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Converter produces VM's that result in a black screen with a frozen cursor

Virtual machines created on my old box, with vCenter Converter, fail to boot in VMplayer (on either old or new boxes). I'm seeing a black screen with a frozen cursor in VMplayer. I get this result with file

system/partitions converted with the either the IDE or SCSI settings. (The vCenter Converter Standalone manual refers to a 'SATA' option but it does not appear in the 5.5.0 version I'm using.)


I am attempting to create a virtual machine of my old XP Pro 32-bit machine to run on my new 64-bit Win7 box. (If my new machine, with 'Haswell' architecture, supported XP we wouldn't be having this conversation, I

would have just set up a 'dual boot' to go alongside my Linux install.) In a previous job I was a VMware 'end user' (clicked on an icon and launched a vm). I'm working on this project at home. I've no experience in

converting physical machines to virtual. My method has been to create the vm's on my XP machine (only using the system drive as a source) and move the HDD drive to the new Win7 box.

The exception to Vm boot failure is with the 'guest' file created with VMplayer '6' on the new Win7 host system using the 'XP Mode' as the source.


My equipment and software versions are as follows;

Virtual machine source system:

XP Pro SP3 32-bit (HAL 5.1.2600.5512), Intel Core2 Duo (3 MHz), ASUS P5-K motherboard (AMI BIOS '0603,' IDE/SATA controllers), 4 GB ram, WD 500 GB IDE/SATA HDD, Samsung IDE CDROM/DVD, ASUS/NVIDIA GeoForce 210 Video (1024

MB), Linksys 1032 v3 Gb LAN.
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5.0 Build 13602012


Host System

i7-4770K, ASUS Z87-Pro motherboard (AMI BIOS '1602,' SATA/AHCI Controllers, Intel 'HD Graphics 4600,' Intel 'I217-V LAN), 8 GB ram, Samsung 250 GB SSD, Western Digital (1TB, this is the drive that moves between machines)

and Seagate (2TB) SATA HDD's, 'Lightscribe' DVD.
Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit 6.1.7601, Service Pack 1 (HAL "6.1.7601.17514")
VMware Player 6.0.1 build-1379776 "Workstation 10.0 Virtual Machine."


The visual impression is a failure loading BIOS. I never see a blinking cursor. I could be wrong. The VMware logo pops up quickly followed by the black screen with the frozen cursor. In all cases the VMware.log files

look about the same through the time 'vcpu-0' is started. The virtual disks are discovered and mounted. The VM is powered on. The BIOS-UUID is listed and failure starts for all but the XP-Mode VM created on the host

machine. Just prior to the BIOS call, all of the vm's are referencing vga/svga setup and USB 'discovery.' The failed machines seem to have a lot fewer video references. I've included short log snips from the point

where the vm's fail and a comparison at the same point with the vm that starts:


VM's failed (from ASUS P5K MB):
2013-12-03T16:25:10.982-05:00| vcpu-0| I120: PCIBridge7: ISA/VGA decoding enabled (ctrl 0004)
2013-12-03T16:25:10.995-05:00| vcpu-0| I120: VIDE: Curr CHS info cyls: 17475 heads: 15 sects: 63 lba_cap: 195373056
2013-12-03T16:25:11.005-05:00| vcpu-0| I120: BIOS-UUID is 56 4d e5 60 6a 65 8a ea-73 79 a1 62 3e 7e db 9e
2013-12-03T16:25:11.462-05:00| vmx| I120: VUsbUpdateVigorFieldsAndAutoconnect: New set of 3 USB devices
(A lot of USB discovery lines removed for brevity. None had any complaints.)
2013-12-03T16:25:46.137-05:00| vmx| I120: VMXVmdbCbVmVmxExecState: Exec state change requested to state poweredOff without reset, soft, softOptionTimeout: 20000000.
2013-12-03T16:25:46.137-05:00| vmx| I120: Stopping VCPU threads...
2013-12-03T16:25:46.500-05:00| vmx| I120+ OvhdMem: Final (Power Off) Overheads


VM boots (from ASUS Z87-Pro MB):
2013-12-03T16:50:34.031-05:00| vcpu-0| I120: PCIBridge7: ISA/VGA decoding enabled (ctrl 0004)
2013-12-03T16:50:34.098-05:00| vcpu-0| I120: VIDE: Curr CHS info cyls: 17475 heads: 15 sects: 63 lba_cap: 266338304
2013-12-03T16:50:34.107-05:00| vcpu-0| I120: BIOS-UUID is 56 4d d8 c4 94 15 ef 4d-14 e5 0f 16 12 ab cf bb
2013-12-03T16:50:34.271-05:00| vcpu-0| I120: Unknown int 10h func 0x2000
2013-12-03T16:50:34.754-05:00| vcpu-0| I120: DDB: "longContentID" = "3167e271130ff9ed89be0d0f3a715cf3" (was "e1a75a0c8ef5fd0bde61e98e8ece8934")


In the happy ending vm, a lot more references to 'svga' occur followed by what I take to be gold at 'vcpu-0:guest.'


To date I haven't found a problem that matches mine in the forums (I see a lot more information on getting vm's running on fresh OS installs and a lot less on getting old systems virtualized.) My problem seems to exceed

the depth offered in the vCenter Converter and VMplayer User Guides (note; I'm not sure if this issue should be posted in the VMplayer or the vCenter Converter forum). I've also looked for a database or references to

hardware that has been known to work virtualizing a powered on XP Pro 32 installation (Given E-bay and the price of old equipment, building a new 'old' box might be an option!). I have access to a ASRock Z77 Extreme 3

based system. The ASRock MB, with an i5 cpu, supports XP Pro 32-bit in theory. I'm thinking of putting a cloned drive in that machine and upgrading my XP installation to something close to state-of-the-art. (The kid

will never know. I'll do it while he is at work.) I would then uninstall/reload vCenter Converter Standalone and attempt to virtualize the system.

I'm looking for advice on how to proceed or where I might find relavent information.


rick shelby

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I installed my backed up copy of the XP OS on the newer AsRock Z77 motherboard.  I then ran Converter Standalone which successfully converted the OS to a virtual machine that would run on the ASUS Z87 motherboard.  New hardware to new hardware seemed to do the trick.

As I review the situation I suspect that the Standalone User's Guide warning that 'You cannot convert BIOS sources to UEFI destinations and the reverse' (found in the Supported Firmware Interfaces section) is what defines the problem.  The ASUS P5 K is a BIOS board.  The Z77 and Z87 Intel chipset boards are UEFI. 

As an aside; all of the disks created by Converter 5.5 in my earlier testing (that would not boot) would in fact mount just fine.  Examination of the mounted virtual disks revealed no problems, they just wouldn't boot.

I'm not sure the BIOS issue was the reason for my 'black screens' but moving the old OS to new hardware seems to be a reasonable course of action (It was all done in less than two hours.  I had the Z77 back together before the kid got back from work).

rick shelby

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