Bryan Seeds


Windows NT 4 PDC Server + VMWare Server Migration (p2v)

Project Background

Had a customer come to me, needing to upgrade his old server to new hardware since he was having hardware issues on the old machine, and couldn't part with his software, data, and applications on his old server.  This server was an NT 4 Service Pack 6 primary domain controller, file server, application server, and print server.  Needless to say it was his entire company's backbone, and it was critical that this operation succeeded and without problems.  Below is how I managed to pull this one off.

Now the great opportunity of migrating over an old Dell Poweredge 2300 server fitted with a single SCSI hard drive, tape drive, and Windows Small Business Server 4.5 (Windows NT 4 Server Service Pack 6).  Below is an outline of how I performed this just in case anyone needs to reference this, or I do later, heh :

Project Tools

Tools I used for the Job:

And away we go...

First I powered down the physical server. Some would normally go in and disable network adapters, add Microsoft loop back adapter, and the like to conform with VMWare Converter Best Practices, but I was in a hurry =)..

Then, I had opted to do this data migration from old server to new physical server via SCSI interface on hard drive for time reasons, so I had installed on the new Windows Server 2003 box, an old Adaptec SCSI controller I had sitting around., along with the drivers of course. Also, had the new Server 2003 box pre-loaded with VMWare Server, VMWare Converter Standalone, and Acronis TrueImage.  After removing the front panel from the Poweredge 2300, and removing the side panel and looking at this old server, I realized that the single SCSI hard drive was in an internal enclosure and getting its power from the backplane it was attached to, and the server ATX power supply had no external switch.  So this posed a small problem.. hah..

How was I to get the hard drive to spin up with no power and only my SCSI cable I had brought?  If you have ever done power supply testing on a bench before, you know what I did =).  That is right, I took a paper clip and crossed the PWR_ON wire with a GRND one, and viola PSU and attached devices fire up!  Also note, that I did have to remove the ATX connector from the motherboard to do this =), and I did run into a wire color issue.  Dell in their infinite wisdom used a proprietary wiring schema for their ATX power supplies shipped with this and other systems.  That pin out resource helped immensely, and allowed me to not have to get a multimeter to check which was which.

Now, I have the SCSI cable attached from back plane in Poweredge 2300 to Adaptec SCSI card, I fired up the PSU and that spun up the HDD in the Poweredge 2300.  Sweet, now just had to fire up the new server box and wait for the Windows Server 2003 desktop.  Once in, my first order of business was to launch the Acronis TrueImage software and create a true image file of the physical system, that took about 10 minutes =)

Ok, now I am safe to power down both machines and remove the SCSI cable and put Poweredge case, and connectors back to normal.   Power up the new box again and its time for the Converter!  Fired up VMWare Converter Standalone and chose to convert from a "image file", and found that *.tib file I had just created.  Added a NIC adapter in the configuration step and then let it do it's thing and 14 minutes later, I had a nice new vmdk!

Once vmdk is made, I opened up the VMWare Server web application and logged in and proceeded to "Add Virtual Machine to Inventory".  Once that is done, I removed the floppy controller from the configuration, since no floppy on new system, and fired up the virtual machine.

VM booted nicely with some errors regarding the SCSI tape drive, UPS missing, and a display setting problem with drivers.  No network working either, it was setup as bridged in the configuration, but I have not installed the VMWare Tools yet!  No worries, I went on to do that.

Whoa!  No CD-ROM so I cannot install VMWare tools?  Yes, there are some preliminary steps that HAD to be made for me to get this to work =), and here they go.

Gotcha Steps

Start > Control Panels > Devices and find the atapi, cdfs, and cdrom devices and ensure that they are all three set to startup with system by clicking the Startup button and choosing "System".

Start > Control Panels > SCSI Adapters and click "Add" on "Drivers" tab and choose the second option "MASS Storage Devices", and select from right pane, the "IDE CD-ROM" driver.  Click "Yes" to reuse drivers and then RESTART the virtual machine.

Once restarted is complete :

Right click on desktop "Network Neighborhood" and go to "Properties" in the contextual menu.  Once property sheet is open, click on the "Adapters" tab, and remove any adapters in there and close out.

Now another gotcha that froze me for a bit, is the network adapters.  I had to use the AMD PCnet family network adapter driver (vlance), because VMWare Tools wouldn't install the vmxnet right and my network wasn't working my first time around.

After downloading the AMD PCnet Windows NT driver, I extracted and made an ISO image with PowerISO of it and dropped the ISO into the "C:\Virtual Machines" path so I can attach the virtual CD-ROM to this ISO to load the driver in the now virtual NT 4 server.

Once this is attached, back in Windows NT 4 environment, went to the CD-ROM drive under "My Computer", and copied the "V4.19" folder with the driver in it, out of the ISO onto the "C:\" drive, just root.  Then right clicked "Network Neighborhood", went to "Properties" from the contextual menu, and clicked on the "Adapters" tab.  Once there, Choose have disk to install the AMD PCnet driver.  Once installed, setup the TCP/IP settings for you network environment, and restart.

Whew, what a monster to get this VM working!  But wait! What is up with the display settings and the SVGA II driver??  Uggh!!  I know, it was a pain.  So, the workaround on this I found on this article in the community.

So that is it, after following that to fix the display adapter and everything else with vmware tools is good and server running with network capabilities.  I just went in and removed old services from old devices that were attached and cleaned up the boot stuff.  Added in the VMWare Server admin interface, to shutdown/starup my vmware guest on host boot/shutdown.  And added my backup jobs, and customer was happy =)

Additional Resources

- HTH, l8tr

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