VMware Converter P2V Fails with Fatal Error

I receveived the following error when trying to verify destination parameters when converting a physical server to a virtual machine (P2V) using Vmware Converter:

Vmware vCenter Converter Standalone Fatal Error Occurred.  The most common reason for this is loss of network connection.
The wizard will now be closed.
Please check your network connection and try again.
I verified the network connection to the physical server and ESX host was not interrupted.
The following messages were seen in the Vmware Converter log files found at C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone\logs:

[#8] [2010-07-08 12:06:41.810 05436 error ‘DisksAndVolumesDataConnectionLogger’] Exception getting Disks and Volumes, _sourceStorageInfo is missing!!

[#8] [2010-07-08 12:06:41.810 05436 error ‘DisksAndVolumesDataConnectionLogger’] Exception getting Disks and Volumes info!!

In order to get the P2V process to complete, I did the following:

  1. Open Device Manager on the physical server you are converting to a VM guest
  2. Under Disk Drives, disable Dell VSF
  3. Under DVD/CD-ROM drives, disable Dell VCD
  4. Reboot the physical server
  5. Restart the P2V process
As a side note, this server did not contain a Dell DRAC.  I have successfully P2V’d servers that contain DRACs, but ran into similar problems when the server had virtual media connected within the DRAC session.  Disconnecting the DRAC virtual media allowed the P2V to complete in those cases.

Fix: Incompatible device specified for device ‘0’ when cold migrating VMware guest

I received the following error message when using the vSphere Client to cold migrate a VMware guest running on ESX 3.0.2 to a new datastore : 

Incompatible device specified for device ‘0’
The migration failed at 99%.  VMware KB 9105247 suggested the problem was an attached .ISO image file.  No .ISOs were showing as attached in the VI client, so I edited the guest’s .vmx file.  I found the following in the .vmx file:
ide0:0.fileName = “/usr/lib/vmware/isoimages/windows.iso”
So although the VI client did not indicate there was an .ISO file attached to the CD-ROM, the guest thought there was one.  I removed the CD-ROM from the guest’s configuration and re-added it, and the .vmx file was changed to the following:
ide0:0.deviceType = “cdrom-raw”
I then started the storage migration once more, and it completed successfully.

Script to gracefully power off a VM guest

You can use vmware-cmd to shut down a VMware guest.  The syntax is

vmware-cmd /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/guest1/guest1.vmx stop

Powering off a VM guest is often part of a larger script, so I need to know when the guest is really down before executing the remainder of my script.  The following code checks the guest’s state using getstate.  If the state=1, which means it’s still running, the script waits for the shutdown to complete.

# gently power off VM
vmware-cmd /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/guest1/guest1.vmx stop

# check VM state 
# If not powered off (state=0), sleep, and recheck VM state in 15 seconds
while [ ` vmware-cmd /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/guest1/guest1.vmx getstate|grep on|wc -l` -eq 1 ]
echo "Waiting for VM guest to shutdown...."
sleep 15

# check VM guest state 8 times
if [ $COUNT -eq 8 ]
echo "VM guest shutdown is taking too long. Cannot shut down guest VM."


Replace datastore1 with the name of and path to your datastore.  Replace guest1 with the name of your VMware guest.  Tested on Vmware ESX 3.0.2.

Network card configuration missing after P2V using VMware Converter

Last night I converted a physical Windows 2003 R2 server to a VMware virtual machine using VMware Converter Standalone version 4.0.1.  The entire process was extremely simple, only four steps.  After the P2V conversion completed, the physical machine powered off, and the newly created VM booted up.  Everything appeared to be normal, until I realized I couldn’t RDP into the new VM.

I jumped on the server console via the Virtual Infrastructure client, and found that my VM was receiving an IP address from DHCP, rather than the static address the physical server was configured with.  I attempted to assign the static IP to the NIC, and received a message that an existing NIC already was using that IP address.   No other NICs were visible in the Network Connections applet.

I immediately thought back to my post from earlier this summer titled Fix: The IP address you have entered for this network adapter is already assigned to another adapter that is hidden from the Network Connections folder because it is not physically in the computer”  This post details how to start Device Manager in a mode that shows hidden devices.  I was able to follow the steps to remove the phantom NIC, then was able to assign the static IP address to the VM’s NIC, which allowed me to RDP into the server once again. 

The steps are:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd.exe, and then press ENTER.
  2. Type set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1, and then press ENTER.
  3. Type Start DEVMGMT.MSC, and then press ENTER.
  4. Click View, and then click Show Hidden Devices.
  5. Expand the Network adapters tree.
  6. Right-click the dimmed network adapter, and then click Uninstall.
Finally I configured the static IP on the NIC, and all was well.

Howto: Reset a lost VMware guest password

So you’ve forgotten your VMware Linux or Windows guest password?  Here’s how to reset it.  These instructions focus on resetting the password through the Virtual Infrastructure Client, but there’s no reason you couldn’t do it using VMware Workstation or VMware Server.  

1. Grab a Kon-Boot .iso image.
2. In the Virtual Infrastructure client, configure the problematic guest’s Virtual CDROM for the Kon-boot ISO image.
3. Boot the problem guest server.  At the VMware BIOS screen, press the ESC key to bring up the boot menu.  Select to boot from CD-ROM.
4. When the Kon-Boot splash screen appears, press Enter to boot Windows.
5. At the Windows login screen, enter administrator as the user name, with any password you’d like.  Note:  This password is not persistent!  You must set the administrator password manually! Once the password is set, reboot the server and you will be able to login with the newly set credentials.
If you are trying to reset the password in Linux, the steps are the same, but instead of logging into Windows and resetting the adminstrator password, login to Linux and reset the root password.

Fix for VMWare error: Could not open virtual machine, this virtual machine appears to be in use

This morning I received the following error when trying to power on a VMware Workstation virtual machine:

Could not open virtual machine: C:\VMs\Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition.vmx. This virtual machine appears to be in use.

To resolve the issue, I deleted all of the .lck files and directories in the guest’s directory listed above. This allowed me to start my VM. I encounter this error from time to time, yet always forget how to resolve it.

Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 4 now available as VMware Virtual Appliance

Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 4 is now available as a VMware Virtual Appliance free download.

The fourth alpha release of Ubuntu 8.10 “Intrepid Ibex” is ready for testing.

New features:

  • X.Org server 1.5 brings much better support for hot-plugable input devices such as tablets, keyboards, or mice
  • Linux kernel 2.6.26
  • encrypted private directory
  • guest session – the GNOME user switching applet now provides an extra entry for starting a guest session, this creates a temporary password-less user account with restricted privileges
  • Network Manager 0.7 which comes with long-expected features, such as managing system-wide settings, 3G connections (GSM/CDMA.), multiple active devices, PPP and PPPoE connections, devices with static IP configurations, routes for devices.

Last updated: 08/25/2008