chadworthman
Contributor
Contributor

Using a P2V VM without final synchronization

Hello there,

We attempted to P2V a Windows 2008 R2 DC this past week.  The source server was having RAID controller issues and filling with ntfs and data corruption errors.  The first job completed successfully after 2.5 days, there was almost 6 TB of data.  The second resync completed successfully, but every resync after resulted in "unable to update bcd" errors.  We tried several methods to work around this but couldn't.  The virtualized copy was able to boot fine and we completed a successful chkdsk on C:\.  We made the call to proceed with the copy we had and restore the day's files from our backup solution.

Upon the first reboot, our changes were removed as the VM automagically reverted to a snapshot.  We deleted both snapshots that were present and retried our changes (NIC config/removal of software/installation of VMWare Tools) and rebooted again and it didn't revert to snapshot.

We're wondering what steps we're missing as we weren't able to run the final synchronization?  The new VM server appears to running fine despite this, but how can we be sure it won't revert to a snapshot again some time in the future and cause us to loose data?

Thanks,

Chad

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rcporto
Leadership
Leadership

VMware do not recommend/supports P2V of a online DC, the best approach is to create a new virtual machine, promote that VM to a DC, move the FSMO to the new DC, and then decommission the old DC. Since looks like your DC is not just a DC, but a server with a lot of data, after bring the new DC VM up, you can just copy(synchronize) the data to the new server using tools like Robocopy. That approach will be much better and safe than just do a P2V. For additional information about DC P2V, see: Virtualizing existing domain controllers in VMware vCenter Converter (1006996) | VMware KB

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Richardson Porto
Senior Infrastructure Specialist
LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/richardsonporto
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chadworthman
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks,

It's done now and the company in question is on their second day of operation with it.  It's running quite well from a Windows DC perspective.  I'm more concerned with the ESXi portion of the equation and what work the final synchronization option performs that I may be missing.  I've compared .vmx files from previously P2Vd servers and .vmx files from server currently in the synchronization phase to this .vmx and they look pretty much equivalent.

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