back to article VMware pulls physical to virtual conversion tool, adds VM to container conversion tool

The "VM" in VMware stands for virtual machine, but the virtualization giant is presently in the rather odd position of having withdrawn its on-ramp to VMs and then introduced an off-ramp from VMs to containers. VMware's on-ramp to VMs is the VMware Converter – a tool that automates the process of creating VMware virtual …

  1. ShadowSystems

    It's probably something simple

    like a hard coded "Admin" account with a password of "12345". They yanked the old version rather than merely patch it, mostly because the coder that did it signed the gaff in the comments section as "A pissed off temp employee that won't get a damned thing for making this damned thing work"... =-Jp

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    It’s probably something major complex ..... and feared to be possibly diabolical

    ...... which only VMs are able/enabled to fix and/or further develop. The scare/realisation then is virtual machines are beyond human world control programming and coincidentally, just so you know and can have a great time denying the resource, containerisation as a form of quarantine or imprisonment is a pipe dream and a phantom product.

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: It’s probably something major complex ..... and feared to be possibly diabolical

      Virtual Commenter weighs in on Virtual Machines...

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: It’s probably something major complex ..... and feared to be possibly diabolical

        Virtual Commenter weighs in on Virtual Machines... .... W.S.Gosset

        In a postmodern meritocracy, and to ensure there be no possible avenue of return for the likes of The Troubles fuelling Immaculately Resources Assets of a Uniquely Vital Force, both Virile and Viral and Virtual and Venal, they do have a legitimate voice deserving to be heard and more fully understood, rather than one having to try to effectively destroy creative mass multi-media systems attempting to ignore and deny it its rightful space and place in a novel and ancient hierarchy of popular civilianised command and control structures ........

        Doing battle against IT and/or them then is a No-Brainer, guaranteeing as such does, one's own Rapid Terminal Demise.

        Hara-Kiri/Seppuku is No Vibrant Solution in Greater IntelAIgent Games Finals :-) Don't do it is sound timely advice

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Thanks for nothing

  4. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    P2V saved my small donkey many years ago when a w2k machine that ran some expensive CAD software had a failing motherboard, and that allowed me to rescue the working machine without the pain of installing from scratch and having to get the licensing codes, etc, for a now-obsolete bit of software updated.

    But vmware has a long history of starting with fantastically skilled employees creating the VM tools and then sliding in to crap software with stuff like the Swiss cheese vCentre that, at one point, was so utterly shit it needed a specific version of flash to manage it, and said version was not available for Linux!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Utterly sh*t

      We're still using that POS vCentre... I have a dedicated Windows 7 machine just for that very purpose! Anon to protect my professional pride.... OOr what's left of it!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Utterly sh*t

        I have a dedicated Windows 7 machine, just to avoid Windows 10 / Windows 11. It goes without saying, never to mention Windows 8 ever again. Telling too, how you don't need 'focus assist' feature in Windows 7.

        In 50 years, we'll look back and probably think Windows 7 came after Windows 10, but just had an odd naming convention. There is no rhyme or reason to have both Windows 10 and Windows 11 in the marketplace. They'd be better spending their resources on security updates for Windows 7 and Windows 10/11 (merged build). Selling Windows 7 for a premium.

        There is nothing compelling about Windows 11, it's an utter waste of time installing it as an individual. As a company, I really can't see the need case.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: Utterly sh*t

          > There is nothing compelling about Windows 11

          It's cheaper to make (no testing, less functionality) and allows continuous monetization of users, when Win7 only earned you money once. So the reason Win10/11 replaced Win7 is quite obvious: It's much more profitable!

          It's not all about you, you egomaniac!... :-p

          (Seriously, I agree with you, but my argument still stands.)

          1. NoneSuch Silver badge

            Re: Utterly sh*t

            W11 is a data surveillance platform with full integration with the NSA datacenters.

            Or are you a "sure, they bugged international telephone cables, faxes and emails for 70+ years, but not Windows 11" person.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Utterly sh*t

              Maybe El Reg, should visit BT's Offices at Oswestry, UK, and find out what they have refitted in place of all the phone tapping equipment,of past.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Utterly sh*t

            I thought the customer was always right!

            (Or, in MS's case, gaslighting customers is always right).

      2. NoneSuch Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Utterly sh*t

        Anybody who has worked for a charity or non-profit has those same stories mate.

        You are not alone.

    2. ThatOne Silver badge

      > that allowed me to rescue the working machine without the pain of installing from scratch

      I'm in the same situation, old workstation needing replacement, running irreplaceable old specialist software which won't run on Win10. The company which made it closed down about 15 years ago, so we're already running the latest version ever. The classic problem.

