Problem migrating a Windows 2003 VMs to AHV

  • 23 October 2016
  • 5 replies
  • 5008 views

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We are actually in the process of converting a client's cluster from ESXi to AHV.

Some of the VMs OSes (Windows 2003, 2008 x86) aren't supported by NGT and can't be converted, we are planning moving them outside the cluster, converting it then migrating them back to AHV.

We are doing some test with a CE cluster and migrating some Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 to it just to be sure before doing the real conversion.

So far, I was able to migrate a Windows 2008 without any problem by first installing the Fedora VirtIO. After doing a storage vmotion to the AHV cluster then creating a new vm using the vmdk from the original VM, the VM booted fine and detected the new hardware device.

Doing the same on Windows 2003 didn't yield the same result. I tried different methods as described here (and clearly indicate that this is possible):

http://next.nutanix.com/t5/Installation-Configuration/WIndows-2k3-on-Nutanix-with-Acropolis/m-p/2560/highlight/true#M213
http://vmwaremine.com/2016/06/16/migrate-windows-server-2003-to-nutanix-ahv/


But I am getting the same result everytime, the VM refuse to boot with a "Error loading operating system", probably due to the fact that the right drivers aren't loaded in the OS but I just can't find the right drivers or the right combination.

The test VM is a Windows 2003R2 x86 with all the latest updates possible from Microsoft.

Any ideas what might be wrong?

5 replies

Userlevel 7
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Take us through step by step what you did. What configuration did you give the guest on the AHV side? Did you use IDE, PCI, or SCSI for the disk controller.
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I tried multiple things.

First, I tried the same method that I used with Windows 2008:
- While still running on vSphere, I went and installed the drivers from the Fedora VirtIO version 0.1.126. This version didn't have the SCSI pass-through drivers for Windows 2003, so I went and installed the SCSI pass-through from 0.1.81. I also tried 0.1.100 (starting from scratch, not reinstalling on the driver)
- After the driver installed, I stopped the VM and did a storage vMotion to the NFS storage of the Nutanix cluster. After the vMotion was done, I removed the VM from vSphere inventory
- I went and created a new VM on AHV and cloned the hard drive from ADSF. I created the new hard drive using a SCSI bus, like I did for Windows 2008
- I booted the VM and received the error mentionned

Second, I tried the method from Artur Krzywdzinski (here):
- While still running on vSphere, I went and ran MergeIDE on the Windows 2003
- I stopped the VM and did a storage vMotion to the NFS storage of the Nutanix cluster. After the vMotion was done, I removed the VM from vSphere inventory
- I went and created a new VM on AHV and cloned the hard drive from ADSF. I created the new hard drive using a IDE bus
- I booted the VM and received the error mentionned

After that, I tried different variants like creating the image from acli exactly like in Mr Krzywdzinski's post. Tried different versions of Fedora VirtIO SCSI pass-through driver with drive created on SCSI bus. I also tried the latest version of MergeIDE directly from the author (here). It seems that you are supposed (according to google's translation of the website) to run it from another OS, the OS you wish to use this tool on must be offline for this to work. Anyway, still had exactly the same result with all the methods I tried.
Userlevel 7
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Are you testing this on your NFR gear? or is this on the client gear?

Either way, As you could imagine, no one (including Microsoft) supports Windows 2003 anymore since its super old, but we should find a way to make this work without making the client upgrade the OS

It may be worth to get a support ticket open with Nutanix support to help debug this one instance. Support doesn't do the migrations for you, but perhaps we could help put a second set of eyes on this for you.
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We're testing this on a small CE setup we built on 4 Intel NUC for testing AHV. We're definitely not testing this on the client's environment. The idea is to get a good idea of the "recipe" before starting the conversion.

Anyway, thank you for your help. I'll open a case with the support and see if they can give us a little help on this. As you said, Windows 2003 isn't supported by anyone these day but it is still really nice to hear that the support will at least try to help.
Userlevel 7
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Another challenge here is that CE runs a completely different version of AHV than the commercial gear. so you could be running into some issues there.

Keep in mind that we dont allow support tickets for CE, but if you have a customer serial number of their block that is under support, we can work that way

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