the not so easy migration from VMWare server to KVM for Windows guests

As previously written [1], we are currently migrating our existing VMWare Server 2.0 guests to KVM, running on Debian sid [2] installations (yes, sid indeed, for the sake of a KVM installation as up2date as possible).

While things have been really extremely flawless for linux guests, the migration of our Windows guests has more been the cause of an headache:

  1. BEFORE anything else, prepare your any of your Windows guests:
    remove VMWare Tools
  2. BEFORE anything else, prepare your Windows >= XP guests:
    fix your registry as documented here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314082/en-us (load the mergeide.reg found on the page into the registry).
  3. migration of split virtual harddisks:
    If you find your virtual hard disks to be split into chunks of files (typically 2GB big), you need to merge the pieces into one big file as written here [3]. It boils down to this AFTER shutting down your guests:
    % vmware-vdiskmanager -r "Windows XP Professional.vmdk" -t 0 $THE_NAME_OF_THE_BIG_FAT_FILE.vmdk

further troubles you might see:

  • Windows 2000 does not start but displays a message about ntoskrnl.exe
    see my previous post [1]
  • Windows XP, Part 1: it starts to boot but reboots during the boot process:
    First ensure that you have acpi enabled for the guest (the kvm process must not have the -no-acpi parameter). If it has and you are using libvirtd to control your guests, open the guest XML file and ensure that the <features> element contains acpi and apic subelements:
    <features>
    <acpi/>
    <apic/>
    </features>
  • Windows XP, Part 2: it starts to boot but reboots during the boot process:
    If it still doesn’t boot, ensure that you have performed step#2 from above
  • Windows XP, Part 3: it starts to boot but reboots during the boot process:
    And if it still doesn’t boot, try to boot into safe mode and find out the last driver windows tries to load. If that happens to be agp440.sys, then you are not alone, see this microsoft kb article [4]. You may go with the solution described in here or even delete/rename it like suggested in this FAQ for VirtualBox [5]

Follwing these steps allowed us to migrate most of our installations, some WXP migrations failed however.

[1] http://riaschissl.blogs.bestsolution.at/2009/06/17/kvm-windows-2000-does-not-boot-because-ntoskrnl-exe-is-missing-or-corrupt/
[2] http://www.debian.org/releases/unstable/
[3] http://blog.bodhizazen.net/linux/convert-vmware-vmdk-to-kvm-qcow2-or-virtualbox-vdi/
[4] http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324764
[5] http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Migrate_Windows

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2 Comments on "the not so easy migration from VMWare server to KVM for Windows guests"

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mohit
Guest

In all system windows like XP window, Window vista etc, we are facing problems regarding window registry and other error like shutdown problems either that is Window vista or that is XP window. Every one are facing this problems. I also faced this problem but only registry easy can fix window registry files. I think it will compulsory to download registry easy for every one.

Shown
Guest

I am agree with this comment and I had also so many errors and unwanted files but when I downloaded registry easy then my system problems have been solved.

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