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Redhat 4 conversion fails or the virtual machine does not boot after successful conversion (1026348)

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When converting a RHEL4 / RHAS4 operating system, you may experience these symptoms: 

  • The conversion fails during cloning.
  • The conversion completes but the virtual machine fails to boot.
  • The Converter Agent log contains the errors:

    ERROR -- Convert: converter.fault.CloneFault
    (converter.fault.CloneFault) {
       dynamicType = <unset>,
       faultCause = (vmodl.MethodFault) null,
       description = "/usr/lib/vmware-converter/ did not finish producing output after 3600 seconds",

  • Upon booting the resulting virtual machine, you may see the error:

    Grub Error "22"


The conversion fails when the /var directory is cloned.
To isolate the cause of this issue:
  1. Check these logs on the source physical machine to see if there is any indication why the tar failed:
    • /var/log/messages
    • /var/log/warn

  2. Check the output of the dmesg command to see if there is any indication why the tar failed.
  3. Do a test of tarring /var to another system (this is what happens in the helper virtual machine during conversion). From the other system that is simulating the actions of the helper virtual machine, run the commands:

    mkdir -p /tmp/p2v-src-root/var (assuming you have enough space in /tmp for the contents of /var from the source)

    # ssh root@<IP> "tar --one-file-system --sparse -C /var -cf - ." | tar -v -C /tmp/p2v-src-root/var -xf -

  4. If Step 3 fails, try to determine which files were not cloned by doing a binary search of the/var tree on the source and /tmp/p2v-src-root on the destination. du -sh /var/foo tells you the size of each directory, so you can compare directory sizes until you find directories that differ in size.

RedHat conversions can fail due to the version of TAR installed on the source operating system. Version 1.14.XX has difficulty with sparse files (which are often found in /var) and difficulty handling long folder paths and long file names. To resolve this issue, see Enable Retention of Sparse Files During Linux Conversions (1008303). 

VMware recommends that you also apply RedHat's tar bug fix update, then try to convert it to a virtual machine.

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