VMware Mirage – Migrating XP to Windows 7

VMware Mirage setup continues in my lab. What we have done so far? In the first part we have setup and install the Mirage server. Then, in the second part we have installed the client on one Windows 7 VM, and that VM has been also taken from the “pending devices” into Reference Centralized Virtual Desktop (CVD ). We have also prepared an XP VM which had been “centralized” through the Mirage Console.

So my idea is to install some software and generate some office files, change some desktop settings and do a full sync with Mirage. Then with the Mirage’s help, via the Mirage migration possibility to a Windows 7 VM. You’ll find the process in this post.

As a side note here, if you’re using Mirage on branch office architecture, there is a cool utility called Branch reflector. The Branch Reflector maintains a dedicated cache which holds Base Layer, Driver library and USMT file downloads from the server, from which distribution of these files to Client End Points can be optimized.

Note: The Branch Reflector should have enough disk space to leverage the cache storage of these files.

So my XP VM has Office 2003 installed and some desktop files and settings had been generated/changed etc…. What’s next?

I have prepared Windows 7 VM. This VM has been uploaded as as a Reference CDV, so now I’ll be able to capture a base layer out of it. This layer will be used by the Windows 7 Migration assistant to upgrade the Windows XP VM.

While doing that, you should plan ahead because you’ll also need the USMT (user state migration tool) which is present on the Microsoft’s WAIK (1.9Gb).

You’ll need to extract the USMT. The USMT has to be imported into the Mirage Server through the Mirage MMC Console. Select and right click the System Configuration > Settings > USMT TAB. From there, you can seek the USMT folder, for the import.

You can click to enlarge…

VMware Mirage - Import USMT

Once done, the Windows 7 reference machine has to be “checked as a reference machine“.

To to that, right click the Mirage system tray icon (inside of the Windows 7 VM) and select Tools > Check Reference Machine. You’ll basically validate that the VM is able to have the Windows 7 migration Base Layer captured.

If the check pass, then right click the Mirage system tray icon and select Tools > Windows 7 Migration Setup.  The OS will get prepared for use as a W7 Migration Layer.

Windows 7 preparation - VMware Mirage

Next Step: In the Mirage MMC, Select the Reference CDV > select the desired CDV and click Capture Layer.

VMware Mirage Capture Layer

The process takes some time, and should finish with this result…

VMware Mirage - capture layer process - Done

Before we start the migration wizard, you might want to know that if you not changing base OS (not migrating from XP to 7), you can apply the base images with the same OS but with different Programs or applications to different users or group of users without the need on going through an assistant. You can do so by right clicking the particular layer and applying the layer to specified computer or group of computers. But this is only in the case that you’re NOT changing OS….

In the next step, we will initiate a Wizard for the Windows 7 Migration.

VMware Mirage - Migration XP to Windows 7

Select the XP VM and click the Select button, as on the screenshot below.

VMware Mirage - Migration from XP to windows 7

On the next screen you’ll be able to enter the domain and credentials.

Note: In the Mirage 3.6 pdf manual I saw a note about manually creating a computer account for the Windows 7 system. I skipped that, to see how the process will finishes.

VMware Mirage - Migration to Windows 7


Continue the setup on next page –>

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  1. mb says

    Thanks Vladan, your articles about Mirage are very helpful. I’m trying to build the same lab: both the win7 reference machine and the XP machine has HW version 8 inside ESXi 5.0.
    The Win7 has a LSI logic SAS controlle and the XP has a BUSLOGIC Parallel. The VMware Tools are installed. When I launch the migration wizard, it downloads the win7 image into the XP but at the end nothing happen and inside the LOG I see:NO ENTRY FOR DISK CONTROLLER, FAILED TO FIND A CRITICAL DEVICE MATCH FOR VMWARE SCSI CONTROLLER. What do you think about this problem?

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