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Converting W2K machines with Dynamic Disks

Converting W2K machines with Dynamic Disks

Converting W2K machines with Dynamic Disks

I have converted a number of machines with this VmWare VM converter 4.x. Mostly 2003 servers, with hardware level RAID or mirroring.

I have a system with aging harware, running widows 2000 on dynamic disks with software mirroring. I can convert the machine, but it will not boot. Using VMWare Converter 4.01 to an ESXi host 4

I have tried both local and remote VmConverter sessions. Changed username and password for the service login. Adjusted the settings, to use same controller or LSI Adapter or IDE all with the same result. I have resized the distination partition to be smaller and left it the original size, in one I even increased the size. None will boot.

I have tried Paragon Drive backup 10 Server edition, and it says there are no disks that it can use, since the system disk is Dynamic, even though it claims it will work.

Now, I am trying a two fold convert here. I am converting the P to VM V then using WinImage to convert to Hyper-V. Which I have succesfully done wth a 2003 BEs server, although the Paragon solution solution offers a single step, I thought i would try that, I hit the Dynamic disk issue and tried the double conmvert.

Has anyone, succesfully converted a W2K with System dymanic drive to VMWare or Hyper-V? If so, what tools steps did you use. I have tried several methods, different how-to's all with no workable results.

RE: Converting W2K machines with Dynamic Disks

I have done a few 2000 servers with Dynamic Disks.  For Windows 2000 you should always use "Bus Logic" for the adapter type.  Also make sure you are not trying to convert any repair or utility type partitions.

For free P2V tools I like to use Vizioncore's free converter and if that doesn't work (only happened 1 time so far) then I will try VMwares converter.

RE: Converting W2K machines with Dynamic Disks

What is the function of the server? Is it an app server, FTP, web, DC? And describe "none will boot," do you get an error, blue screen, blank screen anything?


The answer is always "PEBKAC!"

RE: Converting W2K machines with Dynamic Disks

This case it's a DC. Just get a black screen.

RE: Converting W2K machines with Dynamic Disks

Yeah you can't P2V a domain controller. All kinds of bad things happen. Do a search on these forums about it, it is bad with 2003 but with Win2K it is even worse.

Okay so, there are a few people that have claimed to have done it and been successful. I'd like to meet these people because I have NEVER not once seen it successful. I've tried a 2k machine and an 03 machine. The 2k machine didn't work at all, the 03 cost me 2 days of headache.

Do yourself a favor, create a new DC, either 03 or 08 take over the FSMO roles to that new machine then demote your Win2k server by running DCPROMO.

Good luck!


The answer is always "PEBKAC!"

RE: Converting W2K machines with Dynamic Disks

I have P2V'ed a half dozen DC's, single and multiple DC domains, 2k3 and 2k DC's.  Only issue i ever ran into was on a multiple DC 2k3 domain and it was simple fix(I would have to refer to my notes if you really want to what the issue was).  I would suggest a cold conversion when P2V'ing DC's.


"This apparent fear reaction is typical, rather than try to solve technical problems technically, policy solutions are often chosen." - Fred Cohen

RE: Converting W2K machines with Dynamic Disks

We have also done successful P2V's of Domain Controllers, IN OUR LAB.  I would absolutely NEVER EVER, EVER!!! do it or reccommend anyone else do it in a production environment.

Depending on the size of your domain it should not take more than a couple of hours to build a new VM from a template, patch it all up if your template is not up to date, run dcpromo on it, transfer any FSMO roles from your physical DC to the new virtual DC and then dcpromo and shutdown the physical.

And before you find yourself in another situation that you don't want to find yourself in, never EVER allow vmware snapshots of your virtual Domain Controllers.  That is a recipe for disaster!!!

RE: Converting W2K machines with Dynamic Disks

My two cents: Yes, DC's can be P2V'd. But why would you want to? It is MUCH simpler to build a new DC and run DCPROMO. Besides, VMware's best practices are to NOT P2V a DC.

Also, in the case listed here, you are running into very typical problems with VMware Converter and Dynamic Disks. Ultimatly, the best solution is PlateSpin, which is pricey. but like always:

                  CHEAP          < Pick
               FAST    GOOD      < Two


RE: Converting W2K machines with Dynamic Disks

So, I ended up ghosting the server to Hyper-V. No domain level issues. It's a little sluggish to boot, and integration services did not take. The Web server worked like a dream, used ghost to convert.

The good news is the client now sees the light as far as keepg technology up to date and wants a W2K8 server in as a DC and SQL server. And some HA on the web server. One small victory. :)

FYI, anyone thinking of using a Netgear ReadyNAS 3200, think long and hard about it. This is just a side note that came out of this install/upgrade.

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