VMware Workstation 9, VMware ESXi 5.1, Windows 7 x64 VM No vCenter access, but I could deploy a vCVA if need be.

I am able to move the VM from Workstation to ESXi just fine. Using the VM->Manage->Upload option, didn't try scp or similar yet.

My challenge is that I need to preserve the UUID, MAC address, and any other information that is unique to the source VM.

Once I upload the VM to ESXi a customization is automatically happening assigning a new MAC address, UUID, etc., how can I avoid that from happening?

I need the VM on ESXi to be exactly the way it was on Workstation. I know that I can manually set the MAC on ESXi, but that doesn't prevent whatever other customizations are happening.

UPDATE: joeqwerty's comment about the UUID was good, however I was unable to change the MAC address to what it needed to be. On Workstation it's 00:0C:29:63:3E:BA, when I try to set a manual address in ESXi it suggests the first 6 to be 00:50:56: when I enter the Workstation address instead I receive the following error message:

Failed to start the virtual machine. Module DevicePowerOn power on failed. Could not set up "macAddress" for ethernet0. Invalid MAC address specified. 00:0C:29:63:3E:BA is not an allowed static Ethernet address. It conflicts with VMware reserved MACs.

This is an issue with an unpatched 5.1 install and has been fixed in 5.1 U2, and 5.5, see http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2035707

UPDATE 2: Even though the above link states that this issue has been resolved in 5.5 it has not actually been resolved and the MAC address restriction still shows up until one manually edits the vmx file to disable the MAC address check as explained in the above link.

  • 1
    When you say SID do you really mean UUID?
    – joeqwerty
    Nov 13, 2013 at 23:38
  • @joeqwerty yeah let me fix that in the original post Nov 13, 2013 at 23:44
  • 1
    In that case, here are instructions (at the bottom of the linked article) on manually specifying the UUID - kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/…
    – joeqwerty
    Nov 13, 2013 at 23:51
  • Can you explain why you need to retain these attributes?
    – ewwhite
    Nov 14, 2013 at 5:47
  • 1
    @ewwhite I wish more vendors would embrace VM-aware licensing but it's often up to the actual vendor and not so much a function of the license server app, for example, we have lots of FlexLM based licenses which are still locked to the MAC address and the vendor doesn't offer VM-aware licensing. ;( Nov 19, 2013 at 1:48

1 Answer 1


You can manually assign a MAC address (as you've stated) and you can manually specify the UUID by editing the .vmx file of the VM.


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