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Migrating a Virtual Machine from VMWare Player to ESXi

2020-10-29 · Posted in VMWare

This post covers the migration of a virtual machine from a VMWare Player environment, which is located on my workstation (Windows 7 64-bit), to a VMWare ESXi server in my datacenter.

Both are the free versions, so they don’t have all the fancy bells and whistles as the awesome licensed versions.

It took a bit of doing, but it’s relatively straightforward.

1) Upgrade VMWare player (if necessary)

I realized that I was using version 3.0, and was a ‘few’ versions behind. Newer versions contain the OVFTool, which we will use to create the ESXi ready OVF.
Visit here: http://www.vmware.com/products/player

2) Upgrade and Reboot your pitiful workstation.

3) Read the VMWare OVFTool guide. Or not.

4) Login to the Virtual Machine in VMWare Player and uninstall the VMWare Tools. Reboot VM.

5) When VM boots, ignore any driver errors. Do a clean shutdown.

6) Export the OVF from the VM

Open Command Prompt as Administrator

Make sure the tool works, run the help:

You should be presented with a range of flag options.

Export the OVF:

If the output does not look like this, it might be a good idea to check the documentation.

7) Import the OVF Into VMWare ESXi

Login to your ESXi Host
Click File -> Deploy OVF Template
Browse to “C:\Path to place OVF” as specified in step 6.
Use defaults, or configure accordingly.
When completed boot VM in ESXi, enable the network adapter and update the IP/Hostname or any other relevant configuration.

changed VM version in .ovf file directly:
Edit .ovf file and find the line with keyword “VirtualSystemType“.
Change the value “vmx-XX” to the version lower or equal to your ESXi version.
Edit .mf file and remove SHA256 value of .ovf file in first line.
SHA256(XXXXX.ovf)= xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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