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VMWare Convert IDE Disk to SCSI Disk

File this under ‘things that should have been easier’. Long story short, I had a Windows XP VM running from an IDE hard drive. You can find reasons why SCSI is better for a virtual machine all over the internet – but suffice to say, I was unable to backup and restore IDE hard disks with Veeam, so we needed to make the change.

Fire up the Google machine, immediately found this VMWare Knowledge Base article (1016192) and I thought all my problems were solved. Besides, who doesn’t love to have a little fun with vi every couple of months?

Followed all the steps and my vm would. not. boot. I just stared at a blank cursor. No OS, no errors, just a white cursor. I checked all the BIOS settings I could – nothing.

Knowing it was something wrong with the vdmk itself, i went back to the internets for a solution when I finally stumbled upon this article from Symantec of all places: How to Convert Vmware Windows XP IDE Disk to LSILogic SCSI.

Low and behold there was one critical piece VMWare left out of their article – disk geometry!

I replaced:

ddb.adapterType = "ide"
ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
ddb.geometry.heads = "16"
ddb.geometry.cylinders = "16383"

with this:

ddb.geometry.cylinders = "1305"
ddb.geometry.heads = "255"
ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
ddb.adapterType = "lsilogic"

and BOOM! Boot up with no problem.

Anyone else experience this issue? Let me know if this solution works for you!