Wednesday, December 31, 2008

IE security setting was grayed out

I was not able to edit my IE setting for “trusted” site. IE was harden to the core for any type of editing

Google helped me ☺

  1. Close all IE windows.

  2. Start > Run > (type in) “regedit” > [OK]

  3. Navigate to/See if you have the following key... HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings

If it's not found, STOP

  1. If it's found, select (highlight) the key then look in the right pane: Is there a DWORD value of "Security_Zones_Map_Edit" or "Security_HKLM_only" (without the quotes)?

If not, STOP

  1. If so, right-click on the key (in left pane) > Select "Export" & save the file to your desktop (to back up the key for safety's sake).

  2. Now, right-click on the same key again > Select "Delete" > Close “regedit” then reboot your machine.

But my problem did not stopped here I have added wrong URL under “trusted ” sites and I was getting error message "The site you specified already exists in another zone. Please remove the site from that zone before adding it to the current zone."

Now what to do ? Almost all the sites which get added into “trusted” sites are listed under

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap\Domains

Deleted the key and then I was able to update the “trusted” sites entry

Thank You Google

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

First Cut for ESXi3 5 update3 released

Downloaded latest ESXi version: 3.5 Update 3 | 2008/11/06 | Build: 123629. Not to mention that again VMware has done wonderful job in releasing their updates. This kind of work gives me enough reason to believe that removal of Diane Greene cannot downgrade VMware reputation.

I downloaded HP version as I was using HP DL 380 as my host.

When I mounted ISO using ILO and rebooted my server it did not gave me option to install GUI as earlier updates use to do ,instead of that it says “LOADING ISO” and once ISO is loaded it will give default option like this

1. ELA where you have to accept the license

2. It will search for previous install of ESX

3. It will give warning message like your disk will be formatted and stuff like that

But it will not do anything other than that. I was surprised how do I then configure my system. So here is the answer:

1. Remove the ILO mount and then reboot the system.

2. When the system comes back it will allow you to configure the system. Press F2 then it will provide you the option to specify

When you press F12 to reboot it gives you option if you want to shutdown or restart. I love this feature

When you leave the screen just like that for a while then it will turn black

While rebooting it will present a nice looking GUI



Monday, December 1, 2008

Getting rid of .vmem file with VMWare workstation 5

Well I am back from vacation, yeah it was for one month long. No I also worked for past two years without any vacation, what so fuss about it.
There were two virtual machine which are running on VMWare workstation 5.0 and were keep shutting down because of space crunch on physical win2003 box. There were not much which I can do to have more space. Finally I looked at the directory under virtual machine and found that there were 700MB big *.vmem file got created. After researching I found that this file can be deleted but in order to get safely rid of it we need to add some line in .vmx file and the line which has to be added would be

mainMem.useNameFile= False

Monday, October 20, 2008

Strange issue with “UPTIME” for the host

I  found the strange issue with server update. When I looked at the service console it has uptime for 4 days but VC shows up for 147 days. I am sure service console is correct but why VC showing wired thing.



Saturday, October 18, 2008

Describing Memory field on VC2.5

With VC2.5 console we see lot of field about memory and we all start wondering what exactly those field suppose to mean. Kit Colbert has consolidated all those field and posted a nice PDF

Friday, October 17, 2008

Vstor2 Converter Virtual Storage Driver service failed to start due to the following error

One of the VM’s after the P2V was throwing error message

Event Type: Error
Event Source: Service Control Manager
Event Category: None
Event ID: 7000
Date: 10/11/2008
Time: 12:41:43 PM
User: N/A
Computer: xxxx
The Vstor2 Converter Virtual Storage Driver service failed to start due to the following error:
The system cannot find the file specified.

It was really strange to find out why I am getting driver error when I had uninstalled all the drivers. After little bit of research I found that same physical machine was used for P2V using VMware converter and this version has some known issue

Manual cleanup required of some Converter Agent files from remote source physical machineIn some cases, the automatic cleanup of Converter Agent files from the system on which it ran is incomplete. If there are vmware-ufad-p2v-XXXXX subdirectories remaining under %SystemRoot% on the remote source physical machine after completion of the import (either successful or failed), automatic cleanup was not totally successful, and might cause future import attempts to fail. To clean up manually (recommended), follow these steps:
1. Launch regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services
2. Remove the stcp2v30 key
3. Remove the vstor2-p2v30 key
4. Remove all vmware-ufad-p2v-XXXXX keys
5. Remove all courier-XXXXX keys
6. Reboot
Under %SystemRoot%\system32, remove all vmware-ufad-p2v-XXXXX subdirectories

So when did P2V for the same physical machine everything got virtualized with the same settings and that was causing the problem. After looking at the registry of virtual machine I found the key for “Vstor2” HKLM\SYSTEM\ConterSet001\Services . Delete the key and rebooted the VM and error went off.

Strange Issue with ILO

I setup my esx host and for some reason “vmfs” partition was not created during the installation. I started creating “vmfs ” partition and left for the day. When I came next day and tried to ILO into the host I found that it is not allowing me to do so and throwing error message


I rebooted the host twice and check the ILO cable to make sure that no one messed it and found everything is OK. What the heck happened because all other host on the same switch was working fine. I called HP support and it took them 2 hours to find solution (NO call was not routed to third world country) . They asked me to upgrade the BIOS as well as ILO and directed me to .

