VMware: How to downgrade VM hardware level 7 to 4

After some problems with my ESX 4.0 host I want to move some critical VM’s to my ESX 3.5 u4 host.. but my upgraded hardware level (7) is not compatible with my ESX 3.5 u5 host. The following is a step-by-step guide on how to perform this downgrade:

I want to downgrade my Windows 2008 64-bit with XenApp 6 with hardware level 7 to hardware level 4.

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Time to downgrade:

Download and start: VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.0.1

VMpros.nl

– Click: Convert Machine

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– 1.Specify Source: Select: “VMware Infrastructure Virtual Machine” and specify connection information. In my case: I connect directly to my vCenter for converting the VM

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1. Specify Source: Select the VM you want to migrate (downgrade), in my case VM: VMPROS_XENAPP6

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2. Specify Destination: You can connect the remote ESX host or vCenter. In my case (for this blogpost) I’ll migrate to the same vCenter and the same ESX 4 host

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2. Specify Destination Host/Resouce: Now you need to choose the correct Virtual Machine Version (hardware level), select Version 4 and specify a new Virtual Machