These release notes provide information on the VMware Converter Enterprise for VirtualCenter module. For information about new VirtualCenter features, requirements, and installation, see the VMware VirtualCenter 2.5 Update 4 Release Notes.
VMware Converter Enterprise for VirtualCenter is an add-on plug-in for VirtualCenter that provides an integrated, easy-to-use, scalable solution for migrating both physical and virtual machines to VMware Infrastructure. Optimized for mass migration, Converter Enterprise can create, edit, and monitor physical-to-virtual (P2V) and virtual-to-virtual (V2V) migration tasks through the VirtualCenter user interface. In addition, Converter Enterprise can directly import supported third-party images to VirtualCenter managed virtual machines.
For physical-to-virtual (P2V) migrations, Converter Enterprise can perform live migrations by using hot cloning, which causes no disruption or downtime on the source physical machines. The hot cloning process installs an agent on the physical source being converted to leverage volume shadow copy service (VSS) snapshots prior to conversion. To avoid installing an agent on the physical operating environment, you can use the traditional cold cloning approach to P2V conversions. This involves shutting down the physical machine and using a Converter Enterprise Boot CD to perform an offline conversion.
Converter Enterprise also provides the ability to export virtual machines managed by VirtualCenter to hosted VMware platforms such as VMware Workstation, VMware Server, VMware ACE, and VMware Fusion.
VMware Converter Enterprise Update 4 for VirtualCenter 2.5 is an update release of VMware Converter Enterprise for VirtualCenter 2.5.
This release supports Windows Server 2008 as a guest operating system, including customization.
Installation of VMware Converter Enterprise for VirtualCenter requires a connection to an existing VirtualCenter 2.5 or later server. Each installation of Converter Enterprise must be associated with only one VirtualCenter Server instance.
VMware Converter Enterprise for VirtualCenter consists of a server component (that can be either installed on the same system as VirtualCenter Server or on a different system); and a client component that is a plug-in interface to the VMware Infrastructure Client (also known as the VI Client).
The server component of VMware Converter Enterprise for VirtualCenter can coexist with installations of the standalone VMware Converter 3.x product.
When you upgrade to VMware Converter Enterprise Update 4 for VirtualCenter 2.5 using the unified installer, the installer prompts for a system reboot. Rebooting the system ensures that the upgrade has completed successfully. (No reboot is needed if you are using the standalone installer.)
When you install the standalone Converter Enterprise package, if you select the English build, only the English version is installed. If you select the localized build, the version that is installed is in the same language as used by your operating system.
Run the Update 4 unified installer to upgrade to Converter Enterprise server Update 4. The Update 4 server is compatible only with the Update 4 client. You must also upgrade the Converter Enterprise client plug-in to Update 4.
To upgrade the client plug-in to Update 4 on VI Client Update 2 and above, you do not need to uninstall the previous version of the Converter Enterprise client plug-in. It can coexist with the Converter Enterprise client plug-in Update 4.
If you choose to install a fresh database when you upgrade to VirtualCenter 2.5, Converter Enterprise plug-ins will not be available in the VI client after the upgrade. If a database exists on the server and you choose to install a fresh database of the same type, the installer overwrites the existing database and all data in the existing database is erased. If a database exists on the server and you choose to install a fresh database of a different type, the DSN VMware VirtualCenter is reused to point to the freshly installed database. As result, the existing database is not reachable using this DSN, and the data in this database cannot be used.
VMware recommends that when you upgrade to VirtualCenter 2.5, choose the Use an existing database server option in the upgrade wizard. This will ensure that the existing data is retained and all the plug-ins are available in the VI Client. If, however, you choose to install a fresh database instance, you must uninstall and reinstall Update Manager and Converter Enterprise. The new installation ensures that the required entries are inserted into the database and that the plug-ins are available in the VI Client.
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The server component of VMware Converter Enterprise for VirtualCenter 2.5 can be installed on the following platforms:
- Windows 2000 Server SP4 with Update Rollup 1
- Windows XP Pro SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
- Windows 2003 Server SP1 and R2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
- Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)
The operating system on which the server component of VMware Converter Enterprise for VirtualCenter gets installed
determines what virtual machines and third-party images can be successfully imported, exported, and reconfigured. See
the table below for operating system compatibility information.
|Operating System on Which Converter
Enterprise Server is Installed
|Compatible Source Virtual Machine or Third-Party Image Operating System
|Windows XP Pro
|Windows 2003 Server
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Interoperability and Supported Guest Operating Systems
For supported sources and destinations, please refer to the VMware Converter Enterprise Administration Guide.
