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GPT and VMWare P2V Converter Issue

Dear Community,

I’m glad that I can request my issue to your behalf and thank you in advance for your effort.


This is the situation I’m stuck into:

Our Exchange 2007 Server on a Win2008 Server is still running as a physical
installation and needs to be migrated into the virtual infrastructure of VMware
and NetApp. The Mailbox databases such as the Logs files were already moved to
iSCSI LUNs on the NetApp via SnapManager for Exchange. 

Server Disks look like this:

  Disk ###  Status      Size    Free     Dyn  GPT

  --------  ----------  -------  -------  ---  ---

       0    Online       466 GB      0 B             *               (SW-Raid C:\ OS)

       1    Online       466 GB      0 B             *               (SW-Raid C:\ OS)

       2    Online       199 GB      0 B                      *      iSCSI NetApp ISCSI LUN Exchange-DB

       3    Online        25 GB      0 B                       *      iSCSI NetApp ISCSI LUN Exchange-DB

       4    Online        35 GB      0 B                       *      iSCSI NetApp ISCSI LUN Exchange-DB

       5    Online        15 GB      0 B                       *      iSCSI NetApp ISCSI LUN Exchange-DB

       6    Online      5020 MB      0 B                     *      iSCSI NetApp ISCSI LUN Exchange-DB

       7    Online        20 GB      0 B                       *      iSCSI NetApp ISCSI LUN Exchange-DB


The VMware Host is running version 5.1 and the problem is that the Migration Assistant of
VMware moans that it cannot migrate the Disks that are known to Windows as GPT
partitions (all the iSCSI LUNs are GPT).

Since these GPT partitions (the Mail database LUNs) are already lying on the NetApp, I only
won’t to move the C:\ drive to my OS-Volume NFS on the NetApp and keep the iSCSI
targets passedthrough to the Guest OS….

I’m currently looking for a safe and inconvenient way to solve this problem.

Thanks for  your Support and with kind Regards,



Re: GPT and VMWare P2V Converter Issue

This is not how to set the target for iSCSI but from IDE to SCSI that may give you some insight

These devices might not work properly after the upgrade. Before upgrading, we recommend updating the drivers for these devices.
System devices: VMware VMCI Bus Device

Add line to vmdk file

To convert the IDE disk to SCSI:
1. Locate the datastore path where the virtual machine resides.

For example:

# cd /vmfs/volumes/<datastore_name>/<vm_name>/
2. From the ESX Service Console, open the primary disk (.vmdk) using the vi editor. For more information, see  Editing files on an ESX host using vi or nano (1020302)
3. Look for the line:

ddb.adapterType = "ide"
4. To change the adapter type to LSI Logic change the line to:

ddb.adapterType = "lsilogic"
•  Save the file.
•  From VMware Infrastructure/vSphere Client:
a. Click Edit Settings for the virtual machine.
b. Select the IDE virtual disk.
c. Choose to Remove the Disk from the virtual machine.
d. Click OK.

Caution: Make sure that you do not choose Remove from disk.
•  From the Edit Settings menu for this virtual machine:
1. Click Add > Hard Disk > Use Existing Virtual Disk.
2. Navigate to the location of the disk and select to add it into the virtual machine.
3. Choose the same controller as in Step 3 as the adapter type. The SCSI ID should read SCSI 0:0.
5. •  If a CDROM device exists in the virtual machine it may need to have the IDE channel adjusted from IDE 0:1 to IDE 0:0. If this option is greyed out, remove the CD-ROM from the virtual machine and add it back. This sets it to IDE 0:0.

vmkfstools -ijack.vmdk -d zeroedthick jack-conf.vmdk

Re: GPT and VMWare P2V Converter Issue

Dear Fred,

the Server that is to be p2v-ized is still physical. This guide shows me how-to convert a VMware IDE Disk to a SCSI Disk.

Kind Regards,


Re: GPT and VMWare P2V Converter Issue

Re: GPT and VMWare P2V Converter Issue

now were speaking the same language Fred but

this guys says:

After they are in sync you select "Failover" and the source server shuts down and the target is renamed to the source name.  I have not done this part yet.. stay tuned for part 2 of our exciting adventure (This is where Max my dog would yawn).

so we dont know if this every works. further more, the OS disks are in a format VMWare can translate but the Database DISKS are not. even though these disks are already on the Target Storage. what a mess ....

the Double-Take Move for 300$ should be the issue but. why to I have to pay for this stuff. im sure there is a possibility to migrate the server (OS) and let the ISCSI luns connected.

These GPT disks contain the Mailboxes of the Exchange that are already on the Storage. I dont want VMWare oder DoubleTake to copy this Data again on the Filer just because it "thinks" they are local disks of the server....


Re: GPT and VMWare P2V Converter Issue

If you have such a tool as Win UBCD with Ultimate-P2V at - plus clone tool alike ghost


You need to make sure the WinUBCD has your Raid drivers to access your C drive, but have seen you are using (SW-Raid C:\ OS) is this software raid, either way try to boot of the CD then clone the disk with image tool such as ghost32 and save it onto the attached hard drive (sata) - (usb "slow") then restore your image back to your new VM on the ESX 5.1 with WinUBCD - Ulitmate-P2V you should be able to inject drivers, my WinUBCD has fix_hdc tool that does the same, works for Windows 7, should for Windows 2008.

Create a VM for Windows 2008 with two hard drives In your ESX 5.1 server attach the ISO image of WinUBCD, access your attached drive or upload wincp and copy the image file win2008.gho file to the second drive - restore this image to your c: drive of your VM

win2008.img file


        DVD  - Attached Boot CD WinUBCD

             c:\ drive

             f:\drive - holds the win2008.gho

Boot to WinUBCD copy file over to f:\  with WinSCP or file share then clone the image to C: there after remove F: drive and set aside. Attach your Exchange Disk DB


Re: GPT and VMWare P2V Converter Issue

Dear Fred,

I figured out a solution with a NetApp Support-Engineer. Check out the following steps:


  1. Backup entire Server with 3 Party Tool: Acronis TrueImage, Norton Ghost etc. to external HDD or other Storage
  2. Write down information’s about LUNs and Drive names
  3. Stop all Exchange Services
  4. Disconnect all iSCSI LUNs
  5. Remove SnapDrive,
  6. Remove Snap Manager for Exchange,
  7. Remove Single-mailbox Recovery for Exchange
  8. P2V Server
    1. Pray
  9. Install VMware Tools to Server
  10. Install SnapDrive
  11. Connect LUNs via SnapDrive with the same Drive letters
  12. Start all Exchange Services
    1. Pray more
  13. Install Snap Manager for Exchange,
  14. Install Single Mailbox Recovery for Exchange

Any comments ?

Kind Regards,


Re: GPT and VMWare P2V Converter Issue

You need more info on 8. P2V server, 1. pray.

I would say this involves connecting your external HDD device that will connect to your new virtual machine, then boot from CD in ESX 5.1 with Ghost boot CD,or Acronis TrueImage (server version) this maybe a version of WinUBCD http://www.bootcd.info/comments.php?id=14&catid=1 then send the image back to the new VM on disk 0, still may get boot error on GPT boot.


View solution in original post

Re: GPT and VMWare P2V Converter Issue

If I disconect the GPT Disks from the Server then the VMware converter will hopefully not fail p2v so I dont need ghost or similar for conversion

Re: GPT and VMWare P2V Converter Issue

This info tells me that your GPT disk are in fact your operating system that you wish to backup:

Server Disks look like this:

  Disk ###  Status      Size    Free     Dyn  GPT

  --------  ----------  -------  -------  ---  ---

       0    Online       466 GB      0 B             *               (SW-Raid C:\ OS)

       1    Online       466 GB      0 B             *               (SW-Raid C:\ OS

Further to this are they software raid?

Either way you need to take some sort of hdd backup in case all fails, you are going to use Vmware Converter 5.0 for this, it maybe possible to a bare metal restore from a standard backup using your own backup tool.

Another one should you use vmware converter 4.3



Yep, V4.3 of VMWare Converter doesn't see the GPT disks so works perfectly.

But additionally I did do it first by doing:

1) disk2vhd (sysinternals) to create VHD

2) winimage to convert the VHD to VMDK or you could just install winimage and create a VMDK straight away

3) write or copy and amend a basic VMX file

4) use VMWare Converter to convert the VMX as a third party restore to a version 7 Virtual Infrastructure VM.

Both methods have provided a working and bootable VM.

As a production system I was taking a copy of I didn't want to cause any downtime or install more than just the VMWare converter agent which is tried and tested

Use of disk2vhd



Re: GPT and VMWare P2V Converter Issue

Sorry Fred,

but the * got messed up in the formation.

the OS Disks are Dynamic and all iSCSI Disks are GPT.

kind regards,


Re: GPT and VMWare P2V Converter Issue

I would follow this video, with respect of backing up Windows 2008 Server with its own backup tool, you may need to stop exchange on the server when trying this out, you should end up with a VHD file on USB HDD Drive that could be attached to your ESX 5.1 server, watch the end part of the video for a restore is done from the VHD file with the Windows 2008 ISO or boot DVD


As the restore is done with a Windows 2008 install disk you restore with the VHD file the boot fix GPT - MBR on the Virtual Machine should apply.

If you have problem connecting the usb drive, first install a dummy copy of Windows 2008 on your VM then add a second drive to this VM and format NTFS, copy the VHD backup from your physical Windows 2008 to your Dummy Virtual Windows 2008 and place it on the second drive. Edit the host by removing the C drive then add it back again, set the boot order back to boot off the Windows 2008 DVD and restore the VHD. (see end video)  There after of course attach the Exchange DB Volume check drive letters and start exchange.

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