BIOS
  2. Go to the Boot menu
  3. Highlight the Hard Drive row and press Enter
  4. Change the boot order of the disks so that the system disk is first
  5. Continue

Incorrect reboot warning when installing Converter Manager only
When installing only the Converter Manager, and not the Converter Agent, on machines running Windows 2000 or Windows NT operating systems, you do not need to reboot despite the Custom Setup page in the installer warning that you need to.

Hot cloning fails with a source machine that is low on disk space
In trying to hot clone a machine low on disk space, the task might fail because there is not enough space for a snapshot of the source. Workaround: Make sure that at least 200MB of free disk space is available on the system volume of a physical source machine before cloning it. If the source operating system is Windows NT, add the size of required service pack and hotfix files to the free disk space requirement.

Sysprep deletes drive letter mappings if your task includes customization
If you choose customization options and the destination virtual machine fails at a "Please Wait" screen after the second, sysprep reboot, you will need to rerun the import without customization. This problem occurs because of a problem with Microsoft's sysprep, which has deleted the drive letter mappings, preventing access to certain files.

After customizing a virtual machine, rebooting it produces an error message that msgina.dll failed to load
Please see the VMware Knowledge Base article, Error: "Logon User Interface DLL msgina.dll failed to load": http://kb.vmware.com/KanisaPlatform/Publishing/320/907_f.SAL_Public.html
and the Microsoft knowledge base article, "Error Message: User Interface Failure: The Logon User Interface DLL Msgina.dll Failed to Load": http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;[LN];329316

Converter allows users to mount read-only network shares, but should not
If you mount a read-only share as the %TEMP% directory during cold cloning, you see an error stating that "vmware-ufad.exe died on startup, check your %TEMP% setting." and you cannot proceed with cold cloning. Workaround: Mount only writeable shares as TEMP.

Windows NT Terminal Server (SP3) fails on boot after import
Error message:
**STOP : 0x0000007B

When you import some Windows NT machines with old service packs, the resulting virtual machine might fail on boot up. Converter upgrades the virtual machine's file system during the import process, and Windows NT systems with older service packs cannot read upgraded NTFS. Workaround: Ensure that the SP on the source machine is high enough to read newer NTFS file systems (SP4 and above).

Changing account credentials results in a "Multiple connections to a serverů" error message
When going through the wizard for a remote hot clone, if you provide valid credentials for a valid account, then go back and change the credentials to that of another user you may see this error:
"Multiple connections to a server or shared resource by the same user, using more than one user name, are not allowed. Disconnect all previous connections to the server or shared resource and try again."
If you want to change the credentials with which you log into the remote machine you will have to do the following:

  1. Open a command window
  2. Type in net use \\[remote host name or IP]\ADMIN$ /delete
  3. Type in net use \\[remote host name or IP]\IPC$ /delete
  4. Retry with the new credentials

Cloning fails with "Can't create undo folder" error
Cloning of some hosts, especially if they have diagnostic partitions, can fail during post-processing with "can't create undo folder" error messages at the end of the log. This occurs because boot.ini is not adjusted correctly in the destination virtual machine. You can identify this issue by looking for these lines in the logs:
[#2] [2006-12-08 22:43:40.468 'App' 368 warning] [volumeMappingInfoBuilder,685] Adjusting boot.ini: Didn't find volume 2 on the disk 0
[#2] [2006-12-08 22:43:40.468 'App' 368 warning] [volumeMappingInfoBuilder,685] Adjusting boot.ini: Didn't find volume 2 on the disk 0
If the virtual machine from the failed import is left behind on the destination, advanced users can work around this by:

  1. Attaching the system disk to another virtual machine
  2. Adjusting boot.ini manually to point to the correct partition
  3. Running the Configure Virtual Machine wizard on the virtual machine

Customization not applied if virtual machine manually restarted after running the Configure Machine option
The process for customization occurs in this order:

  1. Customize the virtual machine image with Converter and wait for 100% Complete
  2. Power on the virtual machine
  3. Wait for it to reboot automatically
  4. Sysprep processes the customizations
  5. Sysprep reboots the virtual machine
  6. The Windows operating system loads, and the network configurations occur
If the user manually reboots the virtual machine after step 2, not waiting for the virtual machine to automatically reboot, the customization process will be broken. Workaround: Turn off Autologon in the source machine. Wait for the machine to automatically reboot during the first boot up. After the first boot, the machine will reboot twice before the user can safely login.

Unable to remote hot clone a Windows NT virtual machine to a folder inside a network share
When remote hot cloning Windows NT virtual machines, you might have problems importing a virtual machine to a sub-folder under a share. In other words, if \\[hostname]\share_name is the network share, remote hot cloning to \\[hostname]\share_name will work, but cloning to \\[hostname]\share_name\sub_folder may not.

Service did not respond in a timely fashion message when starting Converter as a limited user
UFAD may not start up before Windows ServicesPipeTimeout (30 seconds) expires. If the source machine is busy or running slow, the service does not start quickly enough for Windows and UFAD is no longer running. An administrator can restart the service manually.

The "Configure Virtual Machine" option should not be used on legacy virtual machines
"Configure Virtual Machine" automatically upgrades the virtual hardware and config file version of legacy virtual machines. If you run "Configure Virtual Machine" on a Workstation 4.x or GSX Server 3.x virtual machine, the hardware version is irreversibly upgraded: you will need Workstation 5.x+, VMware Player 1.x+, or VMware Server 1.x+ to power them on after the configure operation.

Converter decreases RAM by 4MB in the destination virtual machine

Selecting 0 NICs and Customizing causes Converter to fail
Converter fails if you select 0 NICs in the destination virtual machine and also select any Customization options. Workaround: Select at least one network adapter if you want to customize the destination virtual machine, or do not customize if you are not selecting any network adapters.


Remote hot clone to a managed destination fails if the source virtual machine is not able to reach the destination without the fully qualified hostname
When doing a remote hot clone to ESX Server, you might see the following error in the Datastore selection page if you do not provide the Fully Qualified name and if the source machine cannot resolve non-Fully Qualified names:
Unable to find the server.
Please verify that the server name is correct and then try again.

Workaround: Use Fully Qualified names.


Installing Converter on a system with Workstation 6 beta installed can lead to unexpected errors
This may affect functionality of the standalone Converter product and the Converter functionality integrated with Workstation. If you do experience difficulties with the product (either the integrated or standalone Converter) the best thing to do is uninstall both products and install one or the other, but not both.

Incorrect message about hardware compatibility
When creating a linked clone for a lower Workstation version (e.g., source: Workstation 5.5; destination: Workstation 4.X) you might see an incorrect message stating the destination has a higher hardware version. The error messages for higher and lower are reversed.


Virtual machines imported from .sv2i images of systems with diagnostic partitions might not boot
The imported image is not complete and the diagnostic partition is missing. The resulting virtual machine fails to boot.

Converter does not prevent incompatible imports of certain third-party images
In Converter, you can import third-party images with guest operating systems' that are the same version or lower than that of the host operating system. However, Converter does not prevent you from doing an incompatible import, and the resulting task fails. Workaround: Make sure that the guest and host operating systems are compatible before creating a task.

Converter does not support Symantec Backup Exec 11