Migrate Windows 2000 server to Nutanix AHV


Somewhere, in the dark corner of your virtual datacenter, running little, inconspicuous VM with Windows 2000 Server. You have to keep it, even if it is unsupported for many years by Microsoft. The reason is the law. You have legacy app, where government law states, you have to keep data for 15 years. So you cannot decommission tiny Windows 200 server even if you want to.

Above is just one out of many corner cases, why we still see Windows 2000, Windows 2003, Novell Netware servers in modern datacenters. Now, where you migrating everything off from VMware ESXi to Nutanix Acropolis, you have to move that tiny VM too.


Step #1 – Move VMDK to Nutanix AHV container

Storage vMotion from legacy storage to Nutanix AHV container.

NOTE: make sure you change VMDK format file to THIN provisioned while migrating to Nutanix Acropolis.

Step #2 – Install  MergeIDE.bat

MergeIDE.bat. This is a really important step that will prepare the system to boot using an IDE driver when we bring it up in KVM. Skipping this step will likely result in blue screen errors and much frustration.

MergeIDE can be downloaded at:

Step #3 – Create VM on Acropolis.

Power Vm off. When you create VM on Nutanix Acropolis, use following settings:

  • PATH – provide UNC path to -flat.vmdk file
  • SIZE – cannot be lower than size of the disk in VMware ESXi
Create VM on Nutanix AHV

Create VM on Nutanix AHV

NOTE: Do not add vnic at this step. Using Prism Element you can add only 10Gb network adapter. We need to add 1Gb network adapter.

Step #4 – Create E1000 vnic

<acropolis> vm.nic_create win2ksp4vmw model=e1000 network=VLAN88
NicCreate: complete

check VM config

<acropolis> vm.get win2ksp4vmw
win2ksp4vmw {
  config {
    disk_list {
      addr {
        bus: "ide"
        index: 0
      cdrom: True
      empty: True
    disk_list {
      addr {
        bus: "ide"
        index: 1
      container_id: 10343366
      container_uuid: "2cfc19fa-10d7-40db-8815-ba10baf86cb5"
      source_nfs_path: "/ctr01/Windows2000Sp4/Windows2000Sp4-flat.vmdk"
      vmdisk_size: 10737418240
      vmdisk_uuid: "aa5bc35b-a198-4c12-a99a-3c35c1680ee8"
    disk_list {
      addr {
        bus: "pci"
        index: 0
      container_id: 10343366
      container_uuid: "2cfc19fa-10d7-40db-8815-ba10baf86cb5"
      vmdisk_size: 1073741824
      vmdisk_uuid: "c43e34ed-8941-4fba-9b39-cce80633b243"
    max_hotplug_memory_mb: 262144
    memory_mb: 1024
    name: "win2ksp4vmw"
    nic_list {
      mac_addr: "52:54:00:da:2c:a2"
      model: "e1000"
      network_name: "VLAN88"
      network_uuid: "10793af9-0fcf-4fa7-b1e0-ad3622b2bb18"
    num_cores_per_vcpu: 1
    num_vcpus: 1
  logical_timestamp: 2
  state: "kOff"
  uuid: "2d36a00a-d98d-4c11-b14d-41f666198c0e"

Power vm on

Step #5 – install drivers

Mount ISO with Intel E1000 drivers and follow hardware wizard. When you get network up and running, you are DONE. As of today, I was not able to find drivers for SCSI adapter or PCI adapter. The only way to run Windows 2000 Server on Nutanix AHV is using IDE.

If you know where can I find virtIO drivers for Windows 2000 – let me know in the comments.


Windows 2000 on Nutanix AHV

Windows 2000 on Nutanix AHV

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Artur Krzywdzinski

Artur is Consulting Architect at Nutanix. He has been using, designing and deploying VMware based solutions since 2005 and Microsoft since 2012. He specialize in designing and implementing private and hybrid cloud solution based on VMware and Microsoft software stacks, datacenter migrations and transformation, disaster avoidance. Artur holds VMware Certified Design Expert certification (VCDX #077).

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Super useful, as we have almost the scenario you outlined, except we are running on Hyper-V.

We did come across this site that supposedly has virtio drivers for WIndows 2000, though haven’t test it out yet.


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