Monday, May 4, 2009

Converting VHD to VMDK SCSI for ESX

I had problems converting a 2003 server VHD to a vmdk that I could import into a VM running on ESX. I used WinImage to convert eh VHD->VMDK, but it seems WinImage creates the VMDK as an IDE device, which is unsupported by ESX. I'm sure there are better ways to do this, such as satisfying whatever the pre-requisites are to getting VMware converter to automatically inject the drivers, but it was interesting doing it manually.

Below is information on the process that I thought would have worked automatically, followed by the manual steps I took to make it work.

To convert the vmdk, the following process was first tried to get VMware converter to convert the IDE disk to something ESX would recognise:

  1. 1. Use WinImage to create the vmdk from the vhd
  2. 2. Use a VMware workstation VMX, including the disk as an IDE device. (a modified vmx is fine you don’t actually need VMware workstation)
  3. 3. Use VMware converter to import the workstation VMX into VC

I thought this would have been enough, but the VMware Converter process failed at 95% saying that it couldn’t find symmpi.sys. Symmpi.sys is the LSI Logic SCSI driver for the virtual SCSI adapter. I’m guessing that running VMware converter should automatically inject the drivers into the vmdk but couldn’t in this scenario (maybe because my local PC didn’t have the driver, or maybe because the driver cache cab files containing symmpi.sys weren’t on the target vmdk).

Powering on the machine resulted in a stop 0x7b inaccessible disk error. To manually fix the problem, I then:

  1. Added the disk to another VM. When starting the VM it warned that the new disk was created for LSI not buslogic. I said yes to convert to buslogic (which this VM was using as opposed to LSI).

The drive was then accessible through the VM, and I added the drivers (file and registry):

  1. Copied the driver file to the drivers directory: copy "\\%workingVM%\c$\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\symmpi.sys" "%mountedDrive%:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers"
  2. Copied the driver cache files to the machine from a working 2003: copy "\\%workingVM%\c$\WINDOWS\Driver Cache\i386\*.*" "%mountedDrive%:\WINDOWS\Driver Cache\i386"
  3. Exported the HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\symmpiregistry and HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CriticalDeviceDatabase\pci#ven_1000&dev_0030 entries from a working server as regedit4 files (not Unicode).
  4. Loaded the %mountedDrive%:\windows\system32\config\system registry hive on the disk to HKLM\VM: reg load HKLM\VM %mountedDrive%:\windows\system32\config\system
  5. Modified the reg files to match the path the hive was loaded to (eg HKLM\VM\controlset001 instead of HKLM\system\currentcontrolset). The modified reg files are included below.
  6. Imported the registry files which modified the loaded system hive on the disk
  7. Disconnected the hive, shutdown the VM and disconnected the disk from the VM and reattached to the server created during the VMware Converter process
  8. Turned on the server and was prompted to convert the disk type back to LSI (which I did).
  9. The server started normally

Note that the conversion between buslogic and LSI logic in both directions were only required because the virtual machine that I mounted the disk on had a different adapter type.

"Group"="SCSI miniport"





Injecting SCSI controller device drivers into Windows

Troubleshooting a virtual machine that fails to boot with STOP 0x7B error

Wayne's World of IT (WWoIT), Copyright 2009 Wayne Martin.

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About Me

I’ve worked in IT for over 20 years, and I know just about enough to realise that I don’t know very much.