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How to convert a physical server to virtual vCenter Converter

Written by Xaus Xavier Nadal on September 19th, 2009

Hi, Today I will explain how to convert a physical to virtual server on an environment that is highly available by 4.0.1 version of the software build-161434 VMware vCenter Converter in the shortest time and without affecting further the service provided to end users.

This article also define:

How to increase a virtual disk during migration

As a separate physical disks into virtual disks in a migration

As expand RAM during a migration

As Cores expand during a migration.

The scenario that we will assemble to perform the item will be as follows:

Physical server with the following characteristics:

Windows Server operating system 2003

Pentium 4 - 3 Ghz (2 processors)

1.5 GB of RAM.

Disk C: 8 GB

Disco D: 30 GB

Physical server will place the future where virtual server installed on VMware ESX 3.5 with the following characteristics (Remember that the target server hardware should always have enough to house the originating server (Comprobadlo before migration).

8 processors 3 Ghz.

32 GB of RAM

60 GB disk (local) (no connection available disk array or NAS, or iSCSI, therefore we can not have a high availability).

The virtual system will configure it as follows during the migration process.

All default options

Disk C: 10 GB (He will expand on the same GB migration 2 more)

The disk D: virtualizaremos not to offer a wider range of possibilities at the time of forming this article.

There are ways to use 2 VMware vCenter ConverterOne of them is from the Virtual Center and the other is from an installation "standalone" on a Windows machine. We're going to do with the program installed as standalone (solo).

This procedure can be performed from any PC regardless of being on the same network as the physical machine or virtual as the program is able to take the traffic from the source to the destination directly.

After the small practice theory is expected.

Run the Converter Standalone Client program that you downloaded from the VMware Web.


click on Convert Machine.


Fill the following fields:

IP address or name: <The Ip or server name origen>

user name: User> with local Administrator permissions on the server origen>

Password: <The same user password>

Click on Next.


Making a choice I will manually uninstall the files later and click on And it is.

NOTE: We have marked the second option (not eliminating the agent automatically) to load the save process, only if we have plans to re-boot the physical server without formatting, we will mark the option to delete the agent automatically.

This step will install the agent on the source server to perform the migration process.


Fill the following fields:

Server: <IP ESX server where the server will place virtual>

User name: User> root of sistema>

Password: User <strong root>

And click on Next.


We modify the field Virtual machine name putting the name you give to the virtual server.

NOTE: This name will also be the folder you create ESX environment to store the virtual machine and its disk.

Select the Datastore (Check that there is sufficient space available to store the virtual machine)

Click on Next.


This is where we define the virtual machine configuration.

First of all we will modify the records section since as we mentioned at the beginning of the article we will increase the C: drive in GB 2 and let remove the disk D:

click on Edit in the field Data to copy.


Unmarked unit D: the Source Volume (Since this migration is not the need to conserve).

In the source volume C: click on the dropdown Target Size and mark the option <type Size in GB>


We introduce the value 10 because as we said before we will extend it in 2 8 GB available.


We check in Devices which has the same number of cores, memory, etc ... that the origin server (If we wanted to expand, this is where it has to do).


We found that the network cards are pointing to the correct VLAN. (In this case it is not and we change it).


In the dropdown Partners select the NIC where was the physical server or a VLAN in the same range.

A new feature in this version of the converter is the ability to change the status of the services, you can configure a number of ways including stopping services to complete the migration origin and destination tearing.

Finally, in Advanced options.


We make the following

Synchronize changes file to the source That OCCUR Turing cloning. (With this we obtain that all changes made to the source machine during the migration are replicated to the target machine to complete the migration by this migration can be made hot without requiring users to log off the system and without the need for stop processes, etc.., although it is recommended to make the migration that have not torn or services connected users).

Install VMware Tools on the imported virtual machine. (That install the VMware Tools during migration in the target system to use graphics acceleration, greater interaction with the hardware, etc..)

Power on target machine. (With this option to synchronize the changes file and get to do live migration with minimal cutting of the service for the end user).

