VMWare Converter Windows 7 P2V and Lost Ethernet Connections

Wow, so tonight, I took a laptop that was having some screen issues. It was a Dell Inspiron, and the screen would go black randomly (not completely, you could baaarely see the screen). Tested power settings, etc, etc. Only thing I can think of is a short somewhere. You close the lid, open it, and it works. Well since that is a pain, I decided to take VMWare’s free converter (http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/) and do a Physical to Virtual (P2V) image, and then run it on a beefy dev box I have with 8 GB’s of RAM.

Started the P2V after registering and installing the converter, everything was going good. I noticed that the converter said it didn’t support Windows 7, but ok, I gave it a go. As it was converting (I wrote the VM image out to a USB drive), the screen went black, so I had to do about 50% of the conversion barely being able to see the screen, but it worked.

After the P2V conversion, I took the USB drive with the image, hooked it up to my beefy machine and copied the image over. Fired up VM Workstation 6.5 and started up the VM. Worked. Noticed though that the OS was set to “other” and the VMware tools wouldn’t install. Powered down the VM. Changed to “Windows Vista” since VM Workstation 6.5 doesn’t support Windows 7 either. Started it up again. Cool, installed the VMware Tools. Changed resolution. Everything cool… except… no network! Both ethernet devices (lan and Wifi) were showing up as no drivers. WTF?!?

Downloaded drivers from Dell, installed, wouldn’t find them yet even after installing. Thought maybe I needed VMWorksation 7.1, so upgraded and still nothing. Uninstalled devices, changed numerous settings, still nothing. Plugged in a USB wifi, and that worked, but that was just a test.

Digging around mutliple forums and what not, found some things about editing the .vmx file with notepad and adding the line

ethernet0.virtualDev = “e1000”

So I tried that, and it worked! From what I can gather, since the converter doesn’t support Windows 7, it sets the OS to other, and then doesn’t grab the Ethernet settings correctly. Changing from other to Windows7 (in VM Workstation 7.1) you can install the VMWare tools. Adding that line to your .vmx file (and ethernet1 if you have multiple adapters) should do the trick.

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