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VMware Converter 4.01: “Unable to obtain hardware information” or “Unable to determine Guest Operating System”

Posted by jpluimers on 2010/06/10

Sometimes you get an error message “Unable to obtain hardware information” or “Unable to determine Guest Operating System” when using VMware Converter 4.01.

This happens at least with VMware Converter 4.01 and converting x64 VM’s like “Windows 7” and “Windows Server 2008 R2” from ESXi 4 U1.
Others found out it also happens with some Linux VMs, I have not tried those yet.

A the VMware communitie, user wildblue posted a workaround:

Similar problem here – Windows 7 VM, converter gives the “Unable to obtain hardware information for the selected machine”

Log shows (I’m assuming this is the important part)

error 'ManagedMachineDataConnectionLogger'] Cannot query source HW info: vmodl.fault.SystemError

Export Wizard through VI Client gives ‘Unable to determine Guest Operating System’

Changing the VM’s settings and making the Operating System something other than Win 7 seems to work. Export to OVF works too. Guess those are your work arounds until the next verion of converter.

So the trick is these steps:

  1. Write down the Guest Operating System type
    (You can perform step 1, 2 and 4 by pressing “Edit Settings” in the VM, in the dialog then go to the “Options” tab. )
  2. Change your VM configuration Guest Operating System type to a similar processor type (keep 64-bit or 32-bit) for a lower release of the OS (Windows 7 -> Vista -> XP, etc)
  3. Convert your VM; if it fails, go back to step 2
  4. Restore the VM configuration Guest Operating System type to the original saved in step 1

Piece of cake when you know it :-)


via VMware Communities: Unable to obtain hardware information ….

27 Responses to “VMware Converter 4.01: “Unable to obtain hardware information” or “Unable to determine Guest Operating System””

  1. sam said

    This method worked to get me past the first error in VCenter converter standalone. However I wasn’t then able to select the VM hard drives individually (by volume as opposed to by disk) to deploy to the new VM.

    Removing and re-adding the source VM to the inventory did not fix it for me either.

  2. Liliana Forero said

    I get this error message “Unable to determine guest operating system” with a WINDOWS98 Virtual machine. I change the version of the virtual machine, but it did not work. Any help?.

  3. […] to:… Share this:FacebookLinkedInMoreTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  4. Carl Green said

    Removing from inventory and adding it back worked for me. OK…. that makes no sense. But good to know.

  5. […] Found this excellent solution here… […]

  6. Ovidiu said

    For me just rebooting the ESXi host did the trick.

  7. Thanks, this worked for me! Like others, I changed the description of a Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit machine to Windows Server 2008 64-Bit and it converted just fine.

  8. EJH said

    Converted a Win 64bit 2008 R2 to Win 64bit 2008. Works now! Thanks!

  9. neil said

    Thanks DanyBoy. Same worked for me

  10. DanyBoy said

    What worked for me is, that I removed the VM from the inventory and re-add it. converter was then able to see the information it needed

  11. Harry said

    Worked for me too…Thanks!!

  12. […] VMware Converter 4.01: “Unable to obtain hardware information” or “Unable to deter… June 2010 11 comments 4 […]

  13. IL said

    Could you provide a direct link for VMware vCenter Converter? It seems download part of site in maintenance mode.

  14. markus said

    worked for me, too. Great tip, thanks!

  15. TimmyC said

    Worked for me Three! Convertying Win2008 R2, set down to Win2008, no problem, Thanks man!

    Now, can VMWARE get off their apparently dead asses and UPDATE THE CONVERTER!!!!!
    Can I get a HELL YEAH!

  16. adc11 said

    Doesn’t work for me, gives me that message when trying to convert Win7 64-bit or Win2008 R2, no matter what I set the Guest OS type to. Works fine for converting Linx 64-bit and WinXP 32-bit.

    • adc11 said

      Update: I restarted Converter and then it worked with OS type set to “Other 32-bit”

  17. Holland said

    Worked for me! Just changed the VM to Windows 2008 64bit and it converted! Awesome tip!

  18. Muhammad Adnan said

    The Solution Also Worked for me. Windows 2008 R2 Change it to Windows 2008.

  19. Jackson said

    The solution worked for me while I try to convert a Windows Server 2008 R2 x64. I changed it to Windows Server 2008 x64 and the process continues. Thank you!

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