Well I just feel like getting into the phone and hitting the tech support guy for frustrating me ☺ . I gave up on phone and thought of doing at my own. I went to ILO site and downloaded the firmware and thought of updating it


After that update I still had the same issue when I tried to lunch it from desktop. I used some other H/W box and lunch the ILO from it. To my surprise I was able to get into ILO. Was there anything wrong my desktop? Well I don’t think so because I was able to ILO into other ESX host. It is hard to digest the fact that it is happening only with one DL380 box.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Trying To Be Photographer Part16

One of my Telgu friend invited me to cover Telgu Annual Atlanta chapter meet to celebrate "Bathkama". I accepted it with full generosity without charging him back since this being my first event to show up my talent.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Troubleshooting P2V Citrix box on VMware

One of the VM’s was having some performance issue and I found that it was a citrix box which has been P2Ved . It was windows 2000 box and VMware converter was still installed. Who ever done the P2V did not uninstall the converter. Normally Citrix on VMware best practices suggest that you should never P2V. I started troubleshooting this box to find out what went wrong. I thought may be HAL is corrupted because it was showing 4 PROC. I tried running command systeminfo and it throws out the error that it does not recognize the command. Of course it does will not since it was win2K box. So here is the way.
From your desktop XP/WIN2K3 run the command

c:\systeminfo /s /U
e.g. c:\systeminfo /s /U administrator
Type the password for administrator:********

This shows that it has following network card and some one forget to remove these as a post P2V option.

NetWork Card(s): 14 NIC(s) Installed.
[01]: Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet
[02]: Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet
[03]: RAS Async Adapter
[04]: WAN Miniport (L2TP)
[05]: WAN Miniport (PPTP)
[06]: Direct Parallel
[07]: WAN Miniport (IP)
[08]: WAN Miniport (Network Monitor)
[09]: Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet
I opened my own blog for best practices for Citrix on VMware and started following all the steps

1. Uninstall the VMWare converter tool.
2. Delete all the unwanted NIC driver including vmware driver (Make a note of IP)
3. Uninstall the VMware tool.
4. Shut down the machine and then reduce the number of processor to two rather than 4 and that’s what best practices suggest.
5. Install the driver and unselect driver for memory.

Dang and now the performance of this box was excellent.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Start Virtualization Initiative

One with the name Satyaprakash Nivarthi started discussion on linked group “Official VMware Virtualization Group” that
I have been given a mandate to kick start our Virtualization initiative by piloting either DEV or QA environments. Which one do I start? How do I plan for the initiative? Any documentation available?

Then he also provide more inputs like :
Thanks. Yes, the first plan is to choose ESX and download the free version of ESXi. Criteria is a bit hazy now but contains the following: - Consolidating 15-20 servers to 2 or 3
- 99.99% availability
- Creating new Test environments quickly
- Disaster Recovery
- Cost saving
- Backup and Restore

Is there any documentation available regarding the planning aspects of Virtualization?

To start with follow this:
Procurement phase:
Hardware :

What kind of hardware you are going to use for testing phase?
This will depends upon various factor like memory/CPU/NIC/Storage. Now if you say you want to migrate X virtual machine with Y amount of memory then you have to go with X*Y +30% extra memory
Similarly you have to go for CPU and Storage.
CPU if you are going to have total X machine with Y Hz of CPU =X*Y* No. of Core. If you are placing 2vCPU machine that does not mean it needs 2 Physical CPU. CPU scheduling in VMware world happen in different way.
For Storage start with local storage. So if you say you are going to place XGB of Virtual Machine then go for X+40% of extra space because of Swap files and future expansion. VMware hypervisior does not consume much space. Say if you have local 1TB of space then you would get around 950GB of space to play around for VM’s.

NIC is the crucial part of the Hardware planning. But to began with use DUAL gig bit NIC. One dedicated for service console and one for Virtual Machine Network. Here you also have to consider if you want machine with multiple Network which means you need to perform VLAN trunking on your Virtual Machine Network.

So if you have decided on above configuration then research for Hardware on internet. Contact multiple vendor and ask for Quotes. I can suggest you to go for HP DL385 which will have 8CPU (4*4) with 32 GB of memory with 1TB of local HDD. Add dual 1GB NIC into it. In US such configuration will cost you around 8K to 10K based on vendor you choose.

Assembling Hardware:
Now once you hardware with you, it has to be racked and cable it. Make sure you have connected you NIC to two different SWICH port. Now one NIC will be assigned as a service console and one will be your VM network. Work with your N/W engineer to assign the port to appropriate VLAN. Make sure you have physical access to the machine using ILO or whatever you are using. This will help you with installation. Once you are done with cabling now you need to make sure your machine is set to correct RAID level or else you will not see all the 1TB or whatever you have space you want. I would usually set for RAID 5 and select all the space. Also make sure you have enabled your BIOS for Virtualization or else you will have difficulties with 64 bit machine.

Installing ESX:
Before you start installing you should be ready with following information:
Host name : FQDN name
DNS: Primary and secondary
IP address: This IP address will be assigned to Service console or management network. All subnet and Gateway as well.
Once you have all the information in hand start your installation (Assuming you have already downloaded ESX version. Remember that trial version last for 45 days after that you cannot power on ANY VM’s on it. But if any VM’s is powered on then it will remain powered on) with all default setting (I am trying to make things simple for you instead complicated). Once you have completed the installation you need a management interface to manage it.

Management of Physical Host:
You need to have Virtual Center client to manage the host. Download the Virtual Center client on your machine and connect to the host. You need to use name as DNS name of IP address. User name should be “root”. If everything is good you will see beautiful interface through which you can manage the host.
Post Configuration:
Once If you are into VC then you have to setup VM network. By default it will have all default settings. You need to configure VM network with appropriate VLAN ID. And if you have decided to have VLAN trunking then you need to have portgroup created for each individual network.

Migrating Physical machine to ESX : Assuming that your host is ready then use free convertor to convert your physical machine to Virtual Machine. Once you have migrated to VM power of your physical machine.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Expand C: drive for Virtual Server

Before you begin, make sure that you do not have an active snapshot on the VM, extending a virtual disk with a snapshot will cause corruption

Extend the boot volume of Windows Server 2003 Virtual Machine

To start, I have a Windows Server 2003 Virtual Machine that has a 5.3G disk allocated to it, I need to expand this disk to 10G.


Step 1: Power off the virtual machine that holds the boot volume that you want to extend.

Step 2: Make a backup copy of your virtual disk, this is optional but if you mess up don't call me unless you're willing to pay.

Step 3: From the service console, increase the size of the .dsk or .vmdk virtual disk file. This can also be accomplished through the Virtual Infrastructure Client if you are using VirtualCenter 2.x+.

