Converting a virtual IDE disk to a virtual SCSI disk

When converting a physical machine to a virtual machine using VMware Converter or vCenter Converter Enterprise, if an adapter type is not selected during the initial customization the resulting virtual machine may contain an IDE disk as the primary OS disk.

You must convert the IDE disk to SCSI to get the best performance. If the primary disk is an IDE virtual disk, the newly converted virtual machine may fail to boot because the guest OS does not support the driver. Second reason for this issue is that in ESX 4.x the default disk type for Windows XP 32bit virtual machine creation is IDE. This default value can be manually changed during the virtual machine creation wizard by selecting the custom option. Windows XP 64bit will still use SCSI by default.

Note: For newer versions of Windows and Linux OS guests, the typical SCSI adapter types are the LSI Logic controllers. When using LSI Logic SCSI controllers in the Windows XP virtual machine, ensure to download and install the appropriate LSI driver before proceeding. For more information on downloading and installing LSI Logic SCSI drivers, see Storage Drivers for ESX 3.5.x and Microsoft Windows XP When Using the VMware LSI Logic Storage Adapter (1007035).
In situations where you are manually changing an IDE disk to a SCSI disk that holds a Windows Operating system volume, you may need to repair the master boot record of the disk. Please see  Repairing boot sector problems in Windows NT-based operating systems (1006556)

To convert the IDE disk to SCSI:

  1. Locate the datastore path where the virtual machine resides.

    For example:

    # cd /vmfs/volumes/<datastore_name>/<vm_name>/

  2. From the ESX Service Console, open the primary disk (.vmdk) using the vi editor. For more information, see  Editing files on an ESX host using vi or nano (1020302)
  3. Look for the line:

    ddb.adapterType = “ide”

  4. To change the adapter type to LSI Logic change the line to:

    ddb.adapterType = “lsilogic”

    To change the adapter type to Bus Logic change the line to:

    ddb.adapterType = “buslogic”

  5. Save the file.
  6. From VMware Infrastructure/vSphere Client:
    1. Click Edit Settings for the virtual machine.
    2. Select the IDE virtual disk.
    3. Choose to Remove the Disk from the virtual machine.
    4. Click OK.

      Caution: Make sure that you do not choose delete from disk.

  7. From the Edit Settings menu for this virtual machine:
    1. Click Add > Hard Disk > Use Existing Virtual Disk.
    2. Navigate to the location of the disk and select to add it into the virtual machine.
    3. Choose the same controller as in Step 3 as the adapter type. The SCSI ID should read SCSI 0:0.
  8. If a CDROM device exists in the virtual machine it may need to have the IDE channel adjusted from IDE 0:1 to IDE 0:0. If this option is greyed out, remove the CD-ROM from the virtual machine and add it back. This sets it to IDE 0:0.

Source: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1016192

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