VMware Converter - Converting an Existing Windows System

The Converter is a client/server program, where the converter server runs on ecsvm-admin.ecs and the client can run anywhere, such as win-admin.

Firewall Rules
If the source physical Windows system is in the DMZ, you will need to add a couple of rules to the firewall "Short-Term Rules" section allowing all traffic from ECS-internal to the source host and from the source host to ECS-internal. You should remove these rules again once the conversion has completed.

Starting the Conversion
Start the VMWare Converter Standalone Client program.
IP Address/Name = ecsvm-admin:7443
Username = administrator (or your own sys* username if you are registered on the vSphere with an account).
Password = Windows-infrastructure password

Click the "Convert Machine" button in the toolbar.
Source type = Powered-on machine
Give remote machine full hostname.
Give username and password of a user in the "Administrators" group on the source Windows system, such as the "ECS2000\administrator" account and domain password..
OS Family = Windows.

It should connect to the source physical system.
If it fails, then give it the IP address of the source physical system instead of the name of it.
If it still fails, then Remote Desktop to the source physical system, download the converter (from browsing the datastores starting at http://ecsvm-admin.ecs.soton.ac.uk/) and install the converter agent (not the client/server setup) onto the source system, then run it again from there.
When it asks for the name of the source system to convert, give it the IP address of the source system (which is the same system you are now running the Converter on).

Tell it to automatically uninstall the files when the import succeeds.
It will then deploy the agent, which takes a few seconds.

VMware Infrastructure server details:
Server = ecsvm-admin
Username = administrator (or your sys* username if you have an account on vSphere).
Password = Windows-infrastructure password (or yours).

Select host to run the VM on = ecsvm-admin1.ecs.soton.ac.uk.
Virtual machine name = short hostname (eg. major-backup).
Datastore = infrastore1-Vol2 (an infrastore volume with plenty of free space).
Virtual machine version = Version 7.

Destination Attributes: Name = short hostname, Folder = ecs
Data to copy: Click "Advanced...", then "Target Layout...".
Set all large, non-swap filesystems to "Thin provisioning" (this is "Dynamic disks" in Microsoft speak, where only the disk space in use is actually allocated on disk, used disk space expands as necessary to hold the data, up to the maximum set by the size of the filesystem).
Set the Size of the normal large filesystems (eg. "C:") to a reasonable number, no point in making them huge, most will fit in 60Gbytes.
Switch to the "Source Volumes" tab to see how much space is actually in use at the moment.
Normally set C: to thin provisioning, 60GBytes or more.
It is important not to waste disk space on Flat-provisioned disks that are not going to use all their space. Disk is relatively expensive.
Devices: Numer of processors = 1.
Disk controller = SCSI LSI Logic or SCSI Buslogic.
Memory = usually the default will be fine.
Networks: Network adapters to connect = 1
Set the network for the network adapter to be the same Virtual Machine Network VLAN as the physical machine you are converting.
The new virtual machine will take over the IP address of the physical source machine.
Services: Source Services: switch off services that should not be left running when the VM is created (such as SQL Server or WWW Publishing Service, and Hyper-V services if moving from Hyper-V to VMware). Destination Services: set all Hyper-V services to "Disabled".
Advanced Options: Power on target machine = yes
Power off source machine = yes
Install VMware Tools on the imported virtual machine = yes
Configure guest preferences for the virtual machine = no
Remove System Restore checkpoints on destination = yes
Reconfigure destination virtual machine = yes


It should now just show you the final option settings and then start the process of converting the host. Wait for the whole process to finish before touching either the source (physical) or destination (virtual) machines.

How long it takes depends on the quantity of data that has to be moved. You can expect about 20 to 25 MBytes/second conversion speed. A machine with about 7GB of used disk takes about 25 minutes to convert.

As the process is run by the Converter Server (running on ecsvm-admin), it doesn't matter if you quit the Windows app used to watch the process, you can track the progress of the conversion from the Converter Windows app running on any PC.

After the Conversion has Finished
Open a console on the new VM.
In the "VM/Guest" menu, install the VM tools. This will insert a CD into the virtual CD drive, what happens then is dependent on the Windows Autoplay preferences in the virtual machine.
This will force a restart of the virtual machine.

Shutdown the virtual machine.
Once the VM has stopped, edit the settings of the VM and choose the middle "Options" tab. In the "VMware Tools" settings, right at the bottom right of the dialog there is an option to "Synchronize guest time with host". Tick this box.
Okay that, then power on the VM.
It should successfully boot.

The VM should now be fully running happily and serving its services to the users.

Now just remove the two temporary firewall rules you added at the start of this process.