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VMware image of Laptop Tips and Gotchas

Recently I started working for a client that has a good enlightened approach to equipment, they provided me with an excellent laptop, but had no objection to me using my 16gig/1tb+/i7 monster, so I set about making a vmware image, this was hampered by their reasonable security setup and some oddities of the way that vmware converts hard drives. here’s what I leaned from the process

Problem: 0000007B error on boot
Solutiuon: This is caused by a variety of problems but always boils down to not being able to get access to the boot drive, I’m not going to go into the different reasons, but the best fix is to use a SCSI controller on your virtual machine, first step is to make sure that you convert the machines disk to SCSI, by default when running the VMWARE converter the “disk controller” setting (on the option screen, under devices) it is set to “auto select” which never seemed to work for me, so i set it to SCSI, as shown below

VMWAREConverter1.png

Now this means that you have to have a SCSI driver installed and working on your machine, thankfully this is already installed on Vista and windows 7, but NOT turned on, vmware say “set your SCSI drivers the same as a machine that already works” which is an dumb arse thing to say if you dont give an example, so here are the settings that work.

they are found in the registry at

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> ControlSet001 -> services

VMWAREConverter2.png

VMWAREConverter3.png

VMWAREConverter4.png

now you can reconvert you vmware machine and have no problems

NOTE: If you have already done the conversion and DONT have access to the source machine any more (ignoring the fact your a twit for not testing the VMWARE image before losing access) go here as this is the best writeup of a fix i have seen so far, it did not work for me as do to the problem converter setting problem i mentioned above, but it will fix the problem most of the time

Problem: Symantec Endpoint Encryption
Solution: On a machine with this program installed you have to somehow get round it as it is incompatable with VMWARE, thankfully in this case i had a power user level account (meaning i could install and unistall software) but not decrypt the laptop i wanted to clone (nore should i as it was not my hardware), Sooo, just run the conversion software, and on the first boot, all will seem ok and the HDD will be unencrypted, BUT, the symatic service will notice this little horror and on you next reboot will intercept the boot and ask for a password, attempt to encrypt the virtual HDD then procede to hang and sulk.

simple solution, as soon as you have booted the first time, uninstall the Endpoint Encryption service, this will bypass the symatic software security, as your hdd is currently still unencrypted you don’t need the rights to decrypt it, and your booting will continue as normal

NOTE: I store my VMWARE machines on an encrypted HDD in my laptop, so i felt this was an acceptable action as i would not be lowering the security level of clients data, had this not been the case, I would not have performed this action, remember the old saying “Do NOT screw with your clients data lest you be kicked in the balls and shot in the back of the head in a dark alley”

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