We have a window planned over the weekend to virtualize a few old physical Dell servers so I while preparing the documents and software we needed, I realized that the last cold clone WinPE boot CD provided by VMware was in vCenter Converter version 4.1.x:
Unfortunately, after browsing for an hour on the VMware site downloads page, I was unable to find it. Luckily, my practice lead had a copy on a shared drive:
… which then had me ask him why a newer version was going to be released and the response I got was that VMware doesn’t appear to promote using the cold boot CD anymore as we can now use the vCenter Converter agent to live clone VMs. I personally don’t like doing live clones on servers as there’s usually some changes made to it during the clone process and when there’s a database on it (i.e. Exchange or SQL), the likely hood of a corruption would be extremely high. Through doing some research, it does look like there are other ways of creating a cold boot CD for cloning but until I find some time to test that out, make sure you save your 4.1.x cold clone ISO somewhere in case you need it.
If it was just my poor searching capabilities that had me believe it’s no longer available and you know where I can download the cold clone package, please post in the comment section. Thanks.
Update February 02, 2011:
Thanks to a fellow professional “withanHdammit” (see the comments below), it looks like the Cold Boot CD is indeed available but because it’s so nested in the downloads site, it’s easy to miss. The following KB gives the specific instructions on how and where to download it: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1026714. Navigating through the downloads site should lead you to seeing the following screens:
It’s always great to get feedback from fellow professionals. Thanks for sharing “withanHdammit”.