Skip to content

Using the Cold Clone 3.0.3 ISO with vSphere 5

As many know, the Cold Clone ISOs have been discontinued and support has been removed from VMware. This is quite unfortunate especially when you get into the business of P2V’ing items like domain controllers, SQL servers, and other pesky boxes.

I understand the converters from VMware have improved by leaps and bounds over what it was in version 3, but there’s still a reasonable amount of security in P2V’ing a box while it’s completely down with no running services whatsoever.

First issue I ran into while attempting to P2V an old SQL server was finding the ISO. It has almost been removed from the internet as a whole. So I’ve uploaded it here: Cold Clone 3.0.3 Link

Second issue, boot time. It took me literally 15 minutes from the point of “hitting a button to boot to disc” to the point of accepting the EULA.

Third issue, drivers. I was lucky enough for the internal NICs to be found but the add-on NICs were not. To put this into perspective, the server I was working on was an HP G5. I tested with an HP G6 and it did not find any NICs at all.

Fourth issue, disappearing network settings. Every time I went to the networking settings, they would be cleared. The settings held as long as I clicked apply and then ok, but the second you went back to the network config menu I had to renter all the info.

Fifth issue, vCenter integration. It’s not exactly shocking that it didn’t work with vCenter, but I was hopeful. The converter would go through and recognize everything out of vCenter, but then ran into a bunch of issues as soon as the clone actually starts. Such as:

Couldn’t find the Distributed vSwitch vNIC:
[managedVMCreator,2657] No network named “SYSMGMT” was found
[imageProcessingTaskStep,194] VmiImportTask::task{9} step “create VM” destroyed
[vmiImportTask,439] Error during creation of target VM
[imageProcessingTaskStep,194] VmiImportTask::task{9} step “create and clone to VM” destroyed
[imageProcessingTaskStep,194] VmiImportTask::task{9} step “Clone VM” destroyed
[imageProcessingTaskImpl,552] VmiImportTask::task{9}: Image processing task has failed with MethodFault::Exception: vim.fault.NotFound
[imageProcessingTaskImpl,154] VmiImportTask::task{9}: SetState to error

Couldn’t find the FC attached storage on a host:
[NFC ERROR] NfcNewAuthdConnectionEx: Failed to connect to peer. Error: Host address lookup for server esx01 failed: The requested name is valid, but no data of the requested type was found
NBD_ClientOpen: Couldn’t connect to esx01:902 Host address lookup for server esx01 failed: The requested name is valid, but no data of the requested type was found
DISKLIB-DSCPTR: : “vpxa-nfc://[VMFS_015] VM01/VM01.vmdk@esx01:902!52 f1 8e a1 39 1c c1 f8-9c d4 05 71 1a 4f ae c6” : Failed to open NBD extent.
DISKLIB-LINK : “vpxa-nfc://[VMFS_015] VM01/VM01.vmdk@esx01:902!52 f1 8e a1 39 1c c1 f8-9c d4 05 71 1a 4f ae c6” : failed to open (NBD_ERR_NETWORK_CONNECT).
DISKLIB-CHAIN : “vpxa-nfc://[VMFS_015] VM01/VM01.vmdk@esx01:902!52 f1 8e a1 39 1c c1 f8-9c d4 05 71 1a 4f ae c6” : failed to open (NBD_ERR_NETWORK_CONNECT).
DISKLIB-LIB : Failed to open ‘vpxa-nfc://[VMFS_015] VM01/VM01.vmdk@esx01:902!52 f1 8e a1 39 1c c1 f8-9c d4 05 71 1a 4f ae c6’ with flags 0x2 (NBD_ERR_NETWORK_CONNECT).
[diskHandleWrapper,87] DiskLib_Open failed on vpxa-nfc://[VMFS_015] VM01/VM01.vmdk@esx01:902!52 f1 8e a1 39 1c c1 f8-9c d4 05 71 1a 4f ae c6 with error NBD_ERR_NETWORK_CONNECT.
[imageProcessingTaskImpl,552] BlockLevelCloning::task{21}: Image processing task has failed with MethodFault::Exception: sysimage.fault.DiskLibConnectionFault
[imageProcessingTaskImpl,154] BlockLevelCloning::task{21}: SetState to error

How I actually got it to work was by sending the P2V directly to a specific ESXi 5 host. Once I did that, I could P2V the system to the locally attached storage or the FC attached storage. I attached the vNIC to a standard vSwitch.

Published inVMware


  1. Great Website! I will be back to check it later, many useful posts!

  2. Justin Reiners Justin Reiners

    Thank you!!! I needed the cold clone disk, been looking for quite some time, its impossible to find (or was!)

  3. Ramon Ramon

    Thaaaaaaaank you for the iso !!!!!!

  4. Fabio Fabio

    Thank you 4 the link!

  5. hotfiya hotfiya

    thank you.

  6. Adriano Peçanha Adriano Peçanha

    Thanks for the iso…. I’ve searching a lot for this

  7. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m struggling now to capture a legacy DC which also hold a production SQL and IIS setup. I will post back if this method helped me in this P2V effort.

    Best wishes from Alaska,

  8. Gordon Gordon

    Thanks for the info, tried vmconverter 5 but was not happy with performance, will try this.

    • Brad Brad

      VMconverter5 has a known SSL bug. If you edit c:\\programdata\\vmware converter standalone\\converter-worker.xml and scroll down to the nfc section, set useSSL to false. Then reboot and the speed will go up dramatically.

  9. mdrisser mdrisser

    How did you solve the issues of missing drivers and disappearing network settings? I’m faced witht he task of P2Ving several legacy servers and have it a wall with these two items.

  10. Kevin Kevin

    I am selecting a EXSI 5.5 server as a the destination.. but vmware converter hangs verifying destination parameters.. Any clue on that ?


    • kmruddy kmruddy

      Depending on which ISO you’re using, you might be able to upgrade to the 4.1.1 version that Chris and Mark VanLeeuwen have posted above and have better luck.

      I haven’t personally tried any cold cloning to ESXi 5.5 at this point in time.

      • Kevin Kevin

        I have tried both unfortunately, but both Iso stops at the same place, probing the destinations parameters and then after a good 1 minute of hanging there it just give an error.

        I would really appreciate any help possible on this matter.

        Thanks again !

          • Kevin Kevin

            I do keep getting the same error at the Destination parameter step : unknown error returned by vmware vConverter agent.

            I have looked at your link, but unfortunately on step 11 he does just say use a ESXI server and it’ll all work juuussst fine.. which is not really helpfull.

            Thanks for the effort though !

  11. eric eric

    I try and download the converted but it errors out half way through.

  12. andrewss1 andrewss1

    Thanks for the iso!

  13. Luis Luis


    Benn trying to convert a linux box and ge this error mesage Unable to find supported boot loader, or a boot loader configuration file … Do you think cold CD might help.. have you seen this error…

    • Mike Mike

      Hi Luis,

      We have the same problem. Have you used Cold CD and converted the linux box? Some linux like xen kernel is not supported on vmware converter..

  14. Colin Colin

    Thanks for posting the cold clone ISO, it was a big help.

Leave a Reply