[root@esx-test local]# ls -lah test.vmdk

-rw------- 1 root root 5.4G Jul 18 13:57 test.vmdk

Extend the virtual disk with vmkfstools. The input to the -X switch is the size that you want the disk file to be not the size you want to extend the disk file by.

[root@esx-test local]# vmkfstools -X 10G test.vmdk

View the new size of test.vmdk

[root@esx-test local]# ls -lah test.vmdk

-rw------- 1 root root 10G Jul 18 13:57 test.vmdk

Step 4: For this step you will need an additional Virtual Machine running Windows Server 2003. Power off the second Virtual Machine, and add the disk from the first Virtual Machine to it through the mui. Power up the second Virtual Machine and verify that the imported disk has unallocated space on it.


From the run menu type "diskpart.exe" to enter the command line utility to resize disk partitions in Windows Server 2003.


The command list volume will show you all the available volumes. Select your volume as shown below. select volume 1 corresponds to the "D" volume that I want to extend. Finally extend the volume with the extend command.


If all goes well, the partition will be immediately extended under the Disk Management snap in.


Step 5: Shut down the second Virtual Machine and remove the disk from the second Virtual Machine. Power on the first Virtual Machine and check out your new space.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

ESX network configuration automation with esxcfg-vswitch

ESX network configuration automation with esxcfg-vswitch

For VI3 environments with multiple VLANs, configuration accuracy is an important step in providing virtual machines with the correct connectivity. Using the esxcfg-vswitch ESX host commands can make life as a VMware admin easier, but there’s a lot to learn. Lucky for you, I have taken the time to familiarize myself with the esxcfg-vswitch ESX host series of commands and have documented them for quick network configuration recreation. A word of caution, however; esxcfg-vswitch is an interactive command and if you are experimenting, you should work with a host in maintenance mode to avoid causing an interruption to your live workload.

In describing how to use the esxcfg-vswitch command, I want to first explain some practice points that I use in my VI3 environment. Most importantly, I create a virtual switch exclusively for the service console and VMkernel (VMotion) roles, and a separate virtual switch for all of the guest virtual machine port groups. The port groups on this separate virtual switch will have 802.1Q VLAN tags applied. With that, let’s jump into the command.

One of the first things you can do is inspect the current virtual switch configuration. This is done with the following command:

esxcfg-vswitch -l

The result will be something similar to what is shown below:

To recreate networks, we can use the esxcfg-vswitch to do this task. My preference is to remove the existing virtual switch, and re-create it to expected configuration. Here is a sample script that will first remove and then re-create the entire virtual switch and five port groups with their corresponding VLAN identifiers:

esxcfg-vswitch -d MainGuestVirtualSwitch

esxcfg-vswitch -a MainGuestVirtualSwitch

esxcfg-vswitch –link=vmnic3 MainGuestVirtualSwitch

esxcfg-vswitch –link=vmnic4 MainGuestVirtualSwitch

esxcfg-vswitch –add-pg=PrivateNetwork MainGuestVirtualSwitch

esxcfg-vswitch –add-pg=ShopFloor MainGuestVirtualSwitch

esxcfg-vswitch –add-pg=BackBuildingUpper MainGuestVirtualSwitch

esxcfg-vswitch –add-pg=BackBuildingLower MainGuestVirtualSwitch

esxcfg-vswitch –add-pg=CoreCorporate MainGuestVirtualSwitch

esxcfg-vswitch –vlan=334 –pg=PrivateNetwork MainGuestVirtualSwitch

esxcfg-vswitch –vlan=332 –pg=ShopFloor MainGuestVirtualSwitch

esxcfg-vswitch –vlan=236 –pg=BackBuildingUpper MainGuestVirtualSwitch

esxcfg-vswitch –vlan=237 –pg=BackBuildingLower MainGuestVirtualSwitch

esxcfg-vswitch –vlan=100 –pg=CoreCorporate MainGuestVirtualSwitch

A couple of notes on this: MainGuestVirtualSwitch is the name for the virtual switch instead off the default vSwitch1 (remember the first one - vSwitch0 - is for service console and VMkernel). There are two interfaces available to this virtual switch, vmnic3 and vmnic4. The port group names are the friendly names of the networks that are used in VI3. After running this script, the following will immediately appear in the networking configuration section of the host in the VMware Infrastructure Client:


I usually go into the virtual switch after it is created through script to make both interfaces active, instead of the default scripted result of one as active and subsequent vmnic interfaces as standby. Good information on esxcfg-vswitch is a little light, but VMworld 2006 had a couple of mentions of it and virtualization expert Mike Laverick makes some mentions of esxcfg-vswitch on the RTFM site.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Political war between Marathon and VMware on Fault Tolerance Feature of VMware.

Political war between Marathon and VMware on Fault Tolerance Feature of VMware.

A great political debate has been started on VMWare fault tolerance feature during
VMWare world meet at LA 2008. A four reason listed by Marathon has draw sharp criticism from VMware lover. Please read the complete story here. One of the four reason listed for short fall of VMWare FT is listed as ========================Snip==================================

2. Complexity on top of complexity. In order to use VMware Fault Tolerance, you’ll first have to install both VMware HA and DRS. No small feat in and of themselves. Then, because VMware FT requires NIC teaming, you’ll also have to manually install paired NICs. Then you’ll need to manually setup dual storage controllers (with the software to manage them) because it requires multi-pathing. And to top it all off, you’re required to use an expensive, and often complicated, SAN.


To this Mike has given a great response on his blog and responded how easy HA and DRS to configure


See those two check boxes? Click them and you've just enabled HA and DRS. If that's
too hard then please comment and let me know how it could possibly be easier. Even my dog has figure out how to do this now. Granted, it's a pretty smart dog.


What a response… Well Q is if you want to sell you product sell it ,but please do not do some cheap marketing. Where VMwaer is right now MS or any other will take ages to reach and I am ready to bet on my word

DAMN you Microsoft

Friday, September 26, 2008

How To Rename The Host and Change IP address

How To Rename The Host and Change IP address

Sometimes host has to be renamed or IP address has to be changed. Please follow these steps.

