How to perform Vmware P2V

In this article I explain how to perform a simple P2V using vmware convertor. This guide is designed for IT professionals.

Pre-Requisite Checks

  • Are there any usual PCI cards  e.g. SCSI cards. If there are you may not be able to virtualise
  • Are there any USB devices connected.
  • How big are the server drives  will they fit on the destination ESXi server
  • Is there enough RAM on the destination ESXi server
  • Confirm both source and destination servers are on a GB port otherwise the p2v may take a long time.

Step 1 – Prepare the Machine for P2V

I recommend the following steps:-

  • Make a note of the IP settings. Go to the start menu, then choose run and enter “cmd”. This will bring up a cmd prompt. In the cmd prompt enter ipconfig /all > c:\ipconfig.txt. On windows 7 you will have to run the cmd prompt with administrative permissions or you may get an access denied error

This is because following the p2v a “new” network adaptor is installed and this will need to have the IP information entered into it.

  • Stop any services that will keep data files open  for example the exchange information store or SQL services

This will ensure that the files are brought across in a consistent state.

Step 2 – Download and Install VMWare Convertor

  • Download and install. Although you can run vmware convertor remotely you will have a greater chance of success if you install it on the machine you want to p2v. Vmware convertor can be downloaded from here:-

  • Disable SSL (optional) – By default, VMware Converter uses SSL to transmit data. Switching off SSL will speed up the p2v. You can do this by editing an xml file on the machine running VMware converter. It is located in

    C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone\converter-client.xml

    Look in the NFC section:


    <useSsl>false</useSsl> –Change to false.



Step 3 – Start the P2V

  1. Open VMware converterand select “convert machine”, then “This local machine” (assuming you installed the converter on the machine you want to p2v).

  1. Enter the details for the ESXi server you want to connect to and click next. Note that if you use a vCenter Server you may want to enter those details instead. Ignore any SSL errors.

  1. On the next screen enter the name of the VM and click next.
  2. On the next screen where you want to store the VM. Obviously make sure there is sufficient disk space!
  3. On the options section there are a few things you will wish to check. Firstly the disk layout  if there machine has multiple drives you may wish to make sure they are all on separate virtualdisks. This will make resizing the drives in the future far easier.

  4. vCPUs – consider the number of CPUs needed for the virtual machine. If the VM is not running software that takes advantage of multiple CPUs (such as exchange, SQL etc) then there is little point having more than one CPU.
  5. Networks – Again if the VM only requires one network card there is little point having 2. I also recommend disabling the network card. This allows you to check the p2v has been successful before shutting down the original physical machine.

  1. Services – I recommend disabling any hardware specific services (such as Dell Openmanage) that will not be required once the machine is virtualised.

  1. I recommend choosing to install vmware tools following conversion (this saves doing it manually).

  1. Click next and start the p2v process.


Step 4 – Post P2V

  • Logon to the ESXi server (or vCenter) and check that the new virtual machine has started up successfully.
  • Assuming it has you can now power down the original host.
  • If you disabled the network card in step 7 above then you now need to enable it. You can do this by editing the properties of the VM.


  • Go to the control panel and remove any hardware specific software which is now not needed. For example Dell OpenManage software.
  • Again in the control panel go to the network section and put the IP addresses into the network card. You can get the IP information from the c:\ipconfig.txt file created in step 1.

  • Reboot the new VM and verify you can access it over the network.



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