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Windows 7: Vmware ESXI using EXISTING Virtual Machines

08 Apr 2011   #1

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
Vmware ESXI using EXISTING Virtual Machines

Hi all
If you've just started to use ESXi then you can also CONVERT your existing VM's into ESXI format.

I'm using an old Windows box for my esxi server - but as yet I haven't found a way to connect directly to any Windows partitions I've left on the server

So 1) COPY the VM's you want to import to a USB device before you "kill" your Windows box.

2) download and start up the vmware converter -- the conversion program is quite good -- prompts you all the way asking for SOURCE and TARGET files.

For SOURCE specify your existing VM
for TARGET specify IP address of your VM ESXI server giving user name (normally Root) and password.

Once it's done then you can get back into the Vsphere client to make any changes you moght want to the VM, and simply power it on.

After VM is powered on from the Vsphere client just connect to the console and then you should see the boot sequence of your newly copied VM. You might be asked to re-activate if its windows as the hardware is a bit different now.

It can take a few hours if you are copying from a USB drive and using a Wireless Lan to connect to the ESXi server. In my case a largish W2K3 virtual machine took about 5 hours but its far better than re-installing this VM again with all its applications from scratch.

The main problem in installing ESXi with domestic mobos is that it will bomb out if the LAN is not compatable -- almost ALL onboard LANS won't work.

Cheap one to get you started is INTEL 1000 pro --remember its got a small form factor so you have to be a bit tricky in mounting it on to a Tower type case as it wont fit in the normal slots (its half height) but you can fix this by slightly bending the back of the PC where you install normal sized PCI cards and just clip it on.

Next issues I want to deal with are Sound and removable USB's -- that will have to wait but at least the hardware is up and running together with two VM's Windows XP sp3 and Windows W2K3 server.

Enc screen shot of the conversion process.


Attached Thumbnails
Vmware ESXI  using EXISTING Virtual Machines-vmware_conv.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Apr 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Hmmm.....sound and USB....something I've never had to figure out. As most of my servers are in remote data centers thousands of miles away. Don't need to connect USB devices and don't have sound on my text only linux servers

I think that USB pass through was an ESXi 4.1 feature;

Also, when you read documentation on ESX and ESXi, you will see some people taking about what ESX can do compared to ESXi. Well, vmware has moved away from having both ESX and ESXi. With 4.1 going forward, it's just ESXi and that's it. If you can live with the standard features and such, you can use it free forever. For any of the advanced features, you will need to license it and get a vcenter server up and going. For 3 hosts or less, you can get basic licensing with an Essentials pack for about $499. You won't get the fancy features like vMotion and storage vMotion though (this costs a lot more). But then again, most home users don't have shared disc storage anyway for it's often not necessary.

90% of the ESXi boxes that I use are just the free ESXi variety. In our production environment we run ESX 4.0 with the full suite of features and it's awesome being able to move machines around on the fly without any downtime. But like I said, it's the tunes of 10s of thousands of dollars.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2011   #3

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi

Hi there
Things like Sound and USB are much more needed for HOME type networks of course .

Actually SOUND on the actual HOST (ESXi) box isn't that important since I use SQUEEZESERVER which is an MySQL app to transmit Audio to my Internet Radio or a SQUEEZEBOX duet (or both) and the sound is actually played on the CLIENT / REMOTE devices. The SQUEEZEBOX server runs on an XP VM (it can also run on Windows 7 or a W2K3 server too).

I DO need the USB connection as the USB drives hold all my FLAC files which the SQUEEZESERVER can transmit so I need to be able to attach a USB disk to my VM which has the SQUEEZEBOX server (or at least I need some mechanism to copy the FLAC files to the VM disks on one of the VM machines and a USB drive seems the best way to achieve this)

I'd like to be able to transmit VIDEO as well in the future also from the server.

If I can get the USB pass through to work then that's 99% of the requirement solved.

Other file sharing and a Virtual EMAIL server work great.

For one or two VM's the SATA drives aren't doing too bad either -- this stuff is a GREAT learning experience but documentation is always a bit flimsy / hard to find like that stupid problem of trying where to insert the license number.

Virtualising this stuff saves me from having to have HOST Windows 7 machines up and running -- I can just leave the ESXI server running 24/7 and start / stop the appropriate vm at will.

If it all works I think I can actually save 2 BOXES. !!!!

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Vmware ESXI using EXISTING Virtual Machines

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