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VMware Converter 3 Release Notes

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Notes on VMware Converter 3.0.1, Build 44840

Build 44840 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.

New in Converter 3.0.1

Version 3.0.1 is a maintenance release of VMware Converter. It contains bug fixes described in Resolved Issues, and also incorporates the following new features:

VMware Converter imports VMware Consolidated Backup images
Converter can restore Consolidate Backup images into ESX Server machines, and can import them into VMware standalone virtual machines. Converter supports restoring Consolidated Backup images of any guest operating system type.

VMware Converter imports certain StorageCraft ShadowProtect images
Converter can import ShadowProtect images, with some limitations. These limitations include:

  • Dynamic disks are not supported
  • All images for the backup of a machine should be in a single folder, with no other images placed there
  • For volume-based cloning, all volumes in the disk up to the active and system volumes must have been backed up (For instance: a disk has four partitions, 1 - 4, with partition 2 as the active volume and partition 3 as the system volume. The backup must include 1 through 3)
  • If it is an incremental image, up to 16 incremental backups are supported
  • Images of systems with logical drives are not supported if the default boot (Windows) partition is on a logical drive.

VMware Converter provides an experimental command line interface for migrations
VMware provides p2vTool as a tool for migrating physical and virtual source machines with a command line interface. Support for this CLI is Experimental. Therefore, users cannot file SRs (Support Requests) to VMware for p2vTool-related issues.

You need an Enterprise license to use p2vTool to migrate machines. The one exception is restoring a VMware Consolidated Backup image; in this case p2vTool can execute the query, verify, import, and postprocess options without needing a license if it detects that the source is a VCB image.

New in Converter 3.0

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

Important: Before installing Converter 3.0.1 on a machine, you must first uninstall Converter 3.0 if it exists on that machine.


Platforms

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.


Interoperability

VMware Converter 3 supports the following sources and destinations:

 Import from Physical Machines
(Source)
 Import from Various Third-Party Formats and VMware Products
(Source)
 Export to a Virtual Machine for
VMware Workstation and Datacenter Products
(Destination)
  • 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, 2
  • StorageCraft ShadowProtect images (experimental)2
  • 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 Consolidated Backup images2
  • VMware Workstation 4.x virtual machine (compatible with VMware GSX Server 3.x, ESX Server 2.5.x)3
  • VMware Workstation 5.x virtual machine (compatible with VMware Player and VMware Server 1.x)4
  • 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 10 products. Only images from the Backup Exec System Recovery products are fully supported, all versions up to and including 10d, but images from Norton Ghost 9 and 10 are likely to work.

2. For conditions and limitations in importing Backup Exec System Recovery, ShadowProtect, and Consolidated Backup images, please refer to chapter 2, "System Requirements," of the VMware Converter User's Manual.

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

4. 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:

GENERAL

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

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


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

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.

Fault Tolerant RAID causes "Unable to Determine Guest Operating System" error during hot clone
If you attempt to hot clone a Windows physical machine, and if the source machine uses Windows software mirroring, the import will fail with the error message, "Unable to Determine Guest Operating System." Workaround: Break the software mirror before running the conversion.

Cloning dual boot systems
When hot cloning dual boot systems, you can clone only the default operating system that boot.ini points to. If you want to clone the non-default operating system, change boot.ini to point to the other operating system and reboot. Once you are booted into the other operating system you can install Converter and hot clone it.

Converter does not distinguish between physical serial ports and virtual serial ports on the source machine
Virtual serial ports are treated as physical serial ports during the migration. For instance, if a source machine has two physical serial ports and two virtual serial ports, the import creates four serial ports on the destination machine.

Converter fails with a runtime error
If your user name contains the characters ! or &, Converter can fail with the message, ERROR Runtime error, this application has requested the runtime to terminate it in an unusual way. Please contact application support team.

Converter does not uninstall the Converter Agent from a Windows 2000 remote physical machine
While uninstalling the Converter Agent from a Windows 2000 remote physical machine, the task can fail at 99%. Attempting to manually uninstall the Agent can fail as well. Workaround: Reboot the remote source machine and uninstall VMware Converter Agent manually using "Add or Remove Programs" in the Control Panel.

Converter Agent might not run after installation and reboot on Windows 2000 and Windows NT4
On certain slow machines, you might get a error stating the Converter Agent is not running when you attempt to launch it. Windows Service Control Manager has timed out after 30 seconds. Workaround: Set the ServicePipeTimeout value under HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlset\Control to 120000 (120 seconds).

Importing a Windows 2000 virtual machine fails when an OEM-type partition is selected
When selecting individual volumes for a clone, with or without resizing the volumes, do not select any OEM or diagnostic partitions on the disk. The only volumes needed are the active, system, and any data partitions.

Remote hot clone of the same source machine can fail the second time
If you attempt to repeat a remote hot clone of a Windows 2000 or Windows NT4 source machine, the import may fail with a "fatal error during installation" message. Reboot the remote source, and repeat the import.


MANAGED PRODUCTS

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.

Cloning a large disk with lots of free space to an ESX Server destination fails
Selecting "Import all disks and maintain size" on the Converter wizard Source Data page when converting a large disk with lots of free space to an ESX Server destination can cause the import to fail. Check the logs, and if there are error messages with NFC failures, use the "Import volumes . . ." method with or without resizing.

Import of a Windows 2003 machine to a managed destination fails with an unhelpful help message when a virtual machine with the same name already exists on the destination
If a machine being imported has the same name as a virtual machine already on the destination machine, the import fails with the unhelpful message, "P2VError UFAD_SYSTEM_ERROR(Internal Error)."

Converter does not support, as destinations, clusters in which the VMware DRS is set to partially automated or fully automated.
For a destination, choosing a cluster with an automated DRS setting produces an error message: "Sorry, automated clusters not yet supported." Converter can import to a cluster only if its DRS settings are set to manual instead of automatic.


HOSTED PRODUCTS

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.

Converter cannot hot clone a remote physical machine that has Workstation 6 installed
Because of a coexistence issue, the installation of the Converter Agent on a remote physical machine that has Workstation 6 fails with the error: "VMware Converter agent install failed. Fatal error during installation."


THIRD-PARTY FORMATS

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

Separate backups should be stored in different folders
Storing more than one third-party backup in a single folder results in a failed migration. Before using Converter to import the image, each backup should be placed in its own folder.

Resolved Issues

The following are known issues in Converter 3.0 that have since been resolved.


GENERAL

  • Converter 3.0 could fail in a hot clone of a physical machine configured with dynamic disks. Release 3.0.1 corrects this problem.
  • Converter 3.0 permitted users to mount a read-only network share as the %TEMP% directory during cold cloning, which would result in an error. Release 3.0.1 corrects this problem.
  • Cloning of some hosts, especially if they had diagnostic partitions, could fail during post-processing with "can't create undo folder" error messages at the end of the log. This release fixes the problem by correcting the handling of boot.ini.
  • Converter decreased RAM by 4MB in the destination virtual machine. This problem is fixed in this release.
  • Converter could fail if you selected 0 NICs in the destination virtual machine and also selected any Customization options. Release 3.0.1 corrects this problem.

HOSTED PRODUCTS

  • Installing Converter on a system with Workstation 6 beta installed could lead to unexpected errors. Workstation 6 beta 3 fixed coexistence issues between it and Converter 3.