Best practices for using and troubleshooting Migration Assistant
search cancel

Best practices for using and troubleshooting Migration Assistant


Article ID: 311757


Updated On:


VMware Desktop Hypervisor


This article provides information on:
  • Getting started with Migration Assistant
  • Troubleshooting Migration Assistant


VMware Fusion 10.x
VMware Fusion 6.x
VMware Fusion 8.x
VMware Fusion 4.x
VMware Fusion 11.x
VMware Fusion Pro 8.x
VMware Fusion 7.x
VMware Fusion 3.x
VMware Fusion Pro 11.x
VMware Fusion 5.x
VMware Fusion Pro 10.x


Getting started

Before migrating your Windows machine to a VMware Fusion hosted virtual machine:
  • Read the PC Migration Notes from the VMware Fusion 3.1 Release Notes or the VMware Fusion 4.0 Release Notes.
  • Verify that your Mac is running:
    • OS X 10.5.8 (Leopard) or 10.6 (Snow Leopard) for Fusion 3.x.
    • OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or 10.7 (Lion) or 10.8 (Mountain Lion) if using Fusion 4.x or 5.x.
    • OS X 10.7 (Lion) or 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or 10.9 (Mavericks) if using Fusion 7.x or 6.x.
    • OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) or 10.11 (El Capitan) or 10.12 (Sierra) if using Fusion 8.x or 10.x

      Note: The Fusion 3 Migration Assistant is not compatible with OS X 10.7 (Lion) and OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion).
  • Verify that your Windows machine is running Windows 2000 SP4 or later with all available Windows Updates installed.

    Note: If you are running an OEM version of Windows, the migration may fail. VMware cannot support OEM copies of Windows migrated to virtual machines as this is a violation of Microsoft licensing conditions. If you purchased your computer with Windows pre-installed, you are most likely running an OEM version of Windows. To check whether you are running an OEM version..
  • Verify that both computers are connected to the same network.

    Note: It is strongly recommended that you use a wired Ethernet connection. While it is possible to migrate your Windows PC over a wireless connection, transfer speeds are slower compared to wired connections. There is also an increased chance of interference.
  • Verify that you have at least 200 MB of free space on your Windows machine and enough free space on your Mac to store everything on the used disk space of your Windows PC.
  • Verify that your Windows machine has at least one NTFS partition (as opposed to a FAT32 partition). If you do not have an NTFS partition, an external hard drive or flash drive that is NTFS-partitioned that Windows can write to is required.

    To check your disk space and the partition types used in Windows:
    1. Open My Computer.
    2. Right-click each of your hard disk drives / partitions (for example, your C: drive, your D: drive if you have created a new partition or have added a second drive, etc.) and click Properties.
      • The amount of Used space and the amount of Free space is shown in a pie chart.
      • The partition type is listed in the File system field.
  • If you have multiple partitions (such as a recovery partition), you must use vCenter Converter Standalone. For more information, see Converting a physical machine for Fusion, Workstation, or Player using Converter Standalone (2005129).

Using the Migration Assistant

Note: For more information, see Migrate an Existing Physical PC to a Virtual Machine in the VMware Fusion Help.

To migrate a Windows machine to a virtual machine, follow these Fusion Help articles in sequence:
  1. Set Up Your Mac to Accept the Transfer of Files From Your PC

    You must set sharing and firewall system preferences on your Mac to allow the transfer of files needed to create the virtual machine from the physical Windows machine.

    Note: You must migrate your Windows machine to your Mac. You cannot migrate the data to a network share.
  2. Disable UAC for Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 Before Migrating
  3. Install and Run the VMware Fusion PC Migration Agent on Your PC

    For your Mac to be able to connect to your Windows machine and start the migration, you must install the PC Migration Agent on your Windows machine. This can be installed from the VMware Fusion CD or downloaded from
  4. Run the Migration Assistant on Your Mac

    The Migration Assistant connects to your Windows machine and performs the conversions and transfers of files necessary to create the virtual machine on your Mac.

