Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter

Microsoft-Virtual-Machine-Converter

I have been using a physical computer for some time to run some automated programs that I use. However, that physical computer is now not in good shape and needs to be replaced. The problem is though, I have years of customised scripts, sequences and environment variables that I obviously do not want to lose and it would take forever to copy onto another device.

I started to look for a solution for this, things like imaging, partition captures but there did not seem to be anything that I really wanted.

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter

I then came across Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter. This is a little tool directly from Microsoft themselves where you can migrate a physical to virtual machine to a Hyper-V server. Even better, it is completely free to download and use.

This seemed perfect for me so I downloaded it and installed it on my Windows Server where I have Hyper-V installed.

Pre-Requisites

Before you can go ahead and get Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter up and running, there are a fre pre-requisites that you will need to install first.

This is the list of features that you should enable on your Windows Server before trying your physical to virtual conversion:

  • Dot Net 3.5
  • Dot Net 4.5
  • BITS -> Compact Server

Once you have these pre-requisites installed, you are ready to go ahead and fire up the MVMC program.

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Wizard

The first page you will be greeted with will probably be the usual Microsoft Before you Begin page – but let’s just ignore that and click the Next button.

You will then be given the option to select either Virtual machine conversion or Physical machine conversion:

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Wizard Selection Page
Click to Enlarge

I want to convert a physical machine so I’ll go ahead and select that option and then click the Next button.

Then comes the Source page. This is where the IP address, username and password of the physical machine needs to be entered:

Microsoft Virtal Machine Converter IP address username and password of the physical machine needs to be entered
Click to Enlarge

This is where I then got an error after clicking the Next button:

The RPC Server is Unavailable

The RPC Server is not Available
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We need to fix this issue before we can go any further. To fix this issue, go back to the original physical machine and go into the Windows Defender Firewall -> Allowed applications:

Windows Defender Firewall
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You will notice that most of the options to change anything are greyed out. To enable the buttons, click the Change settings button.

Scroll down the page until you find the following:

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

Tick the box to enable it to be allowed through:

Windows Management Instrumentation WMI
Click to Enlarge

Click the OK button and then go back to the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter wizard and click the Next button.

You should now find that you can walk through all the rest of the wizard pages and start your physical to virtual conversion.

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WMI Query for Internet Explorer Installations with Version

System Center Configuration Manager SCCM

If you need a WMI query for Group Policy or for Configuration Manager for machines that have Internet Explorer installed and even a version filter, then you can use the following:

SELECT * FROM CIM_Datafile WHERE Name = “C:Program FilesInternet Exploreriexplore.exe” AND Version LIKE “11.%”

You can then change the “11.%” part to the version number that you would like to have.

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How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD

System Center Configuration Manager SCCM

If you have a new model of computer and you have PXE booted it and you do not get a network connection or IP address, then this is because the network card driver for that model is not available either within Windows PE or the boot image you have used to PXE boot the machine.

To fix this can be very difficult as you have to identify the correct the model of the network card, then download the correct driver, test that driver within Windows PE, then once you have got the correct driver, you have to import it into SCCM and then inject into your boot image.

Instructions

To do this, you first have to PXE boot the affected computer and once into Windows PE, press F8 quickly to start a command prompt. To ensure that you are looking at the correct problem, type in IPConfig and press enter. You should find that if it is a network card error, you are receiving no IP address. If this is the case, you should now take steps to identify the network card.

Whilst in your command prompt, you will need to run the WMI test tool, you can do this by typing in WBEMTEST and it will bring up a box like this:

How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD 1

You should then click the Connect button and connect to the following location:

root\cimv\2

This will enable all the other buttons and now allow you to click the Query button:

How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD 2

You then need to enter a query to identify the hardware details of your network card. The query you should run is:

Select * from Win32_PNPEntity where description LIKE “%ethernet%”

You should then click the Apply button:

How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD 3

This will then bring up the Query Result dialogue box and will look similar to this:

How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD 4

You should then double click each result (most cases there will only be one result but we have Hype-V installed on our test machine so there is two..) and it should bring up a box like this:

How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD 5

In the Properties window space, you should scroll down and then look for two things to identify the network card. One is the Caption and the other is the DeviceID:

How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD 6

How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD 7

You have then identified the network card driver that is required. But there is now also a simple way of getting that driver. If you take a copy of the DeviceID, you should then go to the Windows Update Catalog which is here:

https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/home.aspx

You can then enter the DeviceID into the search and download the required driver.

Once you are happy that you have the correct driver, copy the driver files to a memory stick and plug it into the machine with the issue.

