Fooling a system check?

Discussion in 'Virtualization' started by earlsinclair2001, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. earlsinclair2001

    earlsinclair2001 MDL Novice

    Jul 8, 2010
    5
    0
    0
    Hi,

    I wonder if anybody can give me any ideas for something I'm trying to do. Basically I'm trying to turn some laptops I have into VMs. They're 3 laptops, each one from a different brand: Asus, HP and Acer. They all have Windows 7 64-bit as their OS. At first I tried using VMware Converter Standalone to create VM images from these machines, but that did not work. Turns out VMware Converter Standalone is not compatible with Windows 7 64-bit.

    Then I created system recovery DVDs for all of these laptops and attempted to install VMs from these DVDs. It only worked with the Acer's restoration kit. With the Acer's, I was able to create a new Windows 7 64-bit VM on VMware and install Windows with these DVDs. However, when I attempt to do the same with both the HP's and Asus' it doesn't work. The restoration kit detects it is not running on the intended hardware and refuses to complete the install.

    So my question is... Is there any way that I can fool these system checks into "thinking" they're running on the intended hardware?

    I know these Windows 7 activators out there do something similar, but I'm not entirely sure how it works... Could I do something similar to that, or would there be a simpler solution?

    Thanks in advance,

    Earl.
     
  2. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
    5,879
    1,773
    180
    Why bother to use system restore (which is specifically for the very hardware, will all the extra crapware)
    Use plain untouched media.

    And the Converter definitely WORKS fine, obviously you do something strange to it

    sebus
     
  3. earlsinclair2001

    earlsinclair2001 MDL Novice

    Jul 8, 2010
    5
    0
    0
    That's the whole point of it. I want it to have all the crapware it comes with, so I can test it with a project I have. I've been restoring the physical laptops, but it takes way too long. If they were VMs I could just restore the snapshot.

    The converter does work, except under Win7 64-bit. As you can see on the list of supported guests here:
    vmware.com/support/converter/doc/releasenotes_conv40.html#platf

    When you attempt to convert a Win7 machine you get this error:

    FAILED: Unable to create a VSS snapshot of the source volume(s). Error code:
    2147754754 (0x80042302).

    So no, I haven't done anything strange to it.
     
  4. urie

    urie Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 21, 2007
    8,707
    3,064
    300
    According to Supported Guest Operating Systems there is no support for any windows 7 OS

    Only windows OS supported

    Converter Standalone 4.0 supports the following guest operating systems:

    * Windows 2000 SP4
    * Windows XP Professional (32 bit and 64 bit)
    * Windows 2003 (32 bit and 64 bit)
    * Windows Vista (32 bit and 64 bit)
    * Windows Server 2008 (32 bit and 64 bit)

    P.S. i haven,t tried it just saying windows 7 is not supported.
     
  5. earlsinclair2001

    earlsinclair2001 MDL Novice

    Jul 8, 2010
    5
    0
    0
    Yes, exactly. I have tried Windows 7 64-bit, like I said, and it doesn't work. So VMware converter is out of the question for me, until they release a version that supports Win7, but who can say how long that is going to take? I can't sit and wait, I've got deadlines.

    Anybody has any ideas how I would be able to use the system recovery in a VM?
     
  6. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
    5,879
    1,773
    180
    What does not work?

    Converter running from within VM Workstation 7.x on Win 7 x64?

    Forget the standalone that was not updated for a year!

    From VMW it certainly does work fine, used it quite few times

    sebus
     
  7. earlsinclair2001

    earlsinclair2001 MDL Novice

    Jul 8, 2010
    5
    0
    0
    Ok well... living and learning. I didn't know VMware Workstation had a built-in converter. However I'm at yet another issue. Every time I try to convert one of the machines remotely, it connects to the machine, asks to install the agent and then it throws this error message: "An operation against the remote machine failed due to lack of permissions".

    Yes, the firewall on the remote machine is disabled. Yes, the account I'm using on the remote machine has administrative privileges.

    So why do I keep on getting this?

    Thank you,

    Earl
     
  8. earlsinclair2001

    earlsinclair2001 MDL Novice

    Jul 8, 2010
    5
    0
    0
    Ok well, after messing around with it for a while longer... yeah, the converter from VMWare Workstation works from within a Windows 7 machine yes, but it still doesn't support Windows 7 GUESTS. From what I can tell the reason for this is because Windows 7 has a "System Reserved" partition that confuses the hell out of the converter, making it unable to lock on the active partition...

    So back to square zero and to my original question... Anybody can tell me a way to fool the OEM system restoration installers? Or at least can tell me what these things look for in the first place so I can try to somehow emulate it?

    Thanks.
     
  9. urie

    urie Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 21, 2007
    8,707
    3,064
    300
    One thing i was disappointed in with VMWare 7 is it won't load Acronis 2010 image files only 2009 ones :(
     
  10. Stannieman

    Stannieman MDL Guru

    Sep 4, 2009
    2,232
    1,800
    90
    Maybe it works if you backup your pc's bios or download the latest on and extract all required acpi tables from it. Then try to mod vmware's bios with those tables.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. urie

    urie Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 21, 2007
    8,707
    3,064
    300
    Are you replying to my post ?
    Vmware 7 tells you it is only compatible with acronis 2009 images.
     
  12. Stannieman

    Stannieman MDL Guru

    Sep 4, 2009
    2,232
    1,800
    90
    No I wasn't :)
    I was referring to the original question to fool the restore dvd's check to let it think it's running on real acer/dell/whocares hardware. I think it looks for something in bios or an acpi table in ram like slic. If he can mod the vmware bios with tables from the original bios the recovery dvds will probably work if it contains the right drivers. And if it doesn't include drivers than he can integrate drivers from vmware tools iso into the recovery dvd
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  13. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
    5,879
    1,773
    180
    Guys, so much discussion about something that one can do in 45 minutes... via Ghost/Acronis image

    sebus