Power off source machine. (This will create the virtual machine boot and shutdown target virtual machine automatically origin)

click on Next.


We found that all data is correct and click on Finish to begin the process of virtualization.


When the process we will see a summary like this:


The physical system will stop responding and we must connect to the ESX from the VMware Infrastructure Client to configure the network card and graphics options:


We enter the tab consul.


Click on OK in the error message. (This appears no longer detects the physical network card and has no IP configuration so that network services can not pluck).

We started the session on the server. (The server will reboot to install the VMwareTools).

We start the session again, the system detects a new network card that we set.

Configure the network card in the same way that we had on the physical server, when we click on accept the system detects that a configuration is already well on another network card (the physical card that the system is able to detect). By not being able to reconfigure we miss the message.


click on No.

Now you will have ping on the machine again.

Now we set the graphics options of the video card to speed up the refresh rate.

Click on properties on the Desktop Server -> Settings -> Advanced -> Troubleshoot ->


We move the Hardware Acceleration a Complete and click on OK.

We have fully virtualized system. !

Summary: Maximum time of outage 10 minutes (This has caused the need to configure the network card again)

Comments and additions 1:

In any case in which the source server is old you may have to extend the maximum record size from the Advanced system settings.

My Computer Properties -> Advanced tab -> Performance Options -> Change -> and increase the maximum log size in a 30% about to perform the conversion correctly.


Comments and additions 2:

In the case that we will perform the conversion to physical disks 2 what we will in the following manner:

In the section on configuring the target virtual machine (Step 3 conversion).


click on Advanced ... en Data copy type


In the tab target layout click on Add Disk.


Select the disk D: and click on Move Down.


This will cause the system to create 2 disks (one for each physical disk). This will improve performance significantly because it does not affect the movement of data from a virtual disk to another, etc ...

I hope this article has been helpful and I have been entertaining.

See you soon.

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9 Responses to "How to convert a physical server to virtual vCenter Converter"

  1. jh3n1 Says:

    ok thank you very much I will make and you commented how I was
    I hope to do with opensuse or ubuntuserver I need urg

    thanks anyway for the explanation of the program.

  2. vijuctato Says:

    This best!! I commented after I spend

  3. Oswal Says:

    Well thanks, I need to virtualize a WinServer 2003 SBS, the data is interesting, id go and comment

  4. July Says:

    laburo good skinny, I'll see if I try to win 2000 server and comment

  5. Domenico Says:

    Hello, very good manual, but you know that I am a full stop and I get this error: Synchronization can not be enabled if one or more volumes requires file-level cloning. Please disable synchronization or refrain from resizing the target volumes. As an exception, synchronization is allowed when to NTFS volumes are extended to a larger size in the target.

    I am fast becoming my own virtual pc, then that makes my pc will continue to work? one would have to change the ip and the name of the virtual that can generate conflict in the network?

    I could help? Thank you very much

  6. xavixaus Says:

    Good Domenico,

    Yes, I still work, just remove the syncrhonization, so do not be wrong. And yes, just change the ip and remove all the physical hardware from the device management in the virtual machine.


  7. andres Says:

    Man, how I can reconfigure a virtual server?, Since vmware recognizes only 2 processors, and the physical machine that hosts has 2 8 physical processors and cores, should not show the 8, to select those who want to use?

  8. xavixaus Says:

    Andrew Good.
    Think you really have two processors but 8 cores.
    What you will see by checking that you have many gigahertz in total ... look you must have 2.4 8 GHz cores for example

    You can also see that when you create a virtual machine you can assign more processors 2

  9. Nestor Curcho Says:

    Good morning Xavier
    Very good article a question. I install the VMware vCenter Converted version 6.1.1 and only appear to me to convert three options Converted machine (Physical Machine, VMWare Virtual machine (VMX) and Hyper-V virtual machine) to which it must do I require installing a separate plugin, a limitation on is thanking in advance Nestor version Curcho your comments goodbye.

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