Support for the following guest operating systems is experimental. VMware Converter Enterprise for VirtualCenter 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 might need to modify the
configuration of the destination virtual machine before using it:
- Windows NT 3.x
- Windows ME
- Windows 98
- Windows 95
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This release resolves a know issue from the previous release.
- Certain Japanese text did not display in the Japanese version of the Source and Destination screens in the Import wizard.
This issue is now resolved.
This VMware Converter Enterprise release contains the following known issues.
Remote hot clone of Windows NT4 from a Windows Vista host is not supported
If you install Converter Enterprise server on a Windows Vista host and try to remote hot clone Windows NT4, deployment of the Converter Enterprise agent succeeds, but the Converter Enterprise Service on the remote machine fails to start. This conversion scenario is not supported.
Conversion of a source machine to a VirtualCenter or ESX/ESXi destination fails with NFC errors
The cloning process to a VirtualCenter or ESX/ESXi destination can fail with NFC errors when you select source volumes that reside on different source disks for conversion. This issue can be caused by certain network environments that are used by Converter Enterprise server and VirtualCenter server or ESX/ESXi for communication. For details, see Investigating network devices and device settings as a cause of VMware Converter failures (KB article 1004615).
Image customization prompts a dialog box for Sysprep file information
When you customize a virtual machine during an import or export, or reconfigure an existing machine, while the process is setting the customization parameters, the machine automatically reboots and a Sysprep dialog box might prompt you for additional files.
Workaround: Note the list of missing files that Windows mini-setup cannot find. Copy the required files (for example, Thawbrkr.dll) on the source machine to the Sysprep install files folder, c:\sysprep\i386, then perform the import (or export) and customization, or the reconfiguration. The files that Sysprep prompts for are usually in the following location on the source machine: C:\Windows\system32
Note that the Sysprep directory is removed after the virtual machine is started and customization completes.
Timeout on SSL handshake when converting over a WAN link
vCenter Converter does not support conversion over a WAN. If you experience an SSL timeout when trying to perform a conversion over a WAN link, be aware that the timeout for SSL handshakes is two minutes.
Workaround: To avoid the two-minute handshake, perform a conversion to a hosted target machine (for example, Workstation) in the same LAN and copy the temporary virtual machine and send it over the WAN to the remote site. If the intended target is a Workstation virtual machine, this completes the process. If the intended target is ESX, import the Workstation virtual machine to the ESX server.
Cloning of Windows operating system fails if the size of the FAT32 volume is set to greater than 32GB
On some Windows operating systems, if you resize a file allocation table (FAT32) volume to larger than 32GB during hot or cold cloning, the conversion fails when the new volume is formatted. This is a known limitation of the FAT32 file system.
The following workarounds are available:
For additional information, search the Microsoft Help and Support Web site.
- Limit the FAT32 volume to a maximum of 32GB.
- Perform a disk-based cold clone.
- Deselect the FAT32 volume if the minimum size is larger than 32GBs.
Default administrator password is not preserved for Windows Server 2008 after customization
During customization, the Windows Sysprep utility deletes and re-creates the administrator account on Windows Server 2008. You must reset the administrator password when the virtual machine boots up the first time after customization.
Import of Microsoft Virtual PC image fails with Could not parse the VMC configuration file error message
The Microsoft Windows system on which VMware Converter Enterprise is installed must have Microsoft XML Parser (MSXML) 2.6, 3.0 or 4.0 installed to successfully import Virtual PC images.
VMware Tools do not get installed on the virtual machine
When you import or remote hot clone a Windows 2000 Professional SP4 virtual machine to ESX 3.5, the VMware Tools do not get installed on the target virtual machine. This is true even though you specify during task creation that tools should be installed.
Workaround: The workaround is to install VMware Tools manually.
Converter client plug-in sometimes can't be downloaded if the Update Manager client plug-in is uploaded first on the same machine
When both the Update Manager client plug-in and the Converter client plug-in are installed on the same VI Client, if Update Manager is installed first, it sometimes happens that the Converter plug-in fails to install. The symptom is that the Converter client plug-in installation progress bar shows no progress.
Workaround: Cancel the Converter plug-in installation by clicking Cancel on the right side of the installation progress bar. Then click Download and Install again. The Converter plug-in now installs.
When you convert a Windows Vista source machine to a virtual machine manually using custom settings, user accounts for the converted machine do not behave as expected
Specifically, the user account with administrative privileges is disabled because the customization process disables the administrator account, even though the account was initially enabled. If no other user account is in an enabled state, the newly-created virtual machine is not usable because there is no way to log on to it.
Workaround: Create another user with administrative privileges on the source machine before the conversion and customization.
No warning message appears when you delete a converter server
If you delete a converter server using the installer, when you click Remove on the Program Maintenance page, the server is deleted without a user confirmation prior to the deletion. This is true even if the converter service is still running. There is no workaround at this time.
Cloning a virtual machine running Microsoft Windows fails if you have modified multi syntax in the boot.ini file
If you have modified multi syntax [multi(xxx)disk(xxx) rdisk(xxx)partition(xxx)\%systemroot%] in the boot.ini file, attempting to clone (either hot or cold clone) a machine running Microsoft Windows fails. Converter does not support systems with a boot.ini that has lines different from the form described here. The workaround is to use the standard syntax.
On a Windows Vista virtual machine that has more than one virtual NIC, some NICs don't capture the static IP addresses when customization is used to set them
If you try to configure static IP settings for more than one NIC on a Vista guest operating system, the settings might not be applied correctly to all NICs. The workaround is to manually configure the static IP settings.
Get an error when customizing an imported virtual machine
When you customize an imported virtual machine and the importing percent reaches 100%, an error (UNKNOWN_METHOD_FAULT.summary) appears. If you are experiencing this problem with your Converter enterprise server running Microsoft Windows 2000, the workaround is to upgrade to SP3 or higher. If you are experiencing this problem with Microsoft Windows XP, upgrade to SP1 or higher.
When importing a virtual machine, task does not complete if the machine name is too big
When you import a virtual machine and give the destination virtual machine a name that exceeds 60 characters, the task will not complete. The destination virtual machine name field allows for up to 80 characters, but a timestamp is appended to the name you select. If the combination of characters in the name and timestamp exceeds this limit, the problem occurs. The workaround is to use destination machine names of 60 characters or less.
Microsoft Windows NT does not preserve the drive letters in a cloned virtual machine
If you clone a Windows NT4 machine and select the "create a separate disk for each volume" option, volume drive letters in the target virtual machine are modified with the exception of active and system volumes. The workaround is to manually reset volume drive letters by launching Disk Administrator in the target virtual machine, right clicking the volume, and invoking the Assign Drive Letter option.
Restarting VirtualCenter Server when Converter Enterprise is importing a virtual machine causes out of sync inventory
If you restart VirtualCenter Server during an import, the Recent Tasks pane does not show the running Converter tasks. The target virtual machine is unusable if VirtualCenter Server is stopped while the import task is running. You must remove the target virtual machine and reimport it.
Importing a Windows Vista source machine with invalid customization values corrupts the destination machine
The destination virtual machine issues an error message and reboots over and over if any of the following situations occur when you customize your Windows Vista source machine:
Workaround: Make sure that you are using valid customization values. If possible, avoid joining a domain.
- The product key is incorrect
- The domain name or domain administrator credentials are invalid
- The domain controller is unreachable because, for example, the virtual machine has no network connectivity or the domain controller is not in the network
Converter Enterprise allows import of powered on hosted sources
Converter Enterprise allows import of powered on or suspended hosted sources, but this action is not supported.
Workaround: Shut down and power off the virtual machine before importing it.
Setting the firewall on Windows systems to allow incoming file share connections
To allow incoming file share connections, you must set Windows Firewall in the following cases:
When you use Windows Firewall, you must allow File and Printer Sharing. Also, to access File and Printer Sharing ports, you might need to change the scope of the IP addresses that the firewall allows. To activate File and Printer Sharing and change the scope of IP addresses, follow these steps:
- When the machine is used to host standalone images
- When the machine is used as a standalone destination
- When the machine will be remotely hot cloned
- Go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Windows Firewall.
- Click the Exceptions tab and select File and Printer Sharing.
- Click Edit.
- For each listed port, click Change Scope and select Custom list.
- Add the range of IP addresses that need access.
If needed, change the scope of allowed IP addresses by selecting one of the following (by default, only local subnet IPs are allowed):
- Open the Control Panel and select Administrative tools > Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.
- Double-click Inbound rules and in the list of rules, select the rule(s) for File and Printer Sharing (SMB-in).
- Select View Properties and under Properties, select Scope and select Remote IP address.
If a third party firewall is used, you must allow access to the following file sharing ports: TCP 139 and 445 and UDP 137 and 138.