  1. Change the name under

[root@xxxxxx root]# more /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-vswif0



PORTGROUP="Service Console"






  1. [root@xxxx root]# more /etc/sysconfig/network





3. [root@xxxxxx root]# more /etc/hosts

# Do not remove the following line, or various programs

# that require network functionality will fail. localhost.localdomain localhost

xx.xx.xx.xx %FQDN Name of the host% %NetBIOS name%

Best would be reboot the host.

How to Rename Service Console

I was given task to build the system and then I started building it. It is not that I don’t know how to perform ESX build and believe me each hardware and every environment is different. Person has to go through these experiences as they explore the environment.

I build a new ESX box (DL 380) and then gave everything default. I choose a default VLAN for service console. When machine came back online it is not able to ping the default gateway. I started trouble shooting and starting to figure out how to make sure that if NIC are getting trunked on correct VLAN. To find out this one I used

“esxcfg-nics -l” . This will list us which NIC is up. Now the challenge was if the correct NIC is listening to the “Service Console”. To find out this one I used “esxcfg-vswitch -l” This will show the VLAN ID as well as which NIC is it is configured for.


Here you can see that “vmnic1” is “UP ” but “Service Console ” is configured for “vmnic0” . So here I have to basically swap the cable and bring “vmnic0” or change service console to listen to “vmnic1”. Easier would be swap the cable and then label the “service console” to listen to appropriate VLAN. Right now “Service Console ” is set to VLAN 0. To change the VLAN label use following “ esxcfg-vswitch –v <vlan id> -p “Service Conole” vSwitch0 ” (Command in the fist quotes should be run).

I did that and that fixed the network.

How to fix “Unable to mount root fs ” Error

Mount point has been created and given to me by the NetAPP engineer. I mounted the space on host. After a performed the mount for some reason it started showing up some wired error message like when I ran “vmware-cmd –l ” I get a message vmware auth failed to login. I thought something really goofed up when I created the “VMKernal” to access NFS mount. I decided to reboot the host and see if that clear the error messages but no it has created more problems for me. When I rebooted the host it gave me message


Something really bad happened ☹ . I started hunting on google to got some clue

I decided to change boot parameters. In order to do so let the machine boots up and then when you get this screen


Here you press “E or e ” on Key board and it will take you the screen


Again press “E or e” and then it will give you option where you can edit the field and type the value as suggested in the earlier link.

it says above that i gotta change "LABEL=/" to "/dev/hda0"


Once you are done with editing then reboot the host. But in my case situation still persist. So I decided to do more google and here is the command which work like a butter.

esxcfg-boot ”

Follow the steps.

1. Boot the system and wait till you see following screen .Select here “Service Console only”


2. It will let you inter through into service console (Everything is done through physical connection like ILO).

3. Once you logged in then run the command in following order

1. esxcfg-boot –p

2. esxcfg-boot -b

3. esxcfg-boot –r

Reboot the host and select “VMware ESX server ” and host should bring of the esx.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Enable ssh on ESX host

By default SSH is disabled on ESX hosts and we have to enable SSH. Setting to be done.
Open sshd_config file:

# vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config
Find out line that read as follows:
PermitRootLogin no
Set it as follows:
PermitRootLogin yes

Save and close the file. Restart the sshd:
# /etc/init.d/sshd restart

Serendipity - A Fortunate Accident

Uploaded by fun_come

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

No interfaces are available for installing a new cluster

User was trying to setup Microsoft NLB. They added one node and it was successful and when they were trying to add another node it was throwing error

No interfaces are available for installing a new cluster


User pointed out that may the VLAN trunking which was implemented couple of weeks back. I was not sure what VLAN has to do with it but when I looked at the error I made a guess that it has something to do with OS rather than VMware. I went to MS support site and gave a search with the error message and found wonderful KB 828258.

………….SNIP …………………………………..SNIP…………………………………

This problem may occur if the subsequent nodes are on servers that were created by using an image. The problem occurs because the servers that are created by using an image may have the same Network GUIDs in their registry if the network adapter is installed as part of the image. The Network Load Balancing Manager uses this GUID to attach and configure Network Load Balancing on the servers. The Network Load Balancing Manager detects the GUID of the first server, and then does not register subsequent network adapters that have the same GUID.


It was true because these VM’s was build with “GHOST image”

To resolve this follow these steps in the same sequence

1. Uninstall the tools from the VM’s using add and remove program.

2. Uninstall the network adapter from device manager.

3. Reboot the machine.

4. Login to the machine locally and then setup the network again reboot the VM’s

5. Install the tools and then reboot the VM’s

These steps have to be repeated for all the nodes which will be involved in NLB.

Once this is completed then NLB will be configured without any error.

How to create new "VMDK" desciptor file

Strange issue with the VMDK descriptor file.

One the virtual machine was registered and powered on , but for some reason “vmx” file was missing. I thought I would create a “vmx” file using wizard. I unregistered the “VM” and then tried to create the “vmx” file using wizard. VM was got created but was not able to attached the disk file because “vmdk” descriptor file was missing. “Peewe” how the heck I should create the descriptor file .

  1. Tried using other descriptor file from other VM’s and removed the line something like this

RW 419430400 VMFS “rescue_me-flat.vmdk”

This did not work out because the other information like may not be correct.

ddb.virtualHWVersion = “4″
ddb.geometry.cylinders = “26108″
ddb.geometry.heads = “255″
ddb.geometry.sectors = “63″
ddb.adapterType = “lsilogic”
ddb.toolsVersion = “7201″

I was not surprised with this. So I thought lets create a exact same size disk on some other host and copy over the descriptor file from that host to current host (Because current was not having enough space to create the new disk file).

This also did not work because I guess information is so encrypted that I was not able to find out what need to change. So how did I fix it?

