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After moving to new facilities, one of our old Dell servers running Windows Server 2003 R2 on PowerEdge 2650 HW BSODs with 0x8e.

The server runs Team Foundation Server, so we have a few guys dependent on it. No one here knows TFS, so we have no idea how difficult it would be to setup from scratch. We have the MSSQL database(s) backed up, recent and fresh copy.

Tried removing/refitting memory modules, but with no success. The system boots into safe mode but hangs occasionally. I booted a linux livecd and did a dd of both c: and d:, so I have all the data in compressed images on a vmware machine.

For the guest, I created a 38G (actually it became 40GB) partition to act as C:, and booted a live cd. I then uncompressed the compressed disk image of c: and dd'd it to the new c: using 'gunzip -dc c.img.gz | dd of=/dev/sda1 bs=1M'.
The operation ran for about 1000 seconds, and completed successfully. I assumed it would at least try to boot windows (but most likely BSOD due to not having correct drivers), but the Vmware ESXi guest does not seem to recognize it as a bootable disk.

We don't have the vmware enterprise license, so the vmware converter cold cloning is not an option. Did I do something wrong in my dd's etc with the ISOs, or why would it not (try to) boot?
Am I wasting my time? What other approach is there?

Will continue to try to remove services and drivers to make the physical machine at least work reasonably well in safe mode.

What do you suggest?
1. Continue to get the dd'd images to the virtual disk and get it to boot.
2. Install a new windows server, get team foundation server and restore from backup.
3. Focus on the old problematic hardware

Any help appreciated

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1 Answer 1

You should probably start with vCenter converter if you try to import a physical machine into ESXi. The path using DD might work, but it seems like a hack to me. Converter will do most of the work for you, including ensuring the image are in the right format. It would be my first approach, as it can solve your problem outright.

I personally would not spend time on old hardware. If you still have support send it back to DELL, if not it is probably time to buy new hardware anyway.

I have no experience recovering TFS, but I am sure somebody else can inform you how hard the recovery would be.

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vmware converter will not work as the machine does not work, it BSODs or hangs. The server is old and no support. We are ordering a dell blade chassi and an equallogic, it's just that it'll take some time migrating some 30 physical servers. Plus, we didnt actually place the order yet. –  3molo Jan 13 '11 at 15:53

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