- Any IP address
- Custom list of IP addresses which need access to the file server (By default, this list contains "local subnet")
Manual uninstall of VMware Converter Enterprise Agent from remote source physical machine may be required
In some cases, manual cleanup of the Converter Enterprise Agent may be required. You can uninstall VMware Converter Enterprise Agent from the Add/Remove Programs control panel on the source physical machine.
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 Enterprise boots from the wrong disk because a VMware virtual machine looks for the first disk in the disk list.
- Boot the imported virtual machine and press F2 to enter the BIOS.
- Go to the Boot menu.
- Highlight the Hard Drive row and press Enter.
- Change the boot order of the disks so that the system disk is first.
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 occurs because of
a problem with Microsoft's sysprep, which has deleted the drive letter mappings, preventing access to certain files.
Customization not applied if virtual machine manually restarted after reconfiguration
The process for customization occurs in this order:
If you manually reboot the virtual machine after step 2, not waiting for the virtual machine to automatically
reboot, the customization process does not work.
- Customize the virtual machine image with Converter Enterprise and wait for 100% Complete
- Power on the virtual machine
- Wait for it to reboot automatically
- Sysprep processes the customizations
- Sysprep reboots the virtual machine
- The Windows operating system loads, and the network configurations occur
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 reboots twice before you can safely log in.
Converter Enterprise 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.
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.
A cloning operation for a disk with lots of free space fails when you import all disks and maintain size (applies to ESX 3.0 and below only)
This can happen when the ESX server takes more than 10 minutes to write zeroes to fill the free space (about 20GB).
Workaround: Check the logs, and if there are error
messages with NFC failures, use one of the other cloning methods (the "Select volumes . . ." method, with or without resizing).
Importing a Windows Vista source with a USB device to some versions of ESX Server causes a critical system error
If a Windows Vista source with a USB port is imported to an ESX 3.0, 3.0.1, or 3.0.2 destination, the virtual machine issues a blue screen on
first startup because the destination machine does not support USB devices.
Workaround: Remove usb.present = "TRUE" from the converted .vmx file and power on the target virtual machine.
Reimporting a failed or canceled Converter Enterprise import task might fail with source in use
If you try to rerun a failed or canceled import task immediately after cancellation or failure, Converter Enterprise might fail and report
that the source machine is in use. When an import task fails or is canceled, VMware Infrastructure Client immediately indicates this,
but it takes a few minutes for Converter to remove the target virtual machine. Before trying to reimport the source machine, wait for the target virtual
machine to be removed. This is indicated by the successful completion of the "Destroy Virtual Machine task" (generated by Converter Enterprise server)
in the task pane of the VirtualCenter client.
Converter operations to VirtualCenter fail when the source machine disk size is greater than 256GB
The block size limits are:
When VMware Converter Enterprise tries to import a source machine containing a disk size greater than 256GB, virtual machine creation fails. This is a Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) limitation. By default, when you create a datastore the block size limit is 1MB. To increase the file size, create a VMFS3 datastore with a larger block size.
- VMFS2: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, or 64MB
- VMFS3: 1, 2, 4, or 8MB
Converter Enterprise Server remote agent deployment fails on Windows Vista systems
Converter Enterprise agent remotely hot clones the remote source to the destination managed by VirtualCenter Server 2.5. However, in the case of Windows Vista, the remote agent is deployed but fails to run. Therefore, these systems cannot be remotely hot cloned.
Workaround 1: Power off the remote source. Use the VMware Converter Enterprise Boot CD to import the system by cold cloning.
Workaround 2: Turn off Windows Vista User Account Control (UAC) before beginning the remote hot clone. For more information, search on the Microsoft Web site for the "Windows User Account Control Step-by-Step Guide."
VMware Converter Enterprise cannot read short host names
If you log in to VMware Infrastructure Client by using a short machine name for VirtualCenter that is resolvable by the client machine but not by the Converter Enterprise agent, the agent fails to connect to VirtualCenter. When Converter Enterprise Server tries to contact the VirtualCenter server during the remote hot clone setup, the following error message is issued: Unable to find the server. Verify that the server name is correct and then try again.
Workaround: Log in by using a fully qualified host name or IP address in VMware Infrastructure client. Alternatively, you can ensure that the short host name of the VirtualCenter Server is resolvable from the remote source.
Importing an Acronis image of a system with dynamic disks fails
In some circumstances, importing an Acronis image of a system with dynamic disk fails with the following error message: Guest OS not found. VMware Converter Enterprise does not support importing system images with dynamic disks.
