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Importing Virtual Machines and System Images from Other Formats

To accompany Workstation release version 5.0, VMware introduced the VMware Virtual Machine Importer, a separate downloadable application for Windows hosts that creates a new VMware virtual machine from a Microsoft Virtual PC or Virtual Server virtual machine. In Workstation release version 5.5, the importer is incorporated into the Workstation program for Windows hosts, and enhanced with the ability to create VMware virtual machines from system images created with Symantec LiveState Recovery.

If you have upgraded Workstation to version 5.5, you no longer need the standalone VMware Virtual Machine Importer application: you can import virtual machines and system images directly from Workstation, as described in the following sections.

If you have not upgraded your Workstation program to version 5.5, the standalone VMware Virtual Machine Importer is available as a download from the VMware Web site at www.vmware.com/download/">www.vmware.com/download/. You can download the user's manual that accompanies the standalone importer at
www.vmware.com/pdf/vm_importer_manual.pdf">www.vmware.com/pdf/vm_importer_manual.pdf.

Note: Although Workstation version 5.5 includes the importer, the standalone VMware Virtual Machine Importer v1.5 is compatible with Workstation 5.5. You can install both programs on the same machine. The Windows control panel Add or Remove Programs will contain entries for VMware Virtual Machine Importer 1.5 and Workstation 5.5. The Virtual Machine Importer files will remain until you uninstall both the importer and Workstation applications.

Caution: The standalone VMware Virtual Machine Importer v1.0 is not compatible with Workstation 5.5. If you currently have Workstation 5.5 installed, do not attempt to install VMware Virtual Machine Importer v1.0. The version 1.0 importer cannot be installed over Workstation 5.5. Attempting this installation will damage the Workstation installation and disable the import capability built into Workstation 5.5.

Virtual Machine Importer: Overview

The VMware Virtual Machine Importer allows you to import virtual machines from Microsoft® Virtual Server and Virtual PC, and Symantec® LiveState Recovery system images to the following VMware platforms:

  • Workstation 5.0
  • Legacy Virtual Machines (for example, virtual machines compatible with Workstation 4.x, GSX Server 3.x, ESX Server 2.x, and ACE 1.x)
  • The importer is a wizard that outputs a completely new VMware virtual machine based on the input virtual machine or system image. The newly-migrated VMware virtual machine retains the configuration of the original virtual machine or image.

    The migration process is non-destructive, so you can continue to use the original virtual machine with Virtual PC, or the original system image with LiveState Recovery. However, if you plan to run a new VMware virtual machine on the same network as the original Virtual PC virtual machine, you must modify the network name and IP address on one of the virtual machines, so the original and new virtual machines can coexist properly.

    Benefits of the Importer

    The importer lets you convert existing Virtual PC virtual machines and LiveState Recovery system images to VMware virtual machines, allowing you to:

  • Avoid reinstalling operating systems and applications for system configurations you use often.
  • Overcome legacy migration barriers — certain legacy systems may be impossible to recreate through reinstallation.
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