VMWare virtualise a Windows 2008R2 server with P2V

I am being in the process of virtualising a Windows 2008 R2 server with P2V.
That is, from HP hardware to VMWare.
Since this is a hardware HP machine, I have made the following considerations using P2V.

Before virtualising:

– Make sure that the P2V-tool assigns each disk to a vmdk, by default it makes one big disk, something you may not want. (it handy to slice it up, in case you want to change datastore, or perhaps make a change in cluster size later.)
– Set the name of the server right, it reflects this in the datastore directory.
– Set the CPU right, I usually take 2 cpu, 2 cores, but ofcourse that is up to you or your licensing model.
– In P2V, deselect the option to install VMWare tools, do it manually later, or your sever may hang.

Make sure you stop Exchange services (taking the exchange server offline, so it stops mail reception and delivery, –if you have an Exchange server, it was in this case.).
Stop all HP services (set the services to manual, so that they don’t start once virtualised).

After virtualising:

– First start the server in safe mode, to make sure the new “hardware” drivers install correctly.
– Reboot the server, boot normally, install VMware tools.
– Remove any network cards in VMWare and add the VMX3 net network card.
– Set  IP, netmask, gateway, dns entries as before/recommended. A message will show in Windows that there is a card that has these settings, this message will resolve that.

– Deinstall HP software
o (Eventually. you may need to stop HP Services)
o (Eventually, you may need to kill the HP Insight management in task manager)
o (Eventually, you may need to kill other HP processes with task manager)
– Activate Windows, because of hardware changes, key should still be the same.
– Deinstall disconnected drivers in Device Manager:
– In cmd, execute:
set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
– From the menu, select: Show hidden devices
– You can now remove all drivers that are not in use with [del] [enter]. Do not forget to remove software when the deletion of the driver gives this option.
– Do not deinstall fs_rec, this is supposed to be a MS driver of sorts.
– Finally reboot, done!

Hope this helps you, have fun!

P.S. there are more considerations when pushing an Exchange to VMware, such as disk cluster size, IOps etc, but I won’t cover that in this post. More on that here: http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/exchange-2010-on-vmware-best-practices-guide.pdf


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