The "Create a separate disk for each volume option" is not recommended for multi-boot systems
The Create a separate disk for each volume option on the Source Data page of the Conversion wizard does not support multi-boot systems. If you clone a physical or virtual machine that has a multi-boot configuration, every system volume except for the recognized system volume is placed on a new disk. This prevents the target virtual machine from booting into any of the additional system volumes.
Workaround: Deselect additional system volumes so they are not cloned in the target virtual machine.
The CD-ROM device does not work after importing Windows Vista to virtual machines
The CD-ROM device does not work after importing Windows Vista to ESX 3.x or to a Workstation earlier than VMware Workstation 6. The CD-ROM driver that comes with Windows Vista does not work with the emulated CD-ROM devices in ESX 3.x and Workstation versions earlier than 6. Support for Windows Vista as a guest operating system is experimental for ESX 3.0.x and Workstation 5.x. Vista is fully supported as a guest operating system on Workstation 6. Workstation 4.x and ESX 2.x do not support Vista. For a list of VMware products that have experimental support for Windows Vista, see the Guest Operating System Installation Guide.
VMware Converter Enterprise Update 4 for VirtualCenter 2.5 is localized for this release.
Some text is truncated in the German version of the restart window after installing VMware Converter Enterprise Server on Windows 2000 or NT
There is no workaround at this time.
Upgrade from U4 English version to U4 localized version requires removing the English version
If you have installed the English version of Upgrade 4, and want to install the localized version of Upgrade 4, you must remove the English version first and then install the localized version. There is no workaround at this time.
Exporting a virtual machine does not complete if non-ASCII characters are used for the target virtual machine name
If you export a virtual machine and enter non-ASCII characters for the target virtual machine name in the Export Wizard, the task is not successful. This is a Unicode issue and applies to all languages. The workaround is to avoid using non-ASCII characters in the machine name field.
The build number for localized versions of the Converter Plug-In Manager is different from the build number displayed in Microsoft Windows Add or Remove Programs
For localized versions of Converter Enterprise client, the build number that appears in the Microsoft Windows Add or Remove Programs screen is 126.96.36.199418. The build number that appears in the Plug-In Manager window when you install Converter in the VI Client is 188.8.131.52417. This discrepancy is a known issue and is not cause for concern.
When upgrading from Update 1 to Update 2, Update 3, or Update 4 on a non-English operating system, use the English installer and not the all-locale build if you want to use the English application on a non-English operating system
When you upgrade your Converter Enterprise application running on a localized (non-English) operating system to U2, U3, or U4 always perform the upgrade using the English installer if you want to run the application in English.
If the all locale installer is used for the upgrade on a localized operating system, Converter runs in the locale of the underlying operating system.
Virtual Machines with non-ASCII characters in their folder name and configuration file name cannot be powered on with Fusion
If you export a virtual machine that contains non-ASCII characters in either its folder name or configuration (.vmx) file name, you cannot power it on with VMware Fusion.
Remote agent installation is unsuccessful when specifying a computer or DNS name with non-ASCII characters in the Import wizard
If you use non-ASCII characters to populate the computer or DNS name field in the Import wizard when installing the Converter Enterprise remote agent, the installation fails. Clicking on the Log Info button displays an erroneous log location message. The workaround is to use the IP address instead.
Text is truncated in the German version of the Resource Pool page in the Import and Export Wizard
Some German text is truncated on the Resource Pool page of the Import and Export wizard screens. The text in English reads as follows: "Resource pools allow hierarchical management of computing resources within a host or cluster. Virtual machines and child pools share the resources of their parent pool." There is no workaround at this time.
Customization might fail if a non-ASCII word starting with an English character is used in some fields of the customization wizard
In the Converter Enterprise customization wizard, non-ASCII characters are not permitted for the Computer Name, Domain Name, and Workgroup fields. The wizard disables entering non-ASCII characters for these fields, but if a non-ASCII word is entered starting with an English character, the user interface currently accepts the word instead of blocking it, but the customization may not happen as expected. There is no workaround at this time.
The name of the computer on which VMware Converter Enterprise Update 1, Update 2, Update 3, and Update 4 for VirtualCenter 2.5 is installed must not contain non-ASCII characters. This applies also to the installation path names. Use the default names because the installer does not support installation path names containing non-ASCII characters.
Configuration and Display Limitations
- Datastore names, virtual network names, and image files names (CD, DVD, and floppy drive) must contain only ASCII characters.
- In conformance with general Internet practice and protocols, the following must contain ASCII characters only: host names, workgroup names, domain names, URLs, email addresses, SMTP server names, and SNMP community strings.
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