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Think IPM

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Virtual Machines Device Manager – GIGO

Garbage In, Garbage Out!

So, you have successfully P2V'd a physical server to your Virtual infrastructure. No Blue screens and the machines powers up just fine. There are a couple more housekeeping tasks you could do to perfect your P2V techniques. Personally, I like to remove all references of the physical hardware from the Virtual Machine.

The REAL Hidden Devices in Device Manager:
The easiest way to remove the hidden physical artifacts from device manager is to set an environment variable on the system calledDEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES = 1.
Once set, this variable will allow you to see and remove hardware in the Device Manager that is no longer connected to the Virtual Machine. As an added precaution, always take a snapshot before removing hardware or software from the VM. Trim too much away and you can revert back to the earlier snapshot and try again!

Additionally, I normally go through ADD/REMOVE programs to remove any software that is tied to physical hardware that is no longer connected to the VM. (i.e. NIC Teaming Software, Insight agents)

Services that have physical components and are set to AutoStart are also disabled. (i.e. Compaq remote Shutdown Service)

More information on the DEVMGR Environment variable can be found @: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315539

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