it occurs sometimes that the source system may have several volumes marker as active (in case of multiple disks). Converter can get confused in such a situation. You may check that in disk manager. If this happens to be the case, mark all but the boot volume as inactive using diskpart.
If that is not the case, you may try another workaround - convert first only the system volume. It should succeed hopefully. Then convert all other volumes w/o reconfiguration to another VM. Finally attach the resulting vmdks from the second conversion to the result of the first convertersion.
If you have a boot.ini and ntldr and ntdetect.com in the vmdk you may be able to boot the VM by starting from a floppy image such as the attached.
If that works - expected outcome would be a bluescreen 7b - the rest could be done manually.
boot3ken.ima 1.4 MB
Thanks to both of you for the feedback.
The base problem is that on the source machine there is one drive with two partions. The Dell utility partition is marked as System and active and the XP partition is boot.
Most best practice guides on P2V I see say don't convert the utility partition...but in this case, wouldn't bringing both partions over do the trick and save me all this trouble?
Continuum, I do have boot.ini and ntldr + ntdetect on the XP partition. I can boot from an XP CD and load the recovery console. My understanding is that doing a fixboot and fixmbr from there would make the volume System, but that doesn't seem to be the case. In your message you say after I boot the machine from disk, the rest can be done manaully. Can you please give me more guidance on what you think I need to do after booting from disk?
Indeed, I just went ahead and converted again and let the system formatted utility partition get converted along with the Windows partition this time and everything worked fine. If anyone thinks this may cause other problems down the road, I'd appreciate any feedback. For the time being, the VM is up and running and working well.
Thanks for your input everyone.