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I need to cold clone a physical box in a VMWare environment. What are people using for this these days?

My preference is for VMWare's vConverter ISO, but it appears that this was discontinued. It's no longer available for download on their site from what I can tell (even under old versions).

I found one guy who appears to have an ISO for version 3.0.3 of vConverter posted to his site for download, but I'm eternally skeptical about downloading these types of software from random strangers: http://thatcouldbeaproblem.com/?p=584

I also found some mention of using MOA, but I've never used this and have no idea on how effective it is as a vConverter replacement. http://www.sanbarrow.com/moa.html

One other options seems to be using Acronis - booting off an Acronis disk to capture a .tib, then using a standard installation of vConverter to push the .tib to ESXi.

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  • WinPE + VMware Converter seems the way to go: dresxi.blogspot.co.at/2013/06/…
    – fuero
    Nov 11 '13 at 23:33
  • That blog shows how to USE the VMware converter boot ISO. I need to either get a hold of that ISO or I need to best practices for making my own.
    – jlehtinen
    Nov 12 '13 at 15:24
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I have a copy of the 3.0.3 ISO and yes, that does appear to be the last one they made available. If you want to try your luck with the download, here's the MD5 hash of the copy that I have: C8FDA701B884FE9A96CB6AD10154F2C1. I've used it before and it works OK, but be aware that it's rather limited in which network cards it supports. You might need to pull the hard drive out of your physical box so you can run the clone operation on another machine. For best results, find one that has a broadcom card.

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Who told you it was discontinued and no longer available?

VMWare Converter Standalone version 5.5 was released 10/22/2013

edit: Oh wait, you want the cold cloning boot ISO.. yes, not sure where that went since v4 I believe. The PE method with an older ISO still should work for most systems. Out of curiosity, why do you need to cold clone one?

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  • It's for a touchy SBS box in a multi-DC environment. I could hot clone it but there's a higher chance of something going wrong. Lots of active services, processes, etc. that all have to be stopped correctly and in some cases reconfigured prior to a hot clone. A cold clone would keep things much simpler for me.
    – jlehtinen
    Nov 12 '13 at 15:19

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