  1. Power off some other VM’s (In order to free up some space).

  2. Once I have enough space create a new disk with same EXACT SIZE using the wizard at the same location where we are trying to create a descriptor file

(This step is very important I wasted my 2 hour to just figure this out)

  1. Now remove the newly created disk from the VM.

  2. Unregister the VM from the host.

  3. Copy the newly created “vmdk” file with the old name (For which we are trying to generate descriptor file).

  4. Edit the renamed “vmdk ” file and make sure the entry is pointing to correct flat file


# Extent description
RW 419430400 VMFS “rescue_me-flat.vmdk”

  1. Once the above steps are done then edit the vmx file and search for the line


scsi0:0.fileName = " rescue_me-flat.vmdk "

  1. Once all the above steps are done then re-register the file using following

Vmware-cmd –s register <path to vmx file>

I would like to thank Paul Shannon for his wonderful blog which really helped me to achieve what I wanted.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy B'Day Sweetheart

Happy Birday Sweetheart. As we call you Vibha, Sonuva, Zonki,Gudiya,Chonputuk,Sonpari
We have started preparing for your arrival by seeking blessing from Almighty. Your mom was bit tensed before your arrival but I was sure that we are going to make it with the help of Almighty. Doctor “Carmela A Barr” and her team prepared the bed for your arrival. You were under surveillance to make sure that you are also prepared to join our family. On September 8th 2007 around 10.05 PM you finally arrived in this world and into our family. Every one visited to see my princes ,Rishi, Madhu, Saumitra. But much awaited was Great Grand Mother .She came on 17th September. You were bit late in getting her blessing but she always had her blessing before you came into this world. Finally everyone wanted to leave me alone and on Nov 18th you left for India. When you were 4 days old you gave a first pose and your mom was able to capture it. After looking at the pose we started thinking that you are going to be a great thinker? You started growing like a beautiful princes and then the first word came out of your mouth was “Dada” a great grandfather (Mr. Vishnu Narayan Roy ) of yours . You are always happy to be with your Grand Mother.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Memory spikes and Reservation

Here is the host configuration



One of the users complains about memory spikes messages that they are getting from the system.

Available Ram is 170988.0 KB for xxxxxxxx . Please take appropriate action.


I ran spotlight (My Fav. freeware tool from Quest Control) on those machine and found the spikes (Check spike before 11.35AM)


I went to the VC and selected the VM’s properties and set the memory reservation to and the memory utilization on virtual machine changed (Check the graph pattern after 11.35AM).


Thursday, August 28, 2008


Little Gratitude Towards The Flood Victims Of Bihar

When BIHAR is suffering from nature fury all these media’s are busy selling some cheap story. No one has shown their gratitude towards the people of BIHAR. If Rahul Gandhi tells that one person is suffering from drought, people start pouring money. When one singer dies entire Punjab cries. Having said this I did not mean any offence to these people. But why are we so insensitive towards the people of BIHAR? Are they all criminals ? They are also human being like rest of us. Media only like to sell the rape story. Media like to sell murder, kidnapping story from Bihar but why so unsympathetic towards the people of BIHAR. When people like Raj Thakery attacks north Indian Media makes him hero. Is he the sole protector of Marathi Culture ? Come on you can fool educated illiterate not educated literate. Everyone knows what game Raj Thakre is playing but media got masala to sell and made him hero. When Kashmir burns media makes people like Muhammad Yasin Malik as a hero. I have never seen what is the mystery behind Kashmir agitation? Yeah I am good in googling but still could not find the reason. Why we Indians are so insensitive towards human life? We have so many prominent leaders like Lalu sitting in government but never came forward to help people of BIHAR? My heart cries when I see so many selfish people in our country.
Coming back to Media where well dressed people sits in front of camera, hold the microphone and they just discussing anything and everything without knowing how it would help people who is suffering. Yeah they KNOW how to speak English. They are busy with Big brother and Jade Goody. Does every one think that Indian are poor? Are you kidding? India have billionaire and millioner in but just for themselves not for affected nation.
Why such natural disaster does not get people’s attention? Should we blame media or fate of those who is suffering? Should we blame people of Bihar who does not know how to tell their story to the entire nation/world?
GOD if you are really there I would pray to help those people who is suffering because of nature fury. Help my LORD to those people who are in field to help those suffering.

Now people who will read my blog will definitely ask me what you are doing? No dude I am doing it whatever I can, believe me and if you have any pointer let me know.

Please send your crossed cheque in the name "Chief Minister Relief Fund, Bihar" and post it to .

Secretary to Chief Minister.
Government Of Bihar
1 Anne Marg.
Patna 800001

Read this great effort by our CM Nitish Kumar.
NEW DELHI: The fury of Kosi, which struck east Bihar with a vengeance last Monday, may trigger one of the world's biggest human evacuations ever. The exodus should continue over the next several weeks with the scared population spread over six districts finally veering round to timely escape as the only option.

By now, almost one lakh marooned people have moved to safe highlands, bulk of them by government boats and many on their own. The reluctant trickle is now taking the shape of a torrent after an emotional appeal by chief minister Nitish Kumar, urging people to cut their losses and leave with their cattle.

At the time of reporting, over 10,000 people had beseeched the administration officials in Madhepura to take them to safety — a reversal of sorts since 24 hours ago, all the nudging could not make them leave their "ghar".

More such scenes could be witnessed in the next 48 hours if heavy rain, as forecast by the Met office, pelts the area, adding to the huge volumes of water gushing down from Nepal towards the plains of the ill-fated Bihar districts.

The deluge has, at any rate, presented a gigantic task of moving over 20 lakh people to protected zones. By Friday, the government expects to deploy 900 boats — motorised and manual — for evacuation work.

At an average of 100 people per boat, the daily shift could shoot to 90,000. The number of people voluntarily finding their way to safety will also continue to rise because they are slowly realizing that the worst of the Kosi crisis may not yet be over.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Another Mile Stone with P2V

I got an assignment to P2V old Dell hardware. Server was running critical application and was behaving wired. We planned to P2V this old guy. This old guy was running 4 CPU with 2GB of memory. It has NIC teaming as well (will tell latter what problem faced because of this).

