MikeFromABQ
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Create new Fusion 11 VM from old VM to modernize parameters

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On macOS 10.5.7 Catalina, I'm running Windows 10 in a Fusion 11.5.7 VM that was originally created in 2011.  I understand that the ancient practices of creating a VM are no longer the default and I'd like to use the existing VM as the source to create a new VM that employs modern configuration parameters.  I read somewhere that new VM are created with parameters that make things like resizing and maybe space reclamation more likely to succeed (when you choose "Split into multiple files" instead of "Pre-allocate disk space")

The VM is for a 500GB drive for Windows but currently occupies 700GB of space on the Mac, so I'd like to consolidate snapshots too, as I understand that this would reclaim some space.  The Mac drive is only 1TB so it's not big enough to do this in-place, but I have a large external drive from which I have started the VM with no problem except that it's slow from there.

Q1) Is there a process for migrating a VM to a new one that is created using different configuration parameters?  (I tried creating a new VM and selecting "Import" but when other existing VMWAREVM files are displayed for selection, they are disabled and cannot be selected)

Q2) If migration from one VM to another is possible like this, is there a list the steps for doing this migration?

Q3) Would it be better (though maybe slower) to have both the migration source and target VM on the external drive, or does it make sense to take advantage of the speed of the Mac's internal drive by having one end on the Mac?  If so, target the Mac so then one could see the differences immediately after completion? 

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

Hi,

The "Import" option is to import a VM from another virtualisation platform such as Parallels.
A VM made with VMware can just be opened (File Open).

The most safe way to approach this is to:
- shut down the VM
- copy the whole VM bundle to your external disk
- rename the existing local VM in your Library so that it is clear that it is the old VM
- Register the VM on the external disk via File -> Open
- Do not start the VM (if you do want to start it for testing or by accident, note that Fusion will ask if copy / move, do not answer copy!, answer move, otherwise your VM will get new hardware ID's)
- Commit all the snapshots
- Then under settings go to the disk and change the setting from single file to "split into files" by ticking the checkbox.
- make coffee, shower and read a book
- Update the virtual hardware under settings -> compatibility and set it to the latest
- now you can copy the bundle back to your host.

good luck!
--
Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva

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3 Replies
wila
Immortal
Immortal

Hi,

The "Import" option is to import a VM from another virtualisation platform such as Parallels.
A VM made with VMware can just be opened (File Open).

The most safe way to approach this is to:
- shut down the VM
- copy the whole VM bundle to your external disk
- rename the existing local VM in your Library so that it is clear that it is the old VM
- Register the VM on the external disk via File -> Open
- Do not start the VM (if you do want to start it for testing or by accident, note that Fusion will ask if copy / move, do not answer copy!, answer move, otherwise your VM will get new hardware ID's)
- Commit all the snapshots
- Then under settings go to the disk and change the setting from single file to "split into files" by ticking the checkbox.
- make coffee, shower and read a book
- Update the virtual hardware under settings -> compatibility and set it to the latest
- now you can copy the bundle back to your host.

good luck!
--
Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
MikeFromABQ
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thank you.  While awaiting your reply, I decided that there as no danger in proceeding roughly as you had suggested on my external drive.

However, I did not know about the "Register" process so I started the VM on the external drive.  Yes, it did ask "Copy or Move" but I chose "Copy".

Apparently, deleting the 2 snapshots accomplished the "commit" operation as needed before splitting the disk.

After taking about 6 hours to reconfigure the VM disk as split (it ended up choosing 16MGB files and I didn't see it offer to use a different size) I copied the bundle back to the Mac and when I started it, I again chose "Copy" and all has been working well.

Subsequently, I have copied the VM bundle (now 450GB) to a fast external SSD and that only took about 15 minutes.  As long as I don't start the VM there, I guess the Copy/Move issue will not arise with using that copy.  

Q1) Do I need to do the Register process on the copy on that SSD, or is that only needed if one will perform operations on it while it is not running?

Q2) Is there some other issue I should be concerned with since I had used Copy instead of Move?  For some reason, I thought I had read advice to use Copy even if that is counter-intuitive, but that was probably in a different situation in that they didn't wish to fire up the VM to confirm that it works correctly on the external drive.

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MikeFromABQ
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

- Update the virtual hardware under settings -> compatibility and set it to the latest

Never mind.  Now I see it where I hadn't looked.

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