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  • 1.  File Server Migration - Keeping the same Server name

    Posted Dec 04, 2019 03:04 PM

    Dear Community - I have a virtual server (Windows Server 2012) that needs to be upgraded to Windows Server 2019 OS. The server is part of a domain -2016. This server is a VM and I am using the VMware vSphere/vCenter Client 6.0. We are using a relative new host – Dell PowerEdge R640. For some reason the VM in question has only one virtual disk and is used with two partitions. One for the OS (150 GB) and the second partition to store data (1.3 TBs). We are running out of space and now I have added 500 GB space to the VM in question.  The system doesn’t allow me to add more than 2 TBs  space Virtual disk and for some reason I am not able to add the new 500 GBs to the Data partition (1.3 TBs). When trying to extend the data 1.3 TBs partition to include the new 500 GBs partition, the “Extended Volume” option is gray out and I am not able to do so.

    The goal is to create a new VM with the same server name, install on this VM server Windows 2019 OS and create two Virtual hard disks – One about 300 GBs for the OS and the second one with 2.0 TBs for the Data.

    We must keep the same server name on the new VM server and bring (Copy/move/import/restore) all the Data, including all ACLs, NTFS permissions, share folders, SIDs, etc. into the new server.

    Kindly please provide the best approach to achieve this task with zero loss and be able to keep the same server name in the new VM? Please provide any possible suggestions and thank you for your time and assistance on this matter.

  • 2.  RE: File Server Migration - Keeping the same Server name

    Broadcom Employee
    Posted Dec 04, 2019 03:59 PM

    Moderator: Moved to Virtual Machine, Guest OS & VM Tools > Windows

  • 3.  RE: File Server Migration - Keeping the same Server name

    Posted Dec 04, 2019 04:29 PM

    From what you describe there may be multiple things that need to be considered.

    First of all, it seems that the VM is either stored on a VMFS3 datastore (less likely) rather than VMFS5, or - that's what I assume - the guest's partition type is MBR (rather than GPT which allows sizes > 2TB). To find out about this, you may run either the Powershell command Get-Disk, or use diskpart , and run list disk.

    Anyway, there are multiple approaches how to handle this.

    • Step 1 - Split VM into 2 virtual disks
      If you do have a backup software, which is able to restore the VM with the desired layout (2 virtual disks), that is one option. Another option - provided that you have sufficient free disk space on your datastore - is to use VMware's free Converter to split the VM into 2 disks using the Advanced configuration options (see e.g. Move a Volume to a Different Virtual Disk ). After that you should be able to increase the data volume to almost ~2TB even with the MBR partition table.

    • Step 2 - Replace the OS diskThis assumes that you do NOT use local users, or groups for NTFS, or share permissions!Create a new Windows 2019 Server VM with a temp. hostname. Make sure that nobody accesses the "old" server, export the shares from the registry, shut down the old server, rename the new server's hostname, and add it to the domain, attach the data disk to the new server, and finally import the shares. To avoid later confusion regarding the .vmdk file names, and locations, you may either run a storage vMotion after that, or move, and rename the file names from the command line (this may be tricky, so please ask if you are unsure). Also be careful with deleting the old server, so that you don't accidentally delete the data disk!
      Note: I'd suggest that you create the new Windows Server VM with Boot Mode "EFI" in the VM's optional settings (instead of "BIOS").
    • Step 3 - Convert the data disk from MBR to GPT (optional if required)
      This may not be as easy as it sounds, because converting MBR to GPT without data loss requires a tool that is able to do this. Microsoft has one for PE environments "mbr2gpt.exe". Some 3rd- party partitioning tools also offer this.


  • 4.  RE: File Server Migration - Keeping the same Server name

    Posted Dec 04, 2019 04:31 PM

    Why not just add a new disk, copy all the data over, and change the drive letter and update the shares? Also when you make the new disk chose a gpt and not mbr, so you can go past 2tb. What your looking to do I'm not sure is even possible/feasible anyway.

  • 5.  RE: File Server Migration - Keeping the same Server name

    Posted Dec 04, 2019 04:32 PM

    ... one additional question.

    Why are you running vSphere 6.0? The host supports the current version 6.7.