I decided to do P2V using CD boot method (I did this in past and was quite comfortable with this). I called Datacenter folks and ask to check

1. It has CD ROM so that I can boot using Convertor ISO.

2. Machine has console access so that once machine get booted with CD.

Guys told it does not have any KVM Raritan connection or any remote management facility. I was kind of stuck and started reading blogs. I started looking at VC and finally I found plugin which was already available


I enable this plugin under installed tab and was trying to figure out how I will use it ☺ and will discuss this in detail below. I was planning how I would be going for this approach since this would be fist time I would be using “VMware Converter Enterprise”. I wanted to make sure that I am talking all the precaution so I got Mr. Eric Siebert’s for my rescue.

Precaution :a) Shut down all the un-wanted services.

b) Turn off the Antivirus.

c) Run ipconfig/all and make a note of all information about IP address.

d) Make a determination for amount of CPU or RAM which will go with virtual

machine while cloning.

Start Performing cloning physical machine:

1. Select the host where you want to place converted machine and right click on the host and select “import machine”. Now I got to understand where the plugin is working ☺


2. Wait till it does its magic clip_image006 and finally you get the screen where the magic (I am really excited with this new tool) start which will guide step by step


3. Select “next ” and choose the option as highlighted.


Note : Check rest of the option it give breathing space even for its rival ☺. This show how much VMware has respect for its rival as well. Can same honor will be given to VMware as well? I doubt.

4. Select Next and then provide the required information


5. It will try to connect and then prompt for option if you would like to install the converter agent on the remote machine. Also make a note that this agent install would reboot the remote host if it is running version below win2k. I usually select default one. Once you hit yes it will start installing agent. I have tested on my laptop and it freeze momentarily☺


6. It will bring the screen where it sees all the drive and give you the option to select for the P2V purpose. New disk space can be changed if required. In this case have to squeezed the space to 20GB from 75GB


Before I forget log for all these activity can be found under

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware Converter Enterprise\Logs as vmware-converter-agent*

7. Select next, it will ask to double confirm the destination.


8. Hit next and it will ask for the virtual machine name. Same name can be given for which P2V is happening. Because we are going to shut down the physical and then power on this virtual. Also you can not select different datacenter.


9. Select next and it will ask for datastore where the VMDK or disk file will be placed. It will verify space availability and then proceed further with that.


10. Hit next and then it will detect the number of NIC. Here we can change the NIC which virtual server will have and what VLAN it should be going. Compare to standard converter this feature is cool because there were no way to change the VLAN(Don’t remember).


11. Hit next and it will prompt if you would like to install VM tools. My recommendation is do not install the VMtools at this point as it may conflict with other drivers.


12. Hit next and then select if you would like to do it now or schedule it for next sometime latter. I liked this feature which give me choice if I am trying to P2V some production machine.


13. Hit next and here you have the option if you want to “power on” the machine when P2V is completed. Select NO to be on the safer side because there is lot many “Post P2V” related activity.


Sit tight till it finishes up.


1. Once P2V is over we right click and select setting for the virtual machine


2. Remove all unwanted hardware because of P2V. Virtual just need base hardware as shown below. Also sometime if we are migrating windows2000 it will install controller as LSI logic but make sure buslogic is selected or else BSOD will be generated.


3. Once these cleanup is done then power on the machine with NIC disconnected. The reason I am doing this because actual machine is still powered ON.


4. Once these setting is done power on the machine and login with local admin and password. If there is any NIC teaming exist then break the team. The reason for this is NIC driver get migrated as part of P2V and if we uninstall driver without breaking this team than it may land up in additional troubleshooting.

5. These NIC driver are hidden when it is P2Ved. To do this go to a CMD prompt and type SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1 and then DEVMGMT.MSC and then select Show Hidden Devices. Delete any old grayed out hardware.

6. If you change from a multi-processor system to a uni-processor system you need to manually change the HAL on the Windows server after the conversion. To do this go into Device Manager after the machine first boots and discovers it's new hardware and then click on Computer then right-click on the processor and select Update Driver. Then select Install from specific location and then Don't search I will choose the driver to install. Then select show All compatible hardware and select the appropriate processor. For example, if you went from a dual cpu to a single cpu then select ACPI uni-processor PC instead of ACPI multi-processor PC. You will need to reboot once you change this. To verify what HAL you are using you right-click your hal.dll in c:\windows\system32 and select the Version tab and select Internal Name and it should say halmacpi.dll for multi-processor acpi and halacpi.dll for uni-processor acpi.

7. Next remove any vendor specific applications/drivers. For example on a HP server you should go to Add/Remove programs and remove any HP management agents, survey utility, array config utility, version control agent, etc.

Power On The Virtual Machine.

1. Shut down the physical machine. Make sure ping get timed out.

2. Install the VMtools on the virtual machine


3. Configure IP address on virtual machine and then connect the NIC.


4. Reboot the VM and when it is back mission should have been accomplished.

Converter Best Practices

Found this in the recently posted "Server Migrations with VMware Converter" presentation from VMware TSX and modified it based on my experiences

1. Agent Installation Location

• Locally: Install Converter and agent directly on source machine if converting directly into ESX Server

• Remotely: Connect to source machine over network to install agent

2. Agent Installation

• Use local administrator account

• Avoid domain accounts that have restrictive policies

• Allow reboot for Windows NT 4.0 and 2000 sources

3. Machine Preparation

• Do not deactivate services or harden security

    > Workstation service

    > Server service

    > TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper service

    > Volume Shadow Copy service (Windows 2003 or XP)

• Ensure sufficient free disk space (at least 200MB)

• Mirrored or striped volumes across multiple disks should be broken

• Dynamic disks with utility partitions should use cold cloning

• Disable Windows Simple File Sharing (Windows XP only)

• Disable anti-virus software

• Defrag hard disks

• Shutdown any un-needed Windows Services

• Clean-up any temporary files and un-needed data

• Run chkdsk

• Keep users off if possible

• Power off VM if not using hot cloning

• VCB VM exports need editing prior to import

    > Edit virtual disk filenames inside .vmx

    > Rename filenames for .vmdk files to match those listed in .vmx

    > Edit index .vmdk file to change references to span files

4. Network Preparation

• Open TCP/UDP ports 139, 445, and 902 (Converter 3.0.0) or 443 (Converter 3.0.1)

