NT4 Server P2V Tips

One of the major VMware projects we have going on is using it within our NT4 Member Server Upgrade project. One of the reasons for using VMware is to provide a complete test environment for upgrading a number of servers that may or may not be supported by the application vendor (if still around) or even have original documentation. One of these examples is our old Remedy (4.x) server. The vendor albeit still around literally does not have any one who could support that old version or know if it would work under WIndows 2000. Here is a brief synopsis of the project’s use of VMware.

  • Take original NT4 system and P2V it to a virtual machine
  • Test the P2V transferred the system successfully (functional test system, system agents, and application)
  • Upgrade VM to Windows 2000/2003
  • Retest application application in VM
  • Obtain Director signoff to V2P the VM to bring box to production.
  • V2P the newly upgraded box to new hardware.

This way we have complete fall back redundancy, and the ability to test without adversely affecting production.

I was stumped on the following problem for a couple weeks. A number of our NT4 members servers had software mirrored FAT system partitions and NTFS data partitions. Built prior to my arrival, we even ran into software RAID5 (ugh) systems. The problem happened on three successive NT4 servers. Each one built similar to as described above (mirrored FAT-NTFS). We performed the P2V, but after the VM booted it would blue screen with below error code.

STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error}
The Session Manager Initialization system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xc0000013 (0x00000000 0x00000000).
The system has shutdown.

After troubleshooting it with VMware, they pointed me at the below KB article saying my registry was corrupt. (http://support.microsoft.com/?id=166160) Mount the vmdk on another NT4 virtual machine, and fix the registry there. There was no success there except the experience of building more NT4 VM’s than I want to count.

The real success came in finding this KB article (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/139843/EN-US/). It pointed to the FT bit needing to be reset on the Master Boot Record. The solution was to create Dos 6.22 bootdisk floppy image (from http://www.Bootdisk.com) and then copy the disksave.exe executable from the NT4 resource kit. ( http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/nts/downloads/recommended/ntkit/default.asp) Boot the VM to that floppy image, and then run disksave.exe. One of the options on the screen is F6 – Clear FT (Fault Tolerant) bit. It was tells the Master Boot Record that the partition is not mirrored anymore. Once I did that my system booted normally.

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0 Responses to NT4 Server P2V Tips

  1. Srini .K says:


    I’ve go to know your website through google. I’m stuck with technical issue, thought you would be able to help me.

    I have a WinNT 4.0, need to make a P2V of it. The C (system) partition is on FAT and D E and F are in NTFS. I tried using VMConverter. It successfully gets it converted. However when I try to execute it through VMServer, I’m getting error “Boot:Could Not Find NTLDR Please insert another disk”. Can you please help me giving your expertise.


    Srini K