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P2V: Cold Cloning via Converter ISO – Unable to determine Guest OS


Your just going about your day, trying to P2V a machine using the Cold Clone when you get the error: Unable to determine Guest OS

You check the client log and don't find anything helpful:

  1. [2011-02-15 09:35:08.718 'P2V' 840 error] [task,296] Task failed: P2VError UNABLE_TO_DETERMINE_GUEST_OS

Then you check the agent log and it sheds light on the problem:

  1. [#3] [2011-02-15 09:35:23.000 'App' 268 warning] [attachedDiskWin32,499] Warning: no attached disks were detected.
  2. [#3] [2011-02-15 09:35:23.000 'App' 268 error] [slave,359] No local disks were detected, so no local host config info.
  3. [#3] [2011-02-15 09:35:23.000 'App' 1072 error] [importSource,369] Unable to read OS info from system disk: vmodl.fault.SystemError
  4. [#3] [2011-02-15 09:35:23.000 'App' 1072 error] [imageProcessingTaskImpl,572] VmiQuerySourceInfoTask::task{2}: Image processing task has failed with MethodFault::Exception: sysimage.fault.UnableToDetermineGuestOs
Looks like WinPE didn't find a suitable driver for our storage adapter.  Not a problem heres the steps to correct this:
  • Run over to your server vendors support site (in my case support.dell.com) and download the proper driver
  • Next extract the contents of your download (usually a self-extracting exe)  and browse to the result.  You should have a folder with some files:
    • .cat, .sys, and a few .inf's
  • Copy these to a new folder -- ensure this folder name is 8 characters or less and contains all capital letters and/or numbers
  • Then copy this new folder to the same location as your coldclone.iso
  • When you download the .zip file that contains coldclone.iso it also contains a tool called petool.exe.  Ensure petool.exe is in the same directory as the coldclone.iso
  • Now open a command prompt and navigate to the location where you have coldclone.iso
  • Type: petool.exe -i coldclone.iso -d "Full path to folder containing storage driver" (see example below)
  • Hit enter and watch the tool inject the new driver you specified
Example of Storage Driver Injection:
  1. D:\Downloads\VMware-convertercd-4.1.1-206170>peTool.exe -i coldclone.iso -d "D:\Downloads\VMware-convertercd-4.1.1-206170\R210509"
  2. Log: checking options ...
  3. Log: checking file existence ...
  4. load ISO image ...
  5. load ISO image succeeded
  6. load boot image ...
  7. load boot image succeeded
  8. extract boot image ...
  9. extract boot image succeeded
  10. Log: adding storage driver R210509
  11. Log: adding driver name R210509
  12. Log: adding driver name succeeded
  13. Log: adding storage driver R210509 succeeded
  14. load ISO image ...
  15. load ISO image succeeded
  16. Log: pack image file back ...
  17. pack the ISO image ...
  18.   load source directory & boot image file ...
  19.   load source directory & boot image file done
  20.   write system reserved sector ...
  21.   write system reserved sector done
  22.   write primary volume descriptor ...
  23.   write primary volume descriptor done
  24.   write boot record ...
  25.   write boot record done
  26.   write volume descriptor set terminator ...
  27.   write volume descriptor set terminator done
  28.   write boot image ...
  29.   write boot image done
  30.   write path tables ...
  31.   write path tables done
  32.   write directory record and files ...
  33. 0%.........10%.........20%.........30%.........40%.........50%.........60%.........70%.........80%.........90%.........100%
  34.   write directory record and files done
  35. pack ISO image succeeded
  36. Log: pack image file back succeeded
  37. Log: clean up ...
  38. Log: clean up succeeded
  40. D:\Downloads\VMware-convertercd-4.1.1-206170>

Use the newly created coldclone.iso and try your P2V again--everything should work as expected this go around.  If not check your logs again, if you see the same error message you still might have the wrong storage drivers.  In the case of Dell confirm your storage adapter model in the DRAC or during bootup and ensure you download the corresponding adapter driver.
For more information check out VMware KB:  1012947 - Adding additional drivers to the VMware Converter Cold Clone ISO

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