Converting VMware Virtual Machines in VMM (V2V Conversions)

System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) allows you to convert existing VMware Server–based virtual machines so you can manage them in a VMM environment.


This section lists the V2V requirements for converting VMware Server-based virtual machines.

Source Virtual Machines

To perform a V2V, your source virtual machine must contain one of the following operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Service Pack 4 (SP4)
  • The Windows Server 2003 operating systems with Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • The Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition operating system
  • The Windows XP operating systems with SP1

The source virtual machine consists of the following files that you store in the Virtual Machine Manager library:

  • A .vmx file, which is a VMware virtual machine configuration file. A .vmx file is the text file that describes the properties and structure of a virtual machine, including name, memory, disk assignments, network parameters, and so on.
  • One or more .vmdk (virtual hard disk) files, which are not passed directly as input to the wizard but are listed in the .vmx file. A .vmdk file is a VMware virtual hard disk that contains the virtual machine's guest operating system, applications, and data. Supported VMWare virtual hard disk formats include the following:
    • monolithicSparse
    • monolithicFlat
    • vmfs
    • twoGbMaxExtentSparse
    • twoGbMaxExtentFlat

Requirements for the Host Server

In Virtual Machine Manager, a host is a physical computer on which you can deploy one or more virtual machines. To run V2V, you need a host on which to place the converted files while the virtual machine is converted.

Requirements for the host server include:

  • Virtual Server R2 SP1 or later
  • Adequate RAM (256 MB plus memory for the virtual machine)

By default, the amount of memory reserved for the target host is 256 MB. This is in addition to the memory required by the V2V process for each source computer. If the host does not have enough memory, you will get a placement error in the Convert Virtual Machine Wizard.


You cannot configure the virtual machine memory from the Convert Virtual Machine Wizard. To perform a V2V from the wizard, you will need a host that can support the source computer's memory.

If you need to configure the virtual machine memory, you must perform the V2V from the command line. You will need to run the New-V2V cmdlet and set the MemoryMB parameter to a lower memory value.

How to Perform a V2V Conversion

During the conversion process, the Convert Virtual Machine Wizard converts the .vmdk files to .vhd files and makes the operating system on the virtual machine compatible with Microsoft virtualization technologies. The virtual machine created by the wizard matches VMware virtual machine properties, including name, description, memory, disk-to-bus assignment, and so on.

The process for running a V2V conversion from the UI is as follows:

  1. Copy the .vmx file and each .vmdk file for the VMware virtual machine to the Virtual Machine Manager library.
  2. Run the Convert Virtual Machine Wizard, which performs the following steps:
    1. Identifies the disk formats and characteristics of the virtual machine.
    2. Converts the .vmdk files to virtual hard disk files in Virtual Server (.vhd) that reside on the destination host.
    3. VMM prepares the virtual hard disks and prepares for virtual machine creation.

Convert Virtual Machine Wizard

  • You can use the Convert Virtual Machine Wizard to convert a VMWare virtual machine. For detailed steps, see the "How to Convert a Virtual Machine to a VMM Virtual Machine" topic in VMM Help (

Performing V2V from the Command Line

You can perform a V2V conversion from Windows PowerShell by using the New-V2V cmdlet.

  • For more information about using the New-V2V cmdlet see "Windows PowerShell Scripting in Virtual Machine Manager" (
  • To watch a video of the V2V process as performed from the command line, see “VMM Introduction - Virtual Machine to Virtual Machine Migration” (mms://


Before beginning a formal troubleshooting process, confirm that the source virtual machine has one of the following operating systems installed:

  • Windows 2000 Server with Service Pack 4 (SP4)
  • The Windows Server 2003 operating systems with Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2
  • The Windows XP operating systems with Service Pack 1

If you use the Convert Virtual Machine Wizard to convert a VMWare-based virtual machine running any operating system not in the preceding list, the virtual machine might not start or function correctly.

Some V2V conversions might require you to add additional system files and drivers to the internal cache. If additional files or drivers are required when you run the Convert Virtual Machine Wizard, do the following:

  • Use information provided in an error message that appears when you run the wizard to identify what updates or drivers are required.
  • Obtain a copy of those update or driver files and copy the files to the Patch Import directory on the Virtual Machine Manager server (the default path is <C>:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007\Patch Import).
  • Run the Add-Patch cmdlet to extract those patches and populate the patch cache.
  • Run the Convert Virtual Machine Wizard again, or use the New-V2V cmdlet.

General Troubleshooting Strategy

Find the source of the error by opening the Jobs view, selecting a job, and clicking the Change Tracking tab in the details pane. Find the job where the Status property changed. Once you find this job, click the Summary tab of the details pane to investigate the issue.

Failed V2V Conversions

Any V2V task failure places the virtual machine in the Creation Failed state. Some of the most common causes and their associated resolution strategies are described in the following sections.

Numbered Error Codes


  • Cause: Communication failed between: the VMM server, the library server that stores the VMware configuration and data files, and the virtual machine host on which the virtual machine will be created.
  • Resolution: Check WSMan permissions and settings and Windows Firewall exceptions for the BITS and HTTPS ports.


  • Cause: A patch or driver file that is required for the conversion is missing.
  • Resolution strategy: If a patch file or driver is missing, download the requested patch and driver files to the Patch Import directory on the Virtual Machine Manager server (the default path is <C>:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007\Patch Import), and extract the files by using the Add-Patch cmdlet.


  • Cause: Virtual Machine Manager does not have permission to access one or more files involved in the V2V process from the command line.
  • Resolution: Ensure that the machine account for the destination host has access to the share that stores the virtual machine configuration file.

.vmx or .vmdk Files

  • Cause: A V2V conversion was performed on a configuration file with an unsupported or unrecognized .vmx or .vmdk file format.
  • Resolution: If the .vmx or .vmdk file format of the source virtual machine is not recognized, V2V conversion is not supported for that virtual machine in this version of Virtual Machine Manager.

Operating System

  • Cause: VMM cannot find a supported Operating System or does not recognize the physical disk layout on the new .vhd file, and cannot complete the conversion.
  • Resolution: If VMM does not support the disk layout or operating system of the VMware virtual machine, VMM will create the virtual machine, but will not complete the conversion. As a result, the virtual machine might not start up or function correctly.