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Migrating VMs frm ESX 2.5 to 3.5 changes file names

We are in the process of migrating all of our VMs from ESX 2.5.4. to new ESX 3.5 servers. We are using new storage as well so we use the Migrate function in Virtual center to move the offline guest to the server storage and new LUNS. Many of the VMs have multiple drives assigned and on the old HOSTS we named each VMDK uniquely to identify which guest drive it was. For Example ENGSVR01_C, ENGSVR01_S. When we migrate the guest ESX renames all the files back to just ENGSVR01 in the respective directory on each LUN. The problem is this breaks the VCB/Ranger backups that require all of the files have a unique name. For the guests I've moved so far I can to go in and manually rename the vmdks again and remoconnect the drives to the VM. I'm just curious if there is a easier way to tell it NOT to rename the orginal vmdk files.

I have another wierd one too. In the new ESX enviroment we have a vSwitch and Portgroup that links to our backup network. On most VMs we are adding in another NIC mapped to the Backup vSwitch. Once we migrate a VM over to 3.5 if I add in the new NIC before booting up the VM and installing the new tools then the orginal NIC disappears from the Windows guest and I get two new NICS. If I wait to install the new NIC until after installing VMWare tools and rebooting the box then the old NIC still exists but the Production NIC and Backup NICS flip their MAC addresses. I have to either go flip them in the VM settings or resetup the IPs on both guests NICS. Any idea why this is happening.

We have work arounds for both of these issues. It just adds a lot of post-migration work.


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I think you have a legitimate bug here. I would open a case with your VMware Support Services and raise it as a problem. It definitely should not change disk names attached to existing VMs.

Best regards,

Edward L. Haletky

VMware Communities User Moderator


Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education. As well as the Virtualization Wiki at http://www.astroarch.com/wiki/index.php/Virtualization

Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIV: 2009-2023,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill
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I had the same issue with Storage migration. I had a 5 disk vm that I moved from one VMFS volume to another. It renamed all the disks generically and also changed the disk format to thick.

I'm going to open a case. There is an issue with cold migrations and deploying vms from templates as far as thuin provisioned disks being converted to thick. It has caused me a lot of unecessary work.