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VMware P2V Assistant 2.1


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Cloning for GSX Server and Workstation

Cloning for GSX Server and Workstation

The VMware P2V Assistant is a migration tool. It creates virtual disk files that can function as bootable disk devices or data disk devices in VMware Workstation and GSX Server virtual machines. The following sections describe the process for:

Creating a Cloned Disk Using a Third-Party Image

Creating a Cloned Disk Using a Third-Party Image

Running a third-party disk imaging or backup/restore tool from within a helper virtual machine, you can create a virtual disk that is compatible with VMware virtual machines. This process does not use the P2V Assistant, but does create a virtual disk that then can be reconfigured by the P2V Assistant.

The process requires a helper virtual machine with a target virtual disk attached to it, and the third-party tool with its associated third-party image. The target virtual disk must be an additional disk attached to the helper virtual machine before the helper virtual machine is started. Cloning is done by accessing a virtual disk directly as a secondary disk in a virtual machine that is running the third-party tool inside a virtual machine, or through a network share if accessing the .vmdk files. The target virtual disk cannot be the virtual machine system disk.

Use the third-party tool to create an image of the physical disk you want to use as a virtual disk. If the tool requires it, copy that image to the helper virtual machine. From the helper virtual machine, run the third-party tool and direct the tool to use the image it created to populate the target virtual disk. Depending upon the tool, this process could be called expand, deploy, restore, and so on. As required by the third-party tool, you might also be asked to boot up the helper virtual machine with a DOS or Windows boot CD or floppy, or a third-party CD. When the tool runs from within a helper virtual machine, it behaves as it would in a physical environment, except that it populates a virtual disk rather than a physical disk. If any data exists on the target virtual disk, it is overwritten.

Creating a Cloned Disk from a Third Party Image

After the cloned disk is created through the third party tool, if appropriate, perform a system reconfiguration using the direct to disk P2V Assistant option to convert the virtual disk into a bootable disk. Refer to Reconfiguring an Existing Cloned Disk into a Bootable Disk. When the cloned disk is complete, detach it from the helper virtual machine, then create the new virtual machine and attach the cloned disk. If you performed a system reconfiguration, the cloned disk can be the bootable system disk for the virtual machine. Refer to Creating a New Virtual Machine.

Creating a Cloned Disk Using the P2V Assistant

Creating a Cloned Disk Using the P2V Assistant

The VMware P2V Assistant copies all files that are resident on a physical source disk attached to a source computer and stores them to a virtual disk file, also known as a target disk. If an operating system is present in the source disk, that is also copied onto the target disk. This target disk is the new cloned disk.

The cloning process requires a P2V Assistant Boot CD or equivalent that is used to boot the source machine and retrieve identification information about the source machine. In addition, the P2V Assistant must be running on a helper machine (physical or virtual) that is not the source machine. For a description of creating a cloned disk without the P2V Assistant, refer to Creating a Cloned Disk Using a Third-Party Image.

The resulting cloned disk is contained in a set of files, in .vmdk format. This type of cloned disk can be used in VMware GSX Server and VMware Workstation virtual machines.

Basic P2V Assistant Cloning Process

Even if a cloned disk contains an operating system, the cloned disk is not a bootable disk until a P2V Assistant performs a system reconfiguration. The system reconfiguration process configures selected drivers so that the operating system can boot in a virtual machine. To simplify the process, if the P2V Assistant detects a supported operating system on the source disk, you are given the option to perform a system reconfiguration on the new virtual disk (cloned disk) after it is created and populated with files copied from the source disk.

Basic Cloning with System Reconfiguration

If you do not opt to convert the virtual cloned disk into a bootable disk at this time, you can convert it later using the P2V Assistant. Refer to Reconfiguring an Existing Cloned Disk into a Bootable Disk.

Reconfiguring an Existing Cloned Disk into a Bootable Disk

Reconfiguring an Existing Cloned Disk into a Bootable Disk

The P2V Assistant provides the option to perform a system reconfiguration on an existing cloned disk. The existing cloned disk can have been created either by the P2V Assistant or a third party disk imaging or backup/restore tool.

When you start the P2V Assistant, you are asked to identify the existing cloned disk, then the P2V Assistant performs the system reconfiguration. For this activity, since the cloned disk is already created, you do not need the P2V Assistant boot CD, source computer, or source disk device. System reconfiguration is performed directly on the target disk (the existing cloned disk).

The P2V Assistant needs to have access to the cloned disk files. Typically, P2V Assistant can access the virtual disk directly as a secondary disk in a virtual machine when you run the P2V Assistant inside a virtual machine, or through a network share that maps to the .vmdk files.

Reconfiguring an Existing Cloned Disk

After the cloned disk is created, detach the cloned disk from the helper virtual machine, if used, then create the new virtual machine and attach the cloned disk to the new virtual machine. If you performed a system reconfiguration, the cloned disk can be the bootable system disk for the virtual machine. Refer to Creating a New Virtual Machine.

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