Posted by The VM Sage on Oct 13, 2008
I get asked all the time where you can download the “Cold Clone” bootable ISO image for VMware’s Converter product, so I figured it was worth mentioning here for all to see!
The bootable Converter disc is called the “cold clone” disc because it allows you to convert a physical machine into a VM without actually having the machine up-and-running from the OS disc. This is useful for problematic servers which are difficult to convert includine MSSQL, web, and Exchange servers. The problem is that during a “warm clone” the disk is constantly being updated by these software packages and VMware Converter cannot get a good image of the disk.
So, there exists the cold-clone disc. This is a bootable CD-ROM disc that you actually boot the physical server from. The disc contains a pre-installed Windows 2003 image that runs a built-in version of Converter. Since you boot from the CD, none of the server’s processes start-up so you can get a good clone of the hard drive.
Anyway, the VMware Converter cold-clone disc is not the most obvious download to find. Your account must be entitled to use the disc first — this usually means you have either licensed the standalone Converter program or have a license to Virtual Center and the other VI stuff. So, if your account is enabled, you must look below the normal .exe download and look for a .zip file. The .exe is the Windows version you install, but the .zip contains the bootable ISO image.
And, since I’m a nice guy, I’ll save you some work and give you the link to where you can find the VMware Converter cold-clone ISO image download