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VMware Converter 4.3 - Fails with General System Error: "Invalid Fault" When Converting a Windows 2008 Server to vSphere 5

Issue

User encounters a General System Error - Invalid Fault when attempting to convert a Windows 2008 physical server to vSphere ESXi 5 using VMware converter version 4.3.

The Converter logs contains message similar to the following:


[2012-06-07 10:44:07.395 03680 error 'wizardController'] Unable to submit job: vmodl.fault.SystemError
[2012-06-07 10:44:07.395 04808 error 'ConversionState'] Submit job failed: A general system error occurred: Invalid fault
[2012-06-07 10:44:07.395 04808 error 'ConverterWizardWindow'] Next/Finish failed: A general system error occurred: Invalid fault
[2012-06-07 10:44:24.005 04808 info 'ConverterSession'] Converter data provider created.
[2012-06-07 10:44:24.005 04808 info 'DiagnosticDataProvider'] Converter::Client::Gui::Common::DiagnosticDataProvider::DownloadSourceDiagnosticFile - Using last known source computer spec:
(converter.ComputerSpec) {
dynamicType = <unset>,
location = (converter.ComputerSpec.LiveComputerLocation) {
dynamicType = <unset>,
hostname = "hostname",
port = <unset>,
username = "username\q01074a",
password = (not shown),
osType = "windowsOs",
verifyPeer = true,
sslThumbprint = "E4:AD:0F:99:84:87:36:27:EE:03:1D:D7:C2:87:BC:91:55:DE:EF:52",
},
}

Solution

This failure is likely caused by the user having a GUID Partition Table (GPT) disk on the source system. It is unique to Windows 2008 and does not occur when converting Windows 2003 systems, where GPT disks are simply ignored. Try removing the GPT disk and re-running the conversion. The disk will not only need to be dismounted and brought offline, but the driver will need to be disabled.

VMware encourages user to use VMware Converter version 5 when converting to ESXi 5. If users decide to try using VMware Converter 5 instead of 4.3, a more informative error will be received indicating that the conversion will not run because of the presence of a GPT drive. The GPT disk also needs to be removed in a similar manner for VMware converter 5 and converted separately using other imaging tools.

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