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How to Convert Vmware Windows XP IDE Disk to LSILogic SCSI

Created: 04 May 2009 • Updated: 29 Jul 2010 | 3 comments
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erikw's picture
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Just like most of you I use a lot of VMware to do my daily tasks. I run complete test environments and other stuff in VMware.

On my portable I have installed VMware Workstation 6 and I also have VMware ES installed on my HP DC7900. But I faced various problems when trying to run my virtual machines from VMware Workstation on Vmware ESX. The problem is that ESX only supports SCSI disks. In VMware Workstation I configured my disks with IDE controller.

But now I discovered how to use my IDe disks on Vmware ESX by converting my IDE disks in SCSI disks.

Best of all was when successfully converting my 6 GB preallocated IDE disk to LSILogic SCSI following the procedure as below. (Try it on your risk !)

Open your VMware Workstation and start edit virtual machine.

  1. Create LSI Logic disk: Select add new hardware and add new virtual disk. Make the disk asd large as your original disk. That makes it easier to do the tasks.
  2. Add SCSI definitions in your VMX file:
    scsi0.present = "TRUE"
    scsi0.virtualDev = "lsilogic"
    scsi0:0.present = "TRUE"
    scsi0:0.fileName = "tempDisk.vmdk"
    
    

    NOTE: First check if they are not added automatically.

  3. Boot the VM and install LSI Logic driver - use WHQL 1.20.18.00 (at least I could not install the latest version)

    You can find this software by going to the following site: http://www.lsi.com/storage_home/products_home/host...

  4. Make backup of the VM Disk! Just copy it. Use the copy to do the tasks below.
  5. Open the disk definition file (.vmdk). Get from there the disk size (sum of all extents). Best way to do this is by using Word as the editor. This is because of the large size of the vmdk file. It will take over 10 minutes before the file is opened.

    Search for the below description.

    # Extent description
    RW 20971520 FLAT "WXP-flat.vmdk" 0
    
    

    This one is only needed so you can get the new geometry and replace it in the original .vmdk

  6. Replace old geometry with new from anotherTemp.vmdk. In my case I replaced this
    ddb.adapterType = "ide"
    ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
    ddb.geometry.heads = "16"
    ddb.geometry.cylinders = "16383"
    
    

    with this

    ddb.geometry.cylinders = "1305"
    ddb.geometry.heads = "255"
    ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
    ddb.adapterType = "lsilogic"
    
    
  7. Update you VMX file so scsi0:0 points to the main disk image. Also you can remove the old IDE definitions.
  8. Boot your VM and have fun.

Now you use the same old IDE disk but VMware thinks it is an SCSI disk and the image works under ESX server.

Some tips to keep the image fast and have the best performance are:

  1. Always defrag your guest operating system disk. Do this in Workstation by selecting the disk and defrag it from within VMware. This is a much better defrag method than the standard Windows defrag in Windows XP and Vista.
  2. Use MemTrimRate = "0" Do this in advanced properties.
  3. Use scsi0:0.mode = "independent-persistent" This makes sure your settings are cached and only written to the disk at reboot. The disk will be much faster than in persistent mode.
  4. Keep your guest operating system as light as possible. Turn off themes, effects, unneeded services etc.
  5. Use SVS 2.1.3071 or Symantec Workspace Virtualization. With the use of this you do not need to start all the software at boot time but only when you really need it. It will save you minutes on boot time and also your image will respond much better.

I hope this article helps some of you in doing a heavy task in about 30 minutes so you do not have to rebuild your images.

Comments 3 CommentsJump to latest comment

Owais's picture

1.Create LSI Logic disk:

vmware-vdiskmanager -c -s 100mb -a lsilogic -t 0 tempDisk.vmdk

2. Add SCSI definitions in your VMX file:

scsi0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0.virtualDev = "lsilogic"
scsi0:0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0:0.fileName = "tempDisk.vmdk"

2. Boot the VM and install LSI Logic driver - use WHQL 1.20.18.00 (at least I could not install the latest version)

3. Make backup of the VM Disk !

4. Open the disk definition file (.vmdk). Get from there the disk size (sum of all extents)

# Extent description
RW 20971520 FLAT “WXP-flat.vmdk” 0

Then create another disk

vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -c -s 20971520 -a lsilogic -t 1 anotherTemp.vmdk

This one is only needed so you can get the new geometry and replace it in the original .vmdk

5. Replace old geometry with new from anotherTemp.vmdk. In my case I replaced this

ddb.adapterType = "ide"
ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
ddb.geometry.heads = "16"
ddb.geometry.cylinders = "16383"

with this

ddb.geometry.cylinders = "1305"
ddb.geometry.heads = "255"
ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
ddb.adapterType = "lsilogic"

6. Update you VMX file so scsi0:0 points to the main disk image. Also you can remove the old IDE definitions.

7. Boot your VM and have fun.

Couple of other performance suggestions:

1. Always defrag your guest operating system disk.

2. Use MemTrimRate = "0"

3. Use scsi0:0.mode = "independent-persistent"

4. Keep your guest operating system as light as possible. Turn off themes, effects, unneeded services etc.

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wilmvw's picture

Why don't you P2V your machine, works like a charm for me

Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by friday

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michael cole's picture

Found this article as no 3 in the best of 2010 articles...just wish i found it at the begining of the year when i desperately searched VMWare forums for a way to port my VMWARE WS VM's to ESX.

Thanks!

Michael Cole

Remote Product Specialist

Business Critical Services

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