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vmware server 2.0 ide vmdk to esxi 3.5

I crashed an old vmware 2.0 server setup and I decided to setup a esxi 3.5 setup.

The problem is the drive was ide from vmware server and I have to make it a scsi drive on esxi.

I have tried to follow this article with no luck


Basically everything I have tried still does not provide the drive for me to select when creating a vm.  I can see the drive just fine in the storage browser but I can't add it to a VM.

VM is a 2003 server.  It is a bunch of 2GB files combined to a 20GB drive.

Here is the current unedited vmdk descripter file:

# Disk DescriptorFile

# Extent description
RW 4192256 SPARSE "serv_C-s001.vmdk"
RW 4192256 SPARSE "serv_C-s002.vmdk"
RW 4192256 SPARSE "serv_C-s003.vmdk"
RW 4192256 SPARSE "serv_C-s004.vmdk"
RW 4192256 SPARSE "serv_C-s005.vmdk"
RW 4192256 SPARSE "serv_C-s006.vmdk"
RW 4192256 SPARSE "serv_C-s007.vmdk"
RW 4192256 SPARSE "serv_C-s008.vmdk"
RW 4192256 SPARSE "serv_C-s009.vmdk"
RW 1372032 SPARSE "serv_C-s010.vmdk"

# The Disk Data Base

ddb.virtualHWVersion = "7"
ddb.geometry.biosCylinders = "1024"
ddb.geometry.biosHeads = "240"
ddb.geometry.biosSectors = "63"
ddb.geometry.cylinders = "16383"
ddb.geometry.heads = "16"
ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
ddb.adapterType = "ide"
ddb.toolsVersion = "7398"
ddb.encoding = "UTF-8"

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4 Replies

Rather than just copying the files to the ESXi host's datastore, you need to convert the VMware Server VM to ESXi. In step 3 of the converter you will be able to select the virtual disk controller for the destination VM. For Windows 2003 select the LSI Logic parallel controller.

To download the free VMware converter, see http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/


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sounds great but what if I don't have an install of vmware server anymore?  Is there no easy way to do this?

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I would do this

  • redefine the vmdk as buslogic - see my notes http://sanbarrow.com/vmdk-basics.html#changeadapter
  • adjust geometry to typical scsi-values - also explained in the link above
  • create new blank directory on ESXi datastore
  • upload complete vmdk as is to ESXi with winscp, datastorebrowser ...
  • adjust vmx-file : remove all references to the ide-disk
  • upload vmx-file to new dir on ESXi
  • import vmdk with vmkfstools -i "uploaded.vmdk" "new.vmdk"
  • open datastorebrowser and register vmx
  • edit VM and add "new.vmdk" - make sure it gets added as buslogic
  • do not start the VM yet
  • launch Converter 3.0.3 on any VM olr admin-host and run "configure machine" option against the newly assembled VM
  • all done

sounds painful - but is quite straightforward and quite reliable

Note: do NOT use lsilogic - controller - otherwise Converter will fail with a high chance !!!

Do you need support with a VMFS recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
I do not support Workstation 16 at this time ...

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...but what if I don't have an install of vmware server anymore

No need to install VMware Server for the conversion. In the Converter select "VMware Workstation or other VMware virtual machine" as the source type and point to the VM's files (vmx).


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