During a recent VMware Converter P2V conversion I ran across an issue where I was getting an error and the conversion process would fail to obtain hardware information from the source machine. I could install the client just fine but once installed it didn’t see the local disk.
Digging down further and looking at the log files I found that I was getting an error showing “No Source Disk 0” message, further along the log file I also saw a message telling me that “UAC is enabled! the P2V conversion will probably fail with non elevated administrator.” This was strange because testing on a different source computer from a different domain showed that 2008 R2 wasn’t an issue where Converter was required and that as long as you had the required ports open (TCP 443, 445, 9089 and 9090 generally and 443 and 902 to each ESXi host\vCenter server you want to send the VM’s to during the P2V process) you shouldn’t really have any issues.
I knew from previous testing of VMware Converter that having Windows 2008 R2 as a source device shouldn’t pose an issue so I was concerned that the reason for the error was that the source machine was actually a Xen based VM that we were trying to move into a VMware based environment as part of a piece of work we are currently engaged on.
Jumping on to the source machine I knew that UAC was disabled for the locally logged on user account but that obviously wasn’t occurring when using the same account across the network. It turns out that local security policy for “Admin Approval Mode for all administrators” was enabled and this was causing the error. This doesn’t usually have an impact if you’re logged on to the server as you can simply click the UAC approval window and carry on working but on a remote session that’s obviously going to be an issue.
There are a couple of methods of resolving this issue and I will cover them here.
Deploying the agent locally on the server instead of using the remote installation process, this is relatively easy to do in a Windows environment especially if you’re using a Systems Management solution such as System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM 2007 or 2012) but could be time consuming if you have a large amount of servers to P2V one at a time. Please remember to uninstall the agent once the P2V has been completed.
Use the local admin account on the server, the issue I have with this is that we don’t allow local admin account logins to our servers as this makes auditing of events more difficult so wouldn’t be allowed through our Change Management process.
Set the User Account Control: Run all administrator in Admin Approval Mode Group Policy Object to disabled. This route is probably the easiest to implement because it could be set across the entire estate of machines you need to work with. During my testing I discovered that across the two domains I had been testing on there was a discrepancy on the GPO settings, one had the setting enabled (the default setting), the other disabled.
To disable the setting run the GPMC MMC snap-in. Choose the required Group Policy to edit and right click and choose edit.
Expand Computer \ Policies \ Security Settings \ Local Policies and click on Security Options.
Browse down to the above setting.
Change the setting to Disabled and click OK.
On the remote server you can either wait the default 90 minutes for the refresh interval or you can run a command prompt and do a gpupdate /force. You will be prompted for a reboot after the setting has been applied.
Once the reboot has happened you should be able to P2V successfully.