• Open network ports between source and destination

    > Alternative is to create a VM visible to source, copy VM files to location visible to destination, and import VM

• Use FQDN to connect to both source and VI3

5. Converter Preparation

• Run on OS greater than or equal to source if source is

    > VM and powered off, or

    > Symantec Livestate System Image

6. Cloning

• Starter edition limitations and workarounds

    > Cannot remote hot clone directly into VI3

         - Workaround 1: install Converter on source machine

         - Workaround 2: select standalone VM as destination, and then import VM to VI3 using two steps

    > Cannot run multiple tasks concurrently

         - Workaround: run multiple copies of Converter

    > Cannot cold clone

         - Workaround: create new VM, use third-party cloning application such as Ghost, and run Converter configure

• Do not resize volume for fastest clone speed (block-level copying)

• Resize volumes if source disks have inefficient utilization (resorts to file-level copying)

• Use cold-cloning disk-based cloning (not volume-based) for non-Windows systems

• Use hot cloning for Windows NT 4.0 systems to avoid NTFS upgrade

• Destination needs to be writeable

7. Configure

• Avoid cloning utility partitions

• Check partition numbers in boot.ini

• Automatic “Install VMware Tools” option is only available for ESX Server VMs

8. Clean-Up Prior to Power On

• Edit VM settings according to desired goal

    > Number of vCPUs

    > Add/Delete USB devices

    > Add/Delete Serial and parallel devices

    > Remove Floppy drive if not needed

    > SCSI controller type (BusLogic vs. LSI Logic)

• OEM source may require license activation

    > SMBIOS.reflectHost = “TRUE” in .vmx may avoid reactivation

    > Requires destination host to have same hardware

9. Clean-Up After Power On

• Detect hardware

    > VMware Tools installation may hang if hardware not detected

• Allow reboots to occur

    > Detect hardware and VMware Tools installation

• Verify HAL and change if necessary

• Remove non-present old hardware


    > Next type DEVMGMT.MSC and select Show Hidden Devices

    > Delete any old grayed out non-present hardware

10. Guest Troubleshooting

• Blue screen after powering on

    > Start Windows in Safe Mode and uninstall hardware-specific applications or services

    > Attach VM to “Helper VM” to remove hardware-specific drivers or to correct the boot.ini

• No keyboard/mouse

    > Select Workstation/Server VM instead of ESX Server, then import VM to ESX Server

    > Use PS/2 keyboard/mouse on source

• Display problems

    > Uninstall PC Anywhere prior to installing VMware Tools

Converter FAQ

What are the requirements for Converter?

For cold cloning the minimum memory requirements is 264MB, the recommended memory is 364MB. Converter uses a RAM disk while cold cloning and will not work with less then 264MB. Also the operating system on which Converter runs must be equal to, or greater, than the operating system on the source machine. For example if your source machine is running Windows 2003 and you are running Converter remotely, you must run it on a Windows XP or 2003 machine. You will not be able to run it on a Windows 2000 machine. If you run Converter on 2003 or XP you should be able to convert any operating system since they are the latest operating systems.

What platforms can Converter be installed on?

VMware Converter 3 can be installed on the following platforms: Windows XP Professional, Windows 2003 Server, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server and Windows NT SP6+ (IE5 or higher required)

What import formats does Converter support?

Source formats supported include: Physical Machines running supported OS, Microsoft Virtual PC (version 7 and higher), Microsoft Virtual Server (any version), Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery images (also Ghost 9 or higher), VMware Workstation 4.x virtual machine (compatible with VMware GSX Server 3.x), VMware Workstation 5.x virtual machine (compatible with VMware Player and VMware Server 1.x), VMware ESX Server 3.x, VMware ESX Server 3.x (when managed by VirtualCenter 2.x), VMware ESX Server 2.5.x (when managed by VirtualCenter 2.x)

What export formats does Converter support?

Destination formats supported include: VMware Workstation 4.x virtual machine (compatible with VMware GSX Server 3.x, ESX Server 2.5.x), VMware Workstation 5.x virtual machine (compatible with VMware Player and VMware Server 1.x), VMware ESX Server 2.5.x (when managed by VirtualCenter 2.x), VMware ESX Server 3.x (when managed by VirtualCenter 2.x), VMware ESX Server 3.x Note: VMware ESX Server 2.5.x when managed by VirtualCenter 1.x and VMware ESX Server 2.5.x unmanaged are not supported

What are the supported guest operating systems?

The following 32-bit guest operating systems are fully supported by VMware Converter 3: Windows NT, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server, Windows XP Professional, Windows 2003 Server

The following 64-bit guest operating systems are fully supported by VMware Converter 3: Windows XP Professional, Windows 2003 Server

Support for the following guest operating systems is Experimental. VMware Converter 3 can clone source images containing these operating systems, but the destination virtual machine may or may not work without additional configuration after import. In particular, if the source image contains unsupported hardware, you may need to modify the configuration of the destination virtual machine before using it: Linux, Windows NT 3.x, Windows ME, Windows 98, Windows 95, MS-DOS

What TCP/IP ports are used by Converter?

Converter 3.0.0 uses the following ports:

• Converter application to remote physical machine - 445 and 139

• Converter application to VirtualCenter Server - 902

• Converter application to ESX Server 3.x - 902

• Physical machine to VirtualCenter Server - 902

• Physical machine to ESX Server 3.x - 902

Converter 3.0.1 uses the following ports:

• Converter application to remote physical machine - 445 and 139

• Converter application to VirtualCenter Server - 443

• Converter application to ESX Server 3.x - 443

• Physical machine to VirtualCenter Server - 443

• Physical machine to ESX Server 3.x - 443

*** If you are using Converter 3.0.1 make sure you do not have a web server using port 443 while running Converter

When you select VirtualCenter as a destination and then chose a ESX host, Converter will first make a connection to VirtualCenter and then the ESX host, so you will need to make sure these ports are not being blocked for both the VirtualCenter server and ESX server

What Windows Services need to be running for Converter to work properly?