      Yes, yes, I know, we should hire a dozen top developers and create a modern copy from scratch, but that's way, way beyond our meager budget. So, having heard about that tool, I was hoping we could image that old computer and virtualize it. We can afford any VMware licenses needed for that and a small server to run them, but not much more.

      Now it seems we're out of luck. I guess if VMware ever releases a new version, and assuming it won't come too late, it will be obviously geared towards making them more money, which means quite likely not able to help us. We're not really the target market, with our limited budget and non-standard work flow we're more in the "sucks to be you" category... *sigh*

      1. Anonymous Coward

        In another 15 years you'll be running VMware (quantum computing edition), running VMware (ARM edition), running VMware (Intel edition), running your old Windows software.

        1. ShadowSystems

          At 2+2=5.

          "In another 15 years you'll be running VMware (quantum computing edition), running VMware (ARM edition), running VMware (Intel edition), running your old Windows software."

          Add Win10, then add WSL to run Linux, then WINE to run an instance of DosBox, then run a copy of Win3.11FW, so you can properly emulate one of the old 8Bit screen savers from the era when monochrome green screens were all the rage!

          So what if it requires over 1Tb of RAM to allow for sufficient memory in each subsequent VM to run each in such a way that the very end result has a full 640Kb of RAM to play with & run the screen saver worth a damn?

          640Tb should be enough for anyone!

          *Coughs & explodes in sarcasm*


          *Hands you a pint*

          Drink up. It won't make my insanity any easier to fathom, but it does make my Dried Frog Pills taste like PixiStix! =-D

          1. styx-tdo

            Re: At 2+2=5.

            Flying toasters. Nuff said.

        2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          No Need to Worry. Que Sera, Sera if Whenever You are Just a Number

          In another 15 years you'll be running VMware (quantum computing edition), running VMware (ARM edition), running VMware (Intel edition), running your old Windows software. .... 2+2=5

          In another 15 years Virtual Machines will be running you quite sublimely and subliminally with IT and AI and their ICQuantumWare.

          What do you think it is already decided to be? A Wild Wacky Wicked Western Delight or an Erotic Exotic Esoteric Eastern Confection ‽ .

          What would rather it be if you had any free choice that could influence such decision makings. Don’t be shy and/or silent now, for whenever hope springs eternal is there always a chance that your wishes be heard and things can be quickly changed to whatever will be what you want via the use of some Alien Type Ware Fare floated out onto Global Stock and Universal Futures, Equities and Derivative Trade Markets.

          1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: No Need to Worry. Que Sera, Sera if Whenever You are Just a Number

            Whenever things are unusually strange is stealth automatically provided to assist in the ongoing exercise and execution of programs which can easily have been assumed and presumed to be so very unlikely as to be practically impossible .... and even being mistaken for, should any greater thought be afforded to it, extraneous inconsequential noise touching on deeper and darker matters whenever it be exactly the opposite.

            And as such is the nature of future secure quantum communication channels, you can fully expect more of the most vital of sensitive and top secret information traffic utilising them. It is nothing to be overly alarmed about as a great deal of everything relayed will never directly be of concern to you other than the fact that your future may be impacted by subsequent actions taken by others anonymous and previously unknown to be instrumental in ACTive IT Fields.

      2. ArthurDent

        The Sysinternals tool disk2vhd will let you take a VHD (or VHDX) image of the running machine - in my experience it works very well

        VirtualBox can use the VHD images (maybe VHDX too, not tried), or you could use Hyper-V

        If necessary I think you can convert a VHD to a VMDK (VMware format) with either qemu-img or the VirtualBox tool 'VBoxManage'

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          > Disk2vhd

          Thanks, that sounded really like the perfect solution, except for the "Disk2vhd runs on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and higher" part... The two systems to virtualize are Win2000 and WinXP, so too old for this... Sounds like a great piece of software though, I think it might come handy elsewhere.

          Thanks again.

      3. Daniel Gould

        Use clonezilla

        I've had great success using clonezilla to create an image and then restore it into a VM.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: Use clonezilla

          > using clonezilla to create an image

          Now that should definitely work on any system, and I'm already familiar with Clonezilla (I already use it to create backup images). Thanks a lot!

          Can one simply restore a Clonezilla image into a virtual disk of the right size? Will the VM even start with all the wrong drivers, the different hardware and all? Most importantly, I definitely don't want WinXP to unregister itself because it thinks the hardware it is running on has changed too much, the XP license servers must be long gone, and Microsoft support will certainly just try to sell me a Win11 license...

