How to P2V multiple 2003 Servers to 6.5

We have a Client with 10+ 2003 physical Servers that we need to convert to VMs in ESXi 6.5.

I've done some searching, and found that Server 2003 is no longer supported, and that Converter 6.0 was the last to support it.

What is the best way to P2V the 2003 Servers and get them into 6.5?

Do we use Converter 6.0 to P2V to ESXi 6.0 and then migrate to 6.5?  Or will Converter 6.0 work directly with ESXi 6.5?

What Hardware version should we choose?

Any other tips for P2V on 2003?


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4 Replies

Hi BCTTech​,

Windows 2003 is still supported in vSphere 6.5 - VMware Compatibility Guide - Guest/Host Search .

So you can install VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 6.0 on one of your machines and run the P2V to vSphere 6.5. It should work fine.

I would also recommend VM HW version 11 (vSphere 6.0) to begin with and you need VMware Tools for legacy OSs - VMware Tools 10.0.12 Release Notes .

Hope this information helps.


This thread is old, but it was one of the first ones to pop up when googling how to convert Windows 2003 server.

I know this is not supported, but I could convert with vCenter Converter 6.2 with the steps below.
I couldn't download vCenter Converter 6.0 from the official site as it's not provided anymore, so I just tried with 6.2.


  1. Install all Windows updates on Windows 2003 server. If Windows Update is complaining that it cannot connect to update server, install Internet Explorer 8.
  2. Install vCenter Converter 6.2 on a Windows 10 computer.
  3. Manually copy the Converter Agent Installer, VMware-Converter-Agent.exe located at C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone
  4. Disable firewall on the source computer.
  5. Convert the VM to HW 11.
  6. I installed VMware Tools 10.0.12 as suggested in the previous message.

Before starting the conversion there was a warning of source not having sysrep files or something like that, but I just ignored the warning.

I didn't do extensive testing with the VM, but I could power it on and RDP to it.

My destination was ESXi 6.7 U2.

Source was 32 bit Windows Server 2003 SP2 Enterprise Edition.

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The vCenter converter 6.0 cannot convert p2v directly to the VMware 6.5 version

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Release Notes



I can advise you to convert it to an environment with vCenter 6.0, then export vm and import to vCenter 6.5

Alessandro Romeo

Blog: https://www.aleadmin.it/

Hello all,

I've stumbled into this (extremely relevant) thread by searching on how I can P2V my two Server 2k3 R2 domain controllers. In fact, I started the conversion process after reading the vConverter manual and since it would take a lot of time to finish, I started reading other related material.

In doing so, I've also took a peek of https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1006996 which states:




Use one of these solutions depending on your environment:
Windows 2000, 2003, 2008, and 2012 Servers
  • Decommission the existing domain controller using dcpromo, and provision a new domain controller during the installation of new Windows Server in a new virtual machine. Do not perform the conversion, but use the source server's host name and IP address. (recommended)
  • Ensure another domain controller is online on the network and properly synchronized. If one is not available, provision a new domain controller as a virtual machine and promote it. Demote the domain controller using dcpromo. Set any static IP addresses to DHCP prior to conversion. When converted power off the source server, reassign static IP address, and promote the virtualized server.
  • ...
  • Avoid converting Windows NT domain controllers, if possible.


Do not perform ONLINE physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversions. For more information, see Microsoft Technet Blog Article: How to Virtualize Active Directory Domain Controllers (Part 1)."


After reading the notes above I immediately stopped the process... Suffice to say, I don't know how to proceed here. I wanted to P2V the first server, power off the physical, power on the VM, check things out for some days and then proceed to P2V the second server. Now I'm uncertain on whether it would be feasible to accomplish this task...

Expert opinion would really be appreciated here. Thanks in advance for any information provided.

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