While performing a physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversion isn’t a new trick, there are always additional enhancements that can be performed to ensure a clean transition to a VMware platform. Recently when performing a P2V conversion, one particular system was not behaving as expected after the conversion was complete. While I have mentioned before that removing drivers from the new guest virtual machine is a good idea, this particular system required some more attention.
I found that some of the device drivers that were loaded in the Windows guest operating system even after all driver software was removed. Further, after the P2V conversion the hardware would not be enumerated in the hardware inventory because it was not present. This particular system had SAN connectivity before, and the drivers related to the fibre channel interface were causing me concern related to disk access, and a lot of errors in the local log. On the VMware virtual machine, the driver installed by VMware Tools provides all of the required disk access and I needed to stop this physical system hardware driver from filling up the error log.
The driver was listed in the Non-Plug and Play Drivers section of the Windows device manager. To view this section, be sure to view the hidden devices in the MMC snap-in for Windows Server 2003 systems. The figure below shows this area of Windows:
Once I identified the driver that was causing the issue, it was quite easy to disable the device. On subsequent boots, the offending process did not fill the Windows logs up with the errors related to the device not being present.