The Windows Server and TCP/IP Netbios Helper services must be running for Converter to work properly. Also for Windows 2003 Servers the Volume Shadow Copy service must not be disabled (can be Manual or Automatic)

What should I do before running Converter?

First, once you install Converter on the source system to do a Hot clone, you must reboot the system before running it. Once you reboot, make sure the Vmware Converter service is started and running before you begin. Next shutdown any un-needed Services, the less Services running the better your chances for a successful conversion. This includes backup agents, virus scanners, applications, etc.

What types of servers should not be converted?

In general, Active Directory domain controllers, database servers (SQL/Oracle), Exchange servers and any servers that have sensitive applications are not good candidates for conversions. If you do try and convert these types of servers the best method is to cold-clone them. If you must hot-clone them make sure all applications and services are shutdown before starting the conversion. Database servers are particularly sensitive to corruption when being converted. It is also best if you do not change the drive sizes when converting these servers. If you re-size hard drives this changes the copy method that Converter uses to migrate the data to the destination. Domain controllers have been known to have USN rollback problems after being converted. See the following Microsoft knowledge base articles for more information: and and also

What is the difference between the Starter and Enterprise edition of Converter?

The differences are Enterprise includes support, the ability to cold-clone with the boot CD, able to do multiple simultaneous conversions and perform remote conversions

How do I get a Enterprise license for Converter?

Vmware Converter Enterprise is available at no additional cost to existing and new VirtualCenter Management Server customers and P2V Assistant customers, with valid support and subscription contracts. First go to and click on the Manage VMware Product Licenses link. If you are entitled to Converter licenses you will see Vmware Converter 3.0 Enterprise listed once you log in. Once you activate the license and download the license file you can go to and click on the Enterprise Edition link to download the ISO file for cold-cloning. The installation program for hot-cloning is the same for Starter and Enterprise editions. Once you select a license file in Converter it will unlock the Enterprise features. One thing to note is that the license file you download for Converter does not work with the License Manager server. Even though it is in the same format as the ESX licenses the License Server will not recognize it. To use your Converter license file simply copy it to the server that Converter is installed on and launch the Converter application and select Administration, Licensing Information and click Add License and browser and select your Converter license file

Is there support available for Converter?

Support is available for the Starter edition but needs to be purchased on a per incident basis ($90 per incident). If you have the Enterprise edition support is included as part of the VirtualCenter Management Server. Also the Vmware Converter forum is a great resource for answering Converter questions and solving problems

Can I convert Linux servers with Converter?

The Converter documentation states: “Experimental support only is available for Linux-based physical to virtual machine conversions using the Vmware Converter BootCD (cold cloning) if the source physical machine has SCSI disks.” Some people have had success converting Linux machines, others have not. If Converter does not work on your Linux machine you can try a commercially available conversion product from Platespin called PowerConvert which has full Linux support.

Why are ESX and VirtualCenter grayed out as destinations when I run Converter?

If you are using the Starter edition you must run it on the physical server that is being converted for ESX Server and VirtualCenter to be available as destinations. If you do not run it on the server being converted then only the Vmware standalone virtual machine option is available. Enterprise edition does not have this restriction

Thursday, August 21, 2008



I started following Indian politics using media and internet. I am so tired of these sick news channel their insensitive journalism. I know by doing this I am inviting more controversy but I am so frustrated by these channel that I decided to blog it. Where I have full freedom and I don’t have to create account in order to write my thoughts. Either it is or they decide what they have to show to the public but on my blog I have no restriction.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Trying To Be Photographer Part15

Got new filter for editing black and white photo called Silver Efex Pro. Wanted to share some result

Fixing Licensing issue if evalution period of ESX host is expired

One of the server builder was trying to deploy VM using template and it was throwing message “Invalid configuration for Device 0 and sometimes device 1”.

1. Converted template back to VM and then removed CDROM and ISO image no luck.

2. Restarted “hostd” and “vpxd” on the target host but no luck.

Now I tried to deploy the VM on different host it was successful. What is going on with this target host? So I cold migrated the vm to the same host on which I was having trouble, it was successful.

Now I tried to power on the VM I got this message “There are not enough licenses installed to perform the operation”. Wow I thought everything is pointing to license server but no, someone forgets to change the licensing information for this host and it was still running under evaluation mode (Though we have license server installed).

1. Selected host view mode and then selected configuration and then “Licensed Features” and directed to our license server but it was getting timed out.


2. Thought might be license service might be stopped. Tried restarting service but it get timed out with Error -5. Thought let me try to reboot the virtual center and that may fix it. Yeah even I got alias for Virtual center ☺. Rebooted the server and I was able to restart the license server service but it use to die very soon. I thought it might be license server which I can install it again. I went to VMWare support site and download License Server for ESX3.5 and got my license server reinstalled.

3. After the license server was reinstalled license service was started for ever. Now I have got to fix the host.

4. I was tried to license again using licensed feature and still it was getting timed out. I check the license server from the console and I was not able to ping the license server using FQDN but only using IP. Now I got to fix DNS , the entry for DNS was wrong under “DNS and Routing” (Great Feature ) . Updated the DNS and now I was able to ping using FQDN but still I was not able to use either IP address or FQDN for license server.

5. OK now I did tried this Change the Host date and time to the value when it was still running under evaluation method (This trick work for most of the evaluation software ;) ). I restarted hostd and vpxd and guess what. I got the tab which says “Enable evaluation mode”. So this tricks was working to some extend but I was not able to put the host into evaluation mode.

6. I thought I will put the host into evaluation mode and then change it back to host based license.

7. It still not allowing me to put it into evaluation mode. So I thought this is the right time to contact VMWare license support. I called VMWare license support and the asked me to use host based license then convert it back to server based license.

8. This was bit risky but I told them to put back my license into the pool when I change to server based license.

9. I did same first I used their license file and register host with that file. When it was licensed then I changed it to server based license.

10. Contact VMWare support to put back the license into the pool ☺

Key is please update the license information for the host before evaluation period expire.