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 expand or shrink a system disk for a VMware virtual machine running a Microsoft OS hosted by a VMware Server

This process is only available to Microsoft OS virtual machines. I am still looking at a way of expanding a system disk on a Linux virtual machine.

Install the VMware Converter Standalone Client which can be downloaded from here


You may need to register with VMware to download it but it is a free download.

Once installed double click the Converter Standalone Client icon


Select ‘Convert Machine’


Select the ‘Source Type’ from the drop down menu. In this case it is ‘VMware Workstation or other VMware virtual machine’

Next, browse to the location of the virtual machine file and click ‘Next’


Select the VMware product. In this case it is VMware Server 1.x

Enter the Virtual machine details and finally choose a location for the ‘converted’ virtual machine


At the View/Edit Options screen click the ‘Edit’ link next to the ‘Data to copy’ selection


In the ‘Data copy type’ select ‘Select volumes to copy’

NB: This particular option is not available on Linux images which prevents them from being expanded.


You have the option to maintain, minimise and select a custom size higer than the minimum size.


I have selected to increase size from 8 to 10GB


Click ‘Next’ and select ‘Finish’ at the ‘Ready to Complete’ screen


The task now runs and its status can be followed through the Converter main window


Once the converted image has been created test the image and ensure that it works as normal before deleting the original image.

How to convert a VMware Server Image to ESX Server 3.5 (V2V) using the VMware Converter Enterprise utility

If you have a virtual image that is hosted on a VMware Server instance and you wish to transfer this to an existing Virtual Infrastructure consisting of a number of ESX servers then you need to run the VMware Converter Enterprise utility.

There are two versions of the Converter utility, Starter and Enterprise. The Starter version is available to everyone and is great in converting physical machines to virtual images (P2V) and for backing up and cloning images. The Enterprise utility is only available to those that have a Virtual Infrastructure Enterprise Edition licensing although there is no additional cost incurred. It also allows conversion to an ESX environment.

Installing the VMware Converter Enterprise plugin

The plugin is built into the Virtual Infrastructure Client and is the quickest and easiest way to run it. There is the advantage of being able to run the conversion tool from your own PC or any location that has a VMware Infrastructure Client installed.

You can also download a stand alone copy from the VMware site but for this process using the plugin in the VI client is easier.

Double click the ‘VMware Infrastructure Client’ shortcut


Select ‘Plugins’ and then ‘Manage Plugins’


In the ‘Available’ tab select the ‘Download and install..’ button. If it is not there you may already have it installed. This being the case check the ‘Installed’ tab


When prompted to select a language select ‘English (United States)’


Select ‘Next’ at the ‘Welcome’ screen


Select ‘Install’


The Converter utility is installed. Click ‘Finish’


The Plugin manager now shows the Converter Enterprise Client as installed


Select the ‘Installed’ tab and check the ‘Enabled’ box in the VMware Converter Enterprise Client. Click OK


At this point I would now recommend powering off the image that you wish to convert.

Right click on the ESX Server that you wish to host the converted image and select ‘Import Machine…’


The ‘Import Wizard’ opens. Click ‘Next’


Select ‘Other’ in the source drop down selection field. You could also select ‘Physical Computer’ here if you wanted to carry out a Physical to Virtual (P2V) conversion.


Select the Virtual Machine path and the add details of the relevant user account and password required to access the path.


At the ‘Source Data’ screen select ‘Import all disks and maintain size’


Select the ‘Destination’. This should be the ESX server that you initially right clicked to import the machine to


Give the Virtual Machine a name. This will probably be the same name as it already has


Select the Datastore to import the image to. If your ESX server has local storage this will also show as an option, in this instance it is ‘storage1’


Select the number of network interfaces that you require. This tends to be the same as is already configured within the image.

Also select whether you want them powered on or off. This would be useful if you want to test the server before allowing it to go live


Check the ‘Install VMware Tools’ and ‘Remove all System Restore checkpoints’ options


Run the task immediately unless you wish to schedule out of hours


Confirm that your settings are correct and also check the ‘Power on the new virtual machine after creation’ if you wish for the image to be automatically started up once imported


The conversion begins and you can follow progress in the ‘Recent Tasks’ area


Selecting the task also shows a more detailed progress report


Once created the imported virtual machine is started and operational!