I’ve been meaning to get some screenshots of this problem because I’ve been asked about this error a few times and since I had some P2V work tonight with a client that had the setup I needed, I took the opportunity to mimic this error on their vSphere environment. Now before I proceed, please be aware that the reason to this error message in this blog post is only ONE of the MANY possibilities so if this does not apply to your situation, I would suggest that the converter logs be exported and parsed to determine the root cause.
You need to v2v a virtual machine currently sitting on a VMware Server 1.0 or 2.0 so you proceed with logging into vCenter with the vCenter Converter installed, right click on your cluster, choose Import and then choose VMware Workstation or other VMware virtual machine for the Select source type field. You browse to the network path for the vmx file, enter the credentials to connect to the share but once you click on View source details, you receive the following error:
Unable to obtain hardware information for the selected machine
One of the reasons why you would get this error is if the virtual machine is powered on. This conversion process requires the source to be powered off and if you would like to virtualize it live, you should install the converter agent on the virtual machine and live clone it. Once you’ve shutdown the virtual machine, you should see something similar to the following:
For further troubleshooting, you can click on the Export diagnostic logs… link at the bottom left hand corner to extract a zip package with line by line information about the failure.