Best practices

  • While Migration Assistant in available in Fusion 3.0, significant improvements were made in Fusion 3.1. The version of PC Migration Agent available for download must be run with Fusion 3.1. Accordingly, if you are running Fusion 3.0, VMware recommends upgrading to Fusion 3.1. For more information, see Downloading and installing VMware Fusion (2014097).
  • Uninstall vCenter Converter Standalone before using Migration Assistant.
  • Confirm that the firewall on your virtual machine is not blocking Internet access. For more information on turning off your firewall, see:
    • Windows XP – Microsoft Knowledge Base article 283673
    • Windows Vista , 7 and 8 – Microsoft article Turn Windows Firewall on or off

      Warning: Turning off your firewall can leave your computer open to attack. This is a troubleshooting step only. If turning off the firewall resolves the issue, consult the operating system's documentation for instructions to configure it properly so that it does not completely block this connection.
  • Disable your anti-virus program. Consult the Help menu of the anti-virus program or see the manufacturer's documentation for instructions.
  • Uninstall any non-Microsoft drivers. These can prevent the converted virtual machine from starting up properly.
  • If you have a lot of saved data on your Windows machine (for example, documents, music, pictures, etc.), it may be more efficient to move that data separately and let Migration Assistant move Windows and your applications only. The fastest way to move your data is with an external hard drive. This is also useful for backing up your data later.
  • See Best practices for using and troubleshooting VMware Converter (1004588).

Troubleshooting common issues

  • An error occurred while creating the virtual machine

    This error suggests that the PC Migration Agent is being blocked from connecting to your Mac. To resolve this issue:
    1. Click System Preferences > Accounts and click Guest account. You may need to click the lock icon and authenticate first.
    2. Select the Allow guests to connect to shared folders option.
  • Not enough free space

    If you have insufficient space on either your Mac or your Windows machine, free up sufficient space (Migration Assistant tells you how much space is needed) to continue.
  • Unable to find the system volume, reconfiguration is not possible


    Error opening boot.ini file boot.ini for reading

    These errors indicate a problem with the boot.ini file on your system that must be resolved. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 289022 .
  • VSS Snapshots are not supported on the source volume(s). Error code: 2147754764 (0x8004230C)

    For more information on resolving this error, see 64-bit Windows virtual machines generate errors when trying to use the VSS and NT backup (1003383).

    • You may also see this error when trying to import a Boot Camp partition. Boot Camp partitions cannot be migrated because they are part of an HFS-formatted volume (your Mac). Migration Assistant only supports the migration of FAT- and NTFS-formatted volumes.
    • This issue can also be caused if your PC has multiple partitions. Migration assistant does not support multiple partitions. In such cases, use vCenter Converter Standalone. For more information, see Converting a physical machine for Fusion, Workstation, or Player using Converter Standalone (2005129).
  • Unable to create a snapshot of the source volume

    This error refers to an issue with Microsoft's Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), which Migration Assistant uses to make a copy of your PC. Consult the Windows error log for any errors with VSS and resolve them through Microsoft.

    For additional resolution steps, see Troubleshooting damaged operating system components that can cause conversion failures with VMware Converter (1006489). Start with step 2c in the Windows XP, 2003, 2008 section and continue with the rest of the steps in that article.
  • The Migration Agent becomes unresponsive at the gathering information screen or you see the error:

    Incorrect username or password

    Disable all anti-virus and security software on your Windows/Mac. Also, for migration in Windows, create a new user account without spaces or special characters in the name and use this user account during migration. For more information, see:
  • Check your Windows services (using msconfig or services.msc / the Services management console).

    Migration Assistant requires these services to be running:
    • Bonjour Service
    • VMware vCenter Converter Agent
    • VMware vCenter Converter Server
  • If a migration fails, there may be files that were created on your Mac. For more information, see Finding files leftover after a failed migration in Fusion (1026807).

Additional Information

Note: While performing the migration process, Fusion creates an account on the Mac with a name in the range p2v00-p2v99. It does this for security purposes during the transfer, and the account is removed upon conclusion (success or failure) of the migration process.

For translated versions of this article, see: Best practices for using and troubleshooting VMware Converter
Troubleshooting damaged operating system components that can cause conversion failures with VMware Converter
Finding files leftover after a failed migration in Fusion
Recomendaciones para usar y resolver problemas con el asistente de migración: Migration Assistant
Downloading and installing VMware Fusion
Migration Assistant 的使用和故障排除的最佳做法
移行アシスタントの使用とトラブルシューティングのベスト プラクティス