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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Converting from VHD to VMDK in Technical; Having had enumerable problems with Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V on some god-aweful Acer 'server' hardware (AT350 F1 - http://static.acer.com/up/Resource/A...v1_4-26-11.pdf ). ...
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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Converting from VHD to VMDK

    Having had enumerable problems with Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V on some god-aweful Acer 'server' hardware (AT350 F1 - http://static.acer.com/up/Resource/A...v1_4-26-11.pdf). I am looking at moving it to ESXi that may support its hardware filth a little better.

    As such I'm looking at ways to convert the VHDs to VMDKs. Looking around I have found two ways and I was wondering if anyone had used them or any other methods:
    StarWind Free V2V converter | Convert VMDK to VHD Image Files for Free
    Howtos - How to convert VHD to VMDK file format (convert to VMDK) using convert tool WinImage 8.10

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    I don't know much about VMWare but I always understood it to have more stringent controls over what hardware it can run on (when compared to Hyper-V) as such are you sure this move will work for you?
    Depending on the roles your VHD servers are running you might even be able to do a live migrate to a VMDK using the free tools from VMWare themselves.

    Alternatively if you could us know what is up with your current Hyper-V install there might be a fix

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    SYNACK (1st November 2011)

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    VMware has a slightly newer Hyperviser with actual support for intels screwups on their silicon on their latest chips. I also know of someone else running one under ESXi which is playing a whole lot nicer than mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    Alternatively if you could us know what is up with your current Hyper-V install there might be a fix
    If only, I have been hacking away at it for quite a while, first up the C1E screwup on intel westmare chips was causing 101 bluescreens. That seems to have been fixed by a reg hack and disabling practically all the power saving on the CPUs.

    Next were the extra virtual memory pipes in the new intel chips, theres too many for Hyper-V to handle so it drops half of them off and sets the rest to generic. This helpfully drops all IO operations to a crawl after a short burst of speed, we are talking disk transfer rates from a four disk array slower than I could get of a standard desktop drive. This again was somewhat fixed with a hotfix which switched the pipes back to their native modes but still leaves some disabled.

    All of this I could cope with if the little dirtbag of a thing did not randomly drop all network connections for short bursts. Given that all the servers and the TMG are hosted in it that makes for one hell of a disruption. This I tried to fix with the hotfixes supposed to prevent it dropping under heavy load and upped the virtual memory on the hyper-v adapters whih did make it way faster but has still not fixed the problem. This stupid issue has been in Hyper-V and complained about for a year at least with no real fix.

    Coupled with this the filthy hardware would not install the NIC drivers unless forced (by selecting the driver directly by name as it won't autodetect). The BIOS is also a shocker defaulting to put external USB hard drives in the boot order ahead of the RAID array meaning that one needs to set it manually so it does not stop a restart by trying to boot the external drive.

    For a so-called server I have had so many issues with the POS that I would dearly love to load the thing into a seige engine and fling it through the window of Acers HQ so they can deal with the filthy thing.

    The only reason I am looking to ESXi is desparation to find something that will work on this filthy Acer hardware.

    I would be happy to stick with Hyper-V if there is a solution but I am loosing hope that that is the case and I don't want to have to wait for the end of 2012 for MS to support last years CPUs propperly and work reliably on a network.

    Any help would be welcome though.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 1st November 2011 at 02:15 PM.

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    plexer (1st November 2011)

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    All I shall say is ouch! I did hear of problems with i7 processors on Hyper-V however the fix I came acrross for that one is probably one you have already applied - Stop error message on a Windows Server 2008 R2-based computer that has the Hyper-V role installed and that uses one or more Intel CPUs that are code-named Nehalem: "0x00000101 - CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" (its for Nehalem but I would imagine it would follow through to Westmare chips as well).

    The problems there sound like the reasons why I stick with AMD processors (although the Fusion chips did play up with VirtualBox on 64bit).

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    SYNACK (1st November 2011)

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    plexer's Avatar
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    That's so poetic

    What backup solution do you use? could you not just restore a full backup onto a new esxi virtual server?

    Ben

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    SYNACK (1st November 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    All I shall say is ouch! I did hear of problems with i7 processors on Hyper-V however the fix I came acrross for that one is probably one you have already applied - Stop error message on a Windows Server 2008 R2-based computer that has the Hyper-V role installed and that uses one or more Intel CPUs that are code-named Nehalem: "0x00000101 - CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT" (its for Nehalem but I would imagine it would follow through to Westmare chips as well).

    The problems there sound like the reasons why I stick with AMD processors (although the Fusion chips did play up with VirtualBox on 64bit).
    AMD CPUs in servers cost way more than the Intel solutions here in this little backwater. That error is the same one I was talking about and is present in both architechtures, how good is Intels bug fixing

    I do have to say that on the slightly older CPU'd propper hp servers Hyper-V works totally fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    That's so poetic

    What backup solution do you use? could you not just restore a full backup onto a new esxi virtual server?

    Ben
    Thanks for that...

    Backup is a combination of copies of the raw VHDs plus daily backups using Windows Backup. Yes you may mock me but when the schools budget is unrealistinc you end up with the bare basics and cheaper hardware. In this case Acer hardware which is bubbling steaming excrement!!!

    I could do full backups and restores but which the 'speed' of the LSI 'RAID' card coupled with the quality of the Acer hardware it would take a week. Drive conversion is going to be much quicker. I'll also have to do a swing migration, borrowing hardware to migrate off to then do a reinstall of the base hardware and swing it back. I am not looking foward to it and I will never be touching Acer gear again, well unless I need something to test the strength of a woodchipper and can't find an Acer engineer or sales rep to feed it

    Oh, and their after sales support is just as good as their hardware.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 1st November 2011 at 02:46 PM.

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    I think vmware converter might do what you want.

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    SYNACK (1st November 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    AMD CPUs in servers cost way more than the Intel solutions here in this little backwater. That error is the same one I was talking about and is present in both architechtures, how good is Intels bug fixing
    Phew remind me never to move to New Zealand! Don't think I could live without my precious AMD.

    Certinly does sound like your only move is to look at other hypervisors

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    Phew remind me never to move to New Zealand! Don't think I could live without my precious AMD.

    Certinly does sound like your only move is to look at other hypervisors
    Yea, our supply chains are a case of 'you'll get what we decide to offer eventually at whatever cost and be grateful for it'.


    No-one out there with experience of the above OP tools??

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    Don't just convert the image formats, you will be better off if you do a full conversion as this will then allow you to reset your disk sizes and install hardware and VMtools on the migrated image, VMware Converter 5 is free and now works very well (although they have removed the plug-in based version of the software in vSphere 5 curiously) download here (you will need to be registered)

    Any problems give me a hollar!

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    SYNACK (2nd November 2011)

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    Thanks, I'll have a look at that. I'll give each of the options a go and see which one works out best when I get some time to do it.

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    scifidale's Avatar
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    +1 for vmware convertor, the current versions will allow you to convert from hyper-v and also 3rd party backup images

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    andrew-virtusolve (2nd November 2011), SYNACK (2nd November 2011)

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