Thursday, August 29, 2013

Newly P2V / VMware Converter converted HP DL series server hangs on Windows startup

It has probably been 4 or 5 years since I’ve had to P2V old HP DL380 G3 servers with Windows Server 2003 but a recent datacenter virtualization project I’ve been involved in had 2 full racks of them. Going through the motions of virtualizing the servers with VMware Converter brought back good memories as well as reminded me of all the issues I’ve had in the past with these servers where one of them was when a newly converted server would hang at various startup phases for hours and seemingly never really load the operating system properly.

Observe the first screenshot of the:

Please wait…

Preparing network connections…

image

… process. I could walk around from the virtual machine for an hour, come back and still see this screen being the same. The next screenshot:

Please wait…

Loading your personal settings…

image

… comes after you’re able to log in and also seemingly takes hours until it loads into the blue desktop wallpaper. In any event, you could wait for hours or days and the server wouldn’t boot or load any faster. I still remember the first time I came across this 5 years ago and how frustrating it was so in hopes that I can save someone else’s frustration, the way to fix this is to restart Windows in safe mode then open the services console as such:

image

From here, disable all of the HP services so that they don’t start. Notice that you may be prompted with a Found New Hardware Wizard but you should just ignore it because it will go away when you install VMware tools.

image

Once all the HP services have been disabled, proceed by restarting the server and you should notice that the boot and login times will revert back to normal. Once in the OS, perform the post virtualization cleanup process (remove unneeded applications, hidden devices that no longer exist, etc.

No comments: