I've tried the converter against the raw files, but I get "unable to obtain hardware info". I've tried to run it against the running machine, but the VM Helper fails to start on the target machine.
I've even just tried copying the VMDK/VMX files over to my iSCSI device and start the VM, but it won't since it's IDE and not SCSI.
What's the best way to move this VM over?
Try to run vmware converter and select source as vmware workstation and destination as ESXi. it will copy the vmdk and change the format/version to work in ESXi4.
convert the vmdk with vmware-vdiskmanager
vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -r existing.vmdk -t 4 esx-ready.vmdk
adjust vmx so that it references esx-ready.vmdk
upload vmx-file and esx-ready.vmdk to new directory on esx
register vmx with Datastorebrowser
Apparently upgrading the Converter I was using from 4.0 to 4.3 did the trick. It finally was able to connect to the old server, create the new one and PXE boot and Helper started.