You should then go back to your command prompt and browse to the location of the network card drivers on the memory stick. Then, you should run the following command:

Drvload “networkcarddriver.inf”

where “networkcarddriver.inf” being whatever the name of the network card driver inf is.

When it has loaded, you should then type in IPConfig – if you get an IP address, you have the correct driver and you can then import it into SCCM and add to your boot image.

If you do not get an IP address, you have the incorrect driver and you should find another one.

REMEMBER– you are getting the driver for the Windows PE version you are using, not the Windows Operating system you are hoping to install.

Credit

Thanks for the original guide from Niall Brady’s blog.

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WMI Rebuilder – Stuck on Starting Windows

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We have recently had an annoying issue with machines taking a very long time to get to the ALT-CTRL-DEL screen on boot up and getting stuck on starting Windows and also taking ages to shut down and do anything in Windows.

We found a few hot fixes for this issue, but when we tried to run them, we found that they would just hang as well and not run.

After going through endless log files that gave us no information at all, we finally got to the end of it – it is partly to do with a corrupt WMI repository.

To fix this problem is a long process and you will need to run a batch file which will completely rebuild your WMI repository to clear the issue. This batch file is available to download further down in this guide so keep reading!

Please note that doing this will rebuild your WMI so you do so at your own risk!

Instructions

First of all, you need to login to the affected machine with a local admin account that has previously logged into the machine, this should allow the machine to login a little quicker than it trying to create a new profile (of which it may never complete anyway).

Once you are logged in, click Start, then in the search box type: services.msc and hit enter.

You then need to locate the Windows Management Instrumentation service and double click it. Do not stop the service as it may crash your Windows, just change the drop down menu to Disabled, click Apply and OK.

You then need to copy the fix files locally to your local drive (for this guide I’ll be using C:WMIFIX). The fix files are the batch file that will rebuild your repository and the other is the Windows Hot Fix that you need to run (note that x86 and x64 hot fixes are included in the below download).

Download

Download WMI Rebuilder Fix

Once you have copied these files to C:WMIFIX reboot your machine and pressing F8 boot into Safe Mode (important, make sure you choose just Safe Mode and not Safe Mode with Networking or anything else…)

You will then get to the ALT-CTRL-DEL Screen, again, login as a local admin account. Once in, double click the batch file that you copied into your C:WMIFIX folder, this should then disable all necessary services and completely rebuild your WMI – this sometimes can take some time, so don’t think it has crashed, let it finish.

Once this has finished, you can then reboot your machine again and login again as a local admin. You should notice that the machine is now working slightly quicker.

You should then run the Windows Hot Fix that you copied to your C:WMIFIX earlier (depending on x86 or x64). Let it install, then reboot and login as your standard user – you should find that your machine is now back to normal again.

Note that running the batch file fixes the problem, running the hot fix keeps it from happening again!

Why Me?

I’ve had a lot of people contacting me asking why this happens and why this fix works – the simple answer to every one of these questions is – I don’t know! I know why it worked for me, but your problem could be different.

If you want to know what my problem was – I had a failed upgrade installation of my SCCM environment meaning that my client machines could not report their ever growing hardware inventories. This meant that the WMI repositories on the client machines got bigger and bigger until the machine wouldn’t work correctly any more. Running the batch file cleared the registry and the hot fix seem to keep it at bay.

The real fix in the end for me though was that I had to rebuild my SCCM environment and I’ve had no issues since. So my advice would be to find the source of the problem and fix it!

I’d like to hear if this helps you, so if you try it, please remember to comment with your feedback…

Screenshots

Stuck on Starting Windows

PAD Files

Download PAD File

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Find the make and model name of a machine using WMI

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UPDATE : Get WMI Query v1.6 Now Released

You can use WMI for various things but one of its uses is for identifying the model name of a machine so that it can be later used for Configuration Manager OSD or maybe even for Group Policy WMI security.

To find out the model name of a machine using WMI, simply follow the guide below:

  • Go into a command prompt
  • Type in WMIC ComputerSystem GET Model
This should then tell you exactly what the model name is of that machine.
If you want to find out the make of the machine, you follow a very similar process:
  • Go into a command prompt
  • Type in WMIC ComputerSystem GET Manufacturer

Again, this should then tell you the make of the machine you are on.

To make this a much easier process though, we have now released a small standalone utility called Get WMI Query which you can run on any machine and it will give you a full range of WMI information and queries based upon the machine you run it on.

To get this utility, simply click the link at the top of this post.

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