Import a Physical Microsoft 2003 Cluster ( MSCS ) to ESX 3i Server

Version 1

    I did a lot of searching through the forums for importing an existing MSCS physical cluster into VMWare and did not come across too many detailed posts. My dev systems had MSDTC clustered so I probably experienced more issues than what most people would have gone  through. This general walkthrough imports the systems into a single VMWare ESX 3i host server. The process is fairly straight forward, but success stems on having the right tools on hand with the right details in accomplishing the task. I hope someone else finds this useful. 



    Based on VMWare KB 1002661



    (These were steps used for a MSDTC cluster in which VSS of VMWare Tools would fail to install)

    1.    Import OS partition and any non-shared (non-Quorum) drives, do not install VMWare tools at this time.

    2.    Turn on VMs but disconnect from the network

    a.    Install VMWare Tools without VSS option

    b.    Clean up old IP entries in the registry, but leave the old IPs under the cluster related keys.

    c.    Assign old IP addresses to VM



    See Chapter 2 of VMWare doc called Setup for Microsoft Cluster Service Update 1 Release for ESX Server 3.5… (vi3_35_25_u1_mscs.pdf)

    1.    For path reference, get the path of an existing VM


    general command: --server --username –password –l





    2.    Create the Shared drive via Remote CLI using the path as reference,


    general command: --server --username --password -c 1g -d eagerzeroedthick -a lsilogic "/vmfs/volumes/48f7xxxx-06c8xxxx-xxxx-001ec9b7xxxx / QUORUMS/Qourum_E.vmdk"



    See Chapter 2 of VMWare doc called Setup for Microsoft Cluster Service Update 1 Release for ESX Server 3.5… (vi3_35_25_u1_mscs.pdf)

    1.    With the VMs off, add HD to VM, but choose SCSI (1:0) which will create a new SCSI Controller

    2.    On SCSI (1:0), change to LSI logic, and set to virtual



    Steps are similar to restoring a failed cluster disk as laid out in MS kb280425

    1.    Failover cluster to Physical Node1

    2.    Turn off Physical Node2

    3.    Bring on-line Node2 VM

    4.    If needed, in the Windows OS MMC, rescan the disks to see the Quorum shared drive. Then format the drive and assign the same drive letter as the old Quorum drive.

    5.    Use Robocopy (with the /SEC trigger) to copy QUOROM drives from Physical Node1 to Node2 VM.

    6.    From Windows 2000 resource kit, use DUMPCFG to get the disk signature of the physical Quorum drive from one of the physical nodes

    7.    From the VM, overwrite the signature with dumpcfg command –

    a.    dumpcfg -s <signature ID> <disk number>


    dumpcfg -s DD9C59B4 2


    8.    Shutdown Physical Node1

    9.    Restart cluster services or the Node2 VM… if all goes well the cluster should come up

    10.    Bring online the Node1 VM.

    11.    Test failover to Node1 VM.

    12.    Install VMWare Tools VSS if desired on boxes, but snapshots are not possible on VMs with SCSI adapters set to virtual



    VMWare Tools VSS install fail.

    Since part of the cluster involved MSDTC, the VSS option would fail. Part of the fix was to relaunch Add/Remove Programs à Install Windows Components and just run through the Wizard without making any changes. This forced to VM to reset the COM+ and MSDTC configuration. When I installed the VSS component, I did it on the machine that the cluster was running on.  (Search VMWare Communities for Error: 1722 for VMWare Tools Installation). Installing VSS is moot since snapshot will not work with SCSI controller set to Virtual.


    Cluster Services still fails to start properly and quorum drives are unavailable for access.



    Through trial and error and dealing with multiple quorum drives… one would work, the other would have data disappear so not all cluster services would come up properly. It was necessary to reformat a quorum drive and recopy the contents, which required turning off the cluster service and the usually hidden cluster disk device. This process is laid out in the last section of the MS KB article 280425.


    Where the heck do I get DUMPCFG?!?!!



    Looks like it is no longer part of the Windows 2000 resource kit. You can grab it from




    nice work.  I'll convert to document so it comes up higher in search results.


    This document was generated from the following thread: Import a Physical Microsoft 2003 Cluster ( MSCS ) to ESX 3i Server