5 Replies Latest reply on May 23, 2020 11:39 PM by Mits2020

    Moving from VirtualBox to VMWARE PRO - failed

    pn27 Lurker

      Hi all,

      I am moving from Mac Book to Lenovo PC, meaning from Mac OS to Windows 10.

      On Mac I have used Virtual Box and created Windows 7 image, which I have exported to OVA file and have vmdk file.

      On Windows I have Vmware PRO imported OVA file and startup Windows image, also tried to create empty system and added vmdk file.


      All attempts Failed, getting error>>

      Windows Failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause,

      Options are

      Launch Startup repair

      Start Windows Normally


      Both options failed, also used original DVD image and try to repair failed.

      etc. also trying to fix it via



      I have installed on my Lenovo PC also VirtualBox and started Windows 7 without any issue.


      Any hint?



        • 1. Re: Moving from VirtualBox to VMWARE PRO - failed
          Mits2020 Enthusiast

          i did some research and it seems that there are no guides on the net on how to properly move VirtualPC machines from mac to win. Perhaps asking the Oracle forums would provide some more information.


          I would try to 'separate the variables' and first attempt to make the Mac VirtualBox machine work on Windows VirtualBox (hoping that Oracle supports this and that somebody has instructions).


          If you succeed with that, then you just have to convert the Windows VirtualBox to Windows VMware, for which there are several guides. Personally I had to convert VirtualBox to .vmdk about two years ago, and when for some reason the-built in Workstation .ova import did not work, I used the Starwind V2V  Converter with success - seems like a decent program and it's freeware.


          If this workflow does not work, I'd try the opposite route: install Workstation on the Mac and try to open the Mac VirtualBox-created.ova file. I expect that if you move that virtual machine to the Windows PC, perhaps with some minor adjustments, it should run properly.


          Perhaps some users might have already experience in that sort of migration, just have patience...


          PS. Before creating the .vmdk file, did you make sure to uninstall the VirtualBox Guest Additions in case they were installed? I think this might cause problems because the Additions modify the default virtual hardware.

          • 2. Re: Moving from VirtualBox to VMWARE PRO - failed
            continuum Guru
            Community WarriorsvExpert

            You should be aware that VirtualBox uses parameters in the vmdk descriptorfile that are alien for Workstation.

            If you are aware of that and know how to rewrite vmdk descriptorfiles you will have less problems.

            Also you should be aware of the fact that the OVA format is a nice idea but it only works in sunny weather conditions.

            If you are clever you dont use that road at all and create the VMs yourself and then the only issue you run into is the one I mentioned before.

            • 3. Re: Moving from VirtualBox to VMWARE PRO - failed
              Mits2020 Enthusiast

              continuum: By "vmdk descriptor files" you mean the .vmx files?


              I tried once to import an .ova file from a linux virtual machines repository and it didn't go well, so my initial feeling was that this technology is not mature yet.


              Regarding editing .vmx files it's an art and a science, so at first I try to provide potential solutions that don't involve rather advanced skills like editing configuration files.


              We are still waiting for results from the OP, but to save time, here is a second set of suggestions (also without any editing of config files):


              1) Convert the VB machine to a .vmdk on the MAC

              2) Create a new VM on the Windows PC configuring the hardware to match the Mac VM

              3) Delete the automatically made default .vmdk disk on the guest

              4) Copy the vmdk to the relevant directory of the Windows PC  and

              5) boot the guest and cross fingers.


              In case this is an UEFI PC, you might need to enter the VM BIOS (menu VM--> Power --> Power On to firmware) and choose manually the specific disk for booting.


              If this does not work, booting the machine from a Windows installation ISO and doing a startup repair might do the trick.

              • 4. Re: Moving from VirtualBox to VMWARE PRO - failed
                continuum Guru
                Community WarriorsvExpert

                No - I do NOT mean the vmx-file.

                A vmdk-descriptorfile is a small textfile that looks like this one for example:

                # Disk DescriptorFile






                # Extent description

                RW 18432000 SPARSE "test.vmdk"


                # The Disk Data Base


                ddb.virtualHWVersion = "3"

                ddb.geometry.cylinders = "16383"

                ddb.geometry.heads = "16"

                ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"

                ddb.adapterType = "ide"


                A vmdk descriptorfile from VirtualBox looks similar but can have additional parameters that VMware cant deal with - like







                If you are new to this topic I suggest you do some homework and look into


                • 5. Re: Moving from VirtualBox to VMWARE PRO - failed
                  Mits2020 Enthusiast

                  Very interesting - I never noticed the existence of vmdk-descriptorfiles.


                  I have 53 virtual machines on my PC and looking carefully now I have only one of those descriptors on a Puppy Linux Tahr x64 VM.


                  And yes, although I use VMware Workstation for more than 10 years, I am new to this subject.


                  Your webpage is a real treasure trove of information - never seen it before. I think that if the OP consults this, it would provide several insights on how to proceed.