vCenter Converter error 1603 when attempting P2V conversion on Windows 2000 server to vSphere

I had this error when I installed version 4.x.x of the Converter software on a Windows 2000 server. After some research it seems that ONLY the Converter 3.0.3 version is compatible with Windows 2000 Server SP4. It is a tricky version to get hold of but is available if you search.

‘Preparing to configure Windows – Do not turn off your computer’ – On a virtual infrastructure vCentre server

After installing the latest Windows updates and restarting the server you get the message ‘Preparing to configure Windows – Do not turn off your computer’ which seems like it has hung.

Initially I was unable to connect to the server at all via vSphere client or RDP. After a mild panic I connected to each vSphere node with the vSphere client until I found the server that was hosting the vCentre server. I was then able to access the console.

Panic over I decided to restart the server which kick started whatever update had crashed the server and I was able to then log in.


VMware virtual machine screen resolution only has a maximum resolution of 1176 x 885. Is it possible to increase?

After looking at the display adapter (VMware SVGA II) in the host XP VM I could not manage to have the display as full screen.
I assumed that I may need to edit the local VM’s .vmx file and specify 1280 x 1024 but it was actually easier to resolve.
– Power down the VM
– Select Edit Settings in the vSphere client
– Select Video Card
– In the right hand pane ‘Specify custom settings’ should be selected
– Click on the Video Memory Calculator button
– Under resolution select 1600 x 1200 (I initially chose 1280 x 1024 but in XP this still only gave me a maximum of 1280 x 960) and click OK
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– Restart your VM and then manually set the resolution
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VMware ESXi requires the Execute Disable/No Execute CPU feature to be enabled


I received this error when trying to upgrade an ESXi 4.1 server to 5.1. The error is caused when the No-Execute Memory Protection option is set to disabled. In my scenario I had a HP server so this was quite a simple process to enable the option in the BIOS. I was then able to run the setup successfully thereafter.


Installing Hotfix KB913384 for .Net 2.0 – The upgrade patch cannot be installed by the Windows Installer Service because the program to be upgraded may be missing…..

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You receive the above error despite the fact that qualifying products are installed. This was on a Windows 2003 SP2 server. Turns out that the hotfix will only install when there is a just .Net 2.0 installed and no service packs.
I managed to find a discussion that recommended installing KB971030 but this had been discontinued and superceded by KB981574! Information is here:
Unfortunately it states the hotfix is only available via a call to Microsoft – I googled the hotfix and found that I could download it from and I installed the x86 version NDP20SP2-KB981574-x86.exe although there are IA64 and x64 versions available.
Hopefully this will now stop the .Net fatal exception errors in the event viewer and the crashing of a third party application service.


API version on the source server does not allow transfer operation error

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You receive the error when using Veeam Backup and FastSCP 3.0.2 and when you are attempting to transfer files between a client and an ESX/ESXi server.

Found this excellent post which recommended upgrading the Veeam software from 3.0.2 to 3.0.3 and voila it does indeed work:


V2V conversion using VMware Converter fails at 97% with error: Unable to find the system volume, reconfiguration is not possible

I tried to move a Windows 7 VM from ESXi to vSphere but as it neared completion the Converter stated that it had failed.

After a little search I found this from VMware

It described a long process of going through an OS repair mode on the original source machine and using BCDEDIT to reset the partition settings used during the boot process.

I didn’t go through the repair process but instead booted the source VM to run the three BCDEDIT commands that it lists. I was only getting success with the first one:

bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=C:

and an error regarding syntax with the other two commands:

bcdedit /set {default} device partition=C:

bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partition=C:

In the end and out of curiosity I checked the destination VM because even though it had errorred, it had still completed the conversion and was listed as a powered off VM in the Virtual Infrastructure.

Strangely it powered on and worked as normal! I can only assume that the error was some kind of registration problem as the VM functions correctly and its’ partitions are listed correctly.


How to access the BIOS screen in a VM virtual machine

I find sometimes that the POST screen can pass too quickly which makes it pretty impossible to to access the BIOS.

  • If you are using vSphere or ESXi connect to the server using the vSphere or VI client

  • Right click on the VM that you need to access the BIOS of

  • Select Edit Settings then Options

  • Click on Boot Options and in the right hand pane tick the box under the Force BIOS setup field



  • Restart the VM and the BIOS will automatically load. This will only happen once so if you need to access it multiple times then you will need to manually set it each time

You receive the error message “Unable to determine Guest Operating System” when trying to move a VM using VMware Converter

Had an issue moving a Windows 2008 x64 R2 Server and constantly recived the error unable to determine guest operating system. 

Found this excellent solution here

Was able to change the guest operating system to just Windows 2008 and was then able to convert. Then I was able to change the guest OS back to R2 x64 after the conversion.