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VMware vCenter Converter 5.x - BootCD


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#1 john3voltas

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 12:57 PM

Hello.

It's been some time since I last used winbuilder and all the other tools referenced here in the forum.

But I am facing a difficult task and I remembered reboot.pro could have the solution to my problem.

VMware used to have a BootCD for their vCenter Converter tool but unfortunately it was discontinued since version 4.3 (current is v5.x).

I know that vCenter Converter Standalone can be installed on the any system that I wish to convert to virtual but somehow our credentials don't allow us to install software on this particular server (not even Windows updates).

Worse than that, we've been told that if we find a way to install anything on this server we will void the maintenance contract. Accounting software server. We reeeeally don't want to mess with our accounting software.

So we checked with them and they don't see any problem in converting the system to virtual.

So our only hope is to build a BootCD with network support that could run vCenter Converter 5.x.

Does anyone know how we could do that?

Thanks in advance.

Cheers



#2 sbaeder

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 09:40 PM

I guess I am confused, since AFAIK, to even get the OS (you didn't say, but I'm guessing it is a windows flavor'd OS that runs the accounting SW) to run on virtual HW, you would have to install drivers and such...So wouldn't that also change the image...

 

Maybe give us more background on what server it is, etc.  Couldn't you create the Virtual server, and give it a pretty big (empty) disk, and then use cloning SW (think GHOST or other more modern equivelents) to copy the disk image over to the virtual disk? 

 

But as I said above, in my experiance, the issues with getting it to boot and non-trivail when going to all "virtual" devices...

 

Maybe someone else here has any "bright" ideas...



#3 TheHive

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 03:32 AM

You can try PWBoot.


What is PWBoot project ?

PWBoot stands for Portable Windows Boot project, this project aims to be make your Windows operating system to boot from USB storage media easily.

 

 

http://reboot.pro/to...st-version-302/



#4 john3voltas

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 02:21 PM

I guess I am confused, since AFAIK, to even get the OS (you didn't say, but I'm guessing it is a windows flavor'd OS that runs the accounting SW) to run on virtual HW, you would have to install drivers and such...So wouldn't that also change the image...

You know, I hadn't thought about that. Indeed, when the VM is booted on the hypervisor it will immediately start uninstalling old drivers and ask for new drivers.
That has almost the same impact (not to say a whole lot more impact!) than installing a small vCenter agent that has been tested by hundreds of thousands of companies for over the last 5 years.
I will keep that in mind but to make it more clear, we didn't simply install vCenter agent because those guys from the accounting software are pussies and said they would drop support on us.
And they have agreed to support the product in a VM. So I honestly don't care as long as we can make the conversion and that it works properly.

Maybe give us more background on what server it is, etc.

Sure. The old server is a Windows 2003 Standard (before R2).
It has 2 PSU units but 1 of them has failed and since it is a "white label" hardware we can't find spares.
So we really need to either migrate the OS and software to a new hardware or convert it to virtual and add it to our VMware cluster.
Now, the software is very old and was discontinued. At the proper time we didn't opt to migrate to a new platform. Now we have a system whose hardware can suddenly become a huge paper-weight and whose software is stopped in time back in 2005.
We are already working (~ since 2 years ago) on a new accounting software and server but we need to keep old data available for historical and legal reasons for another ~ 6 years. :?

Couldn't you create the Virtual server, and give it a pretty big (empty) disk, and then use cloning SW (think GHOST or other more modern equivelents) to copy the disk image over to the virtual disk?

In the past we've tried doing that on a couple of occasions and it didn't work out for us.
Lots of errors and lots of red crosses in device manager after the VM booted.
That has never happened with any of the P2V conversions that we've done using vCenter Converter.

You can try PWBoot.

Thanks for the hint, TheHive.
I will surely take a good look at PWBoot. Hope it allows me to install software.

Thanks to both for your replies.
Cheers

#5 TheHive

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 06:25 PM

Also take a look at:

ETBoot, Boot your full Windows installation from CDDVD-ROM

 

http://reboot.pro/to...project-etboot/

 

project can create a real bootable Windows Live CD/DVD,
so you will be able to use full installation of Windows operating system on CD/DVD without installation.

Tested working Windows version list:

  • Windows XP (5.1 Build 2600 - SP2, SP3)
  • Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (5.1 Build 2600 - SP2)
  • Windows Server 2003 (5.2 Build 3790 - SP1, SP2)
  • Windows Code Name 'Longhorn' (6.0 Build 4051)

Possible working Windows version list:
  • Windows XP (5.1 Build 2600 - SP0, SP1, SP2, SP3)
  • Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (5.1 Build 2600 - SP2)
  • Windows Server 2003 (5.2 Build 3790 - SP0, SP1, SP2)
  • Windows Code Name 'Longhorn' (6.0 Build 3551~4094)
  • Windows Home Server (5.2 Build 4500)


#6 sbaeder

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 05:59 PM

I can sympathize with the dilemma!

 

I would also look at Disk2VHD, but if you have missing drivers, they will have to be mapped or updated.  I'm guessing that the vCenter tool does a lot of that for you, but no matter what, the basics of the underlying HW (real to emulated) will change somewhat...

 

here is link to article on it ...http://www.serverwat...-line-mode.html I am guessing best approach might be to use some other bootable OS image to "clone" the disk onto a separate hard-drive, then play with that one - i.e. attach that cloned drive to another computer to run the disk2vhd conversion, then see if you can boot that drive...

 

Keep us posted.






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