  5. UBfusion

    There are alternative ways

    I also find P2V very useful in several scenarios . One is to support customers buying a new PC with Win10 while needing to preserve the familiar environment and apps of their previous OS (usually Win7 or XP). Another is to keep a local copy of a client's OS environment to troubleshoot, pre-install and test new apps they need to add to their workflow and thus determine how to proceed to actually install them in their production PC.

    It can still be done without VMWare's tools, just not on the same PC: you have to disconnect the target disk and connect it to a second PC preferably using a SATA (or IDE) to USB adapter (the method is called cold migration). Then several backup utilities exist that support backing up the disk directly to the .vmdk format (I have done it with Paragon HD Manager and I think Winimage can too).

    This method worked for me flawlessly so far, and has the bonus advantage that it will work on any kind of OS (not only Windows).

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: There are alternative ways

      > backing up the disk directly to the .vmdk format

      What about virtualizing antique computers? Won't there be a problem with WinXP throwing a fit, considering that this is a brand new installation needing to register with the flagship all over again? The activation servers being long gone, how do you avoid XP considering hardware changed too much?

  6. Franco

    I'm always torn on P2Ving. On one hand, it's a fantastic thing for when there are no other options, usually some obscure LOB app that has been allowed to go put of support or has been discontinued/company gone under or been acquired etc.

    However I've also worked far too many places where "just P2V it" has been the go to migration solution for everything, to the point that you find Domain Controllers have been P2V'd because someone was too lazy to build a new one

  7. Nate Amsden

    vmware customer since 1999

    Been using vmware since the early betas which I believe were Linux only in 1999. Windows support came maybe a year later or something? Did a lot of work with VMware GSX (later VMware Server) 2003-2006(launched my first mission critical app on Vmware GSX as a last minute fix to a huge company fuckup software deployment back in 2004), then started on ESX/ESXi since..

    Never once had a need to use vmware converter. It seemed like a handy tool for some situations, but I never ran into any of those situations personally. Probably greater than 96% of the VMs I have deployed over the years have been Linux based.

    I'm also not aware of any P2V usage at any of the companies I have worked at, not that I was aware of 100% of all VM activity especially outside my team but I never recall hearing anyone mention Vmware converter going back 20 years now.

    Well I take that back, I did use vmware converter once I think to reclaim some disk space on my personal ESXi server from a windows 7 VM. I think I did a V2V (twice) across the WAN to reclaim space, once from ESXi to vmware workstation, then back to ESXi again. Something like that. I still have the VMware converter 6.2 installer assuming that is probably the latest or among the latest, filesystem dates it from 2019.

    The oldest copy of VMware that I have is 2.0.3 build 799 filesystem date Jan 12 2001(files inside say Nov 1 2000), coming in at a WHOPPING 5.9 MEGABYTE TGZ. I lost my VMware 1.0.2 for linux CD a long time ago, should of made an ISO of that. I don't know why I kept them over the years, really the only major software that I have kept virtually every major version going back 20+ years, for no reason, other than perhaps nostalgia. Only consumes 5.4GB so about the size of 2 HD movies.

    I don't have the latest vmware workstation download handy but looking at workstation 15 which I use that is build 15,018,445. I can't even imagine going from build 799 to build 15 million that just doesn't compute in my tiny brain.

  8. RiverRock

    Used this today

    I ran into this today - needed to get a VM from one ESXI server to another which couldn't see each other, even though both managed from the same VCenter.

    Standalone converter can do this with a few clicks ( then a wait). Luckily I had an old copy lying around.

    Does that mean VMWare now have no supported way to export images from VCenter? Seems a big oversight!

  9. The Basis of everything is...

    And that is another reason why you keep a local copy of any tool you need, just in case the vendor decides to withdraw it for any reason.

    1. Franco

      I still have a copy of Microsoft's MVMC for the same reason, they pulled it in favour of a cloud version in Azure a while back.

    2. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

      Yes! I've found that whenever an individual, FOSS programming group, or company re-writes a program from the ground up, the re-written version is grander, more featureful, and much-more resource-consuming than the original, yet lacks useful or even critical functions which the original version possessed.

      1. ShadowSystems

        You've just described

        every version of Windows after 7. =-Jp

  10. M-Singh

    Try OSAM as the replacement to VMware Converter for now….

    I guess the downside is you will need an enterprise type deployment to get access to HCX or spin up VMC on AWS single host for a few hours to gain access to the tool.

    Failing that try platespinner etc…

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