VMware Converter Best Practices

VMware Converter is a software which permits you to convert physical server (or PC) into Virtual Machine. This magical piece of this free software can at the same time align properly the destination VM’s virtual disks in order to get the best possible performance. NOTE: Before starting if you want to convert your existing domain controller into VM then you must see following VMware KB (1006996) before proceeding. Following are the some of best practices for P2V (Physical to Virtual) in VMWare Convertor. Guidelines for machine (Before Conversion)

  1. Always use the “latest version” of VMware converter
  2. Install the VMware converter software “directly onto the source OS” if you can, if not go and do remote conversion (as last resort do cold clone)
  3. Minimum Requirement of the Disk is “200MB”
  4. Shut down any kind of “Database or unneeded services” and “applications”
  5. Disable “Antivirus” software.
  6. Run “msconfig” and disable every possible service and application which runs at startup (except all Microsoft services and converter service)
  7. If the NIC of the source machine is compatible TOE (TCP offload engine) card, you must disable by “netsh int ip set chimney DISABLED”
  8. If you’re converting server with static IP, reconfigure to “DHCP”. To save your IP Configuration on C Drive use command “ipconfig /all >c:\ip.txt”.
  9. If you are using firewall make sure disable it for a while other wise open these port “443 and 902”.
  10. Always Connect to “IP rather than DNS name” of your ESXi Server or VCenter as destination.
  11. Use Administrative account for authentications.
  12. Use unique Name for Target VM to avoid any type of name conflict.
  13. If you’re converting Virtual PC VM, remove the “Virtual PC additions” first

Guidelines for machine (During Conversion) To Optimized the Conversation Process try to meet the below guidelines as much as you can.

  1.  Leave the default number of NICs as is this can be changed later.
  2. Do not Install VMware Tools – do not check the check box
  3. Do not select Customize on the VM
  4. Do not choose to resize destination partitions
  5. Do not convert diagnostic or some unknown partitions

Guidelines for Machine (After Conversion) These are the guideline you might want to check that as well after machine converted.

  1. Start in “Safe mode” first.
  2. Uninstall some of those: RAID management tools, network teaming or management software, wireless card management software, and video and sound drivers.
  3. Restart In “Normal mode”. Do not restart if prompted by an uninstall program, unless you finished with all un-installations.
  4. Remove all unnecessary virtual hardware.to know how to remove the ghosted devices see my article Removing hidden Devices in Device Manager
  5. If the source server is configured with “multi-CPU” hardware abstraction layer (HAL), and the destination virtual machine is configured to use a “Single CPU”, you should change the HAL. To know how to change the HAL see my article How to change from ACPI Multiprocessor HAL back to ACPI Uniprocessor HAL
  6. Install VMware Tools and restart
  7. Configure your server with static IP address.
  8. Reconnect the Virtual NIC cards as needed
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