VMware – Invalid Virtual Machine

I received a email from one of my higher authorities to backup one of the ERP servers data, reformat it and keep it ready for re-installation of application.

The server was used for testing purpose, and am well aware of these people’s reaction and baseless pinpoints, oh you didn’t backup this, and that and oh what happened to the file blah blah blah….

How can one (sysadmin’s) defend in such a situation, well here am sharing my experience as well the proactive measures adopted in backing up the system.

It would have been simple, just copy the data (excluding system files) from servers internal drive (all partitions) to external hdd and reformat the server.
But i wanted to adopt a different method of backup, as well the traditional backup.

Hence i backed up the entire physical machine (see the pic at the end for the machine type and model) using VMware Converter (P2V – Physical to Virtual backup) to be imported into VMware Server version 2.0.1 build 156745. The conversion was successful, but when i tried to import the virtual machine i received the following error:

After searching through vmware forum and inspite of adopting the suggestions recommended in fixing the similar error other peers had faced the import failed. Finally i found another suggestion (thanks tech.alexi of petri.co.il) though omgili search.

It was the encoding problem in the .vmx file, i changed it from .encoding = “windows-1252 to .encoding = “windows-1256 and lo the machine started without any glitch.

Note: The VMware Server was hosted on Windows 2k3 Server Ent. Edn 32 bit

Physical Host

Vmware Host 

Note: All the critical information revealing the organization data are concealed in the pics due to security measures.

What happens after P2V of Domain Member Windows 2K3 R2 STD x64 Server..?

Objective: proof of concept testbed to check the feasibility of P2V

Having used virtualization technology from free to use products (VMware Server, Citrix XenServer), always wanted to check the feasibility of P2V specially domain member windows server.

Well, today i achieved that with VMware’s vCenter Converter Standalone and VMware Server (ver 2.0.1, build 156745) running on Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition x86 R2 SP2.

I converted one of the physical server (h/w: IBM System x3550) to virtual server, running Oracle application server on Win2K3 STD x64 R2 edition platform. After P2V migration tested and verified the integrity of unique machine SID and Windows Domain computer account ObjectSID with the exception of MAC address.

below are the details:

pMachine Domain ObjectSID (AdExplorer)

vMachine Domain ObjectSID

pMachine ID: (psgetsid)
SID for \\TRWEBP2:

vMachine ID: (psgetsid)
SID for \\TRWEBP2:



Note: It was tested to check the above mention objective, no other test was run after P2V migration.
         Need to test the same with Citrix XenServer and will eventually post the same.