Virtualization Pro

May 5 2008   7:39PM GMT

Avoid VMware Converter mixed version gotchas

Rick Vanover Rick Vanover Profile: Rick Vanover

For those of you who have come to use VMware Converter as part of your virtualization migration you probably had at least one conversion that failed for reasons you may not be able to explain. Since the release of VMware Converter 3.02 Update 1 in December of 2007 and in conjunction with the release of VMware ESX 3.5, there have been some practice issues that can address some of the failures that can occur. One issue in particular that plagued me frequently was using Converter 3.01 to perform conversions with an ESX 3.2 as a destination system. The conversions would regularly fail, with the only relevant message in the vmware-converter-x.log file is an entry stating that the image failed with a cryptic “vmodl.fault.InvalidRequest” entry.

Most of these issues are resolved by exclusively using the 3.02 Update 1 version of Converter, however there can be some other issues that prohibit the simple upgrade from correcting the failures. For example, if you had attempted a conversion on a Windows system on a version prior, you may receive the following message about the status of the agent:

figure 1

In this scenario, you may need to manually remove the agent files. This is one of the two options when installing the agent during the initial steps of the conversion. The other option is to have Converter automatically remove the agent when the import succeeds. If the import fails because of the versioning issue between Converter and ESX, the agent will remain on the Windows client. To remove the Converter agent manually, go to the Windows Control Panel and select Add/Remove Programs and select the VMware Converter agent. For some systems using prior versions of Converter, additional steps may be required to remove files if a prior conversion’s remove operation did not complete successfully. This is mentioned in the known issues section of the release notes for Converter version 3.02 Update 1, and similar entries are in the release notes of prior versions as well. The manual removal process of the Converter agent involves removing files and performing a registry modification for the installed service.

VMware Converter is a strong part of the virtualization project aresenal, and keeping sharp on the issues for failed conversions and maintaining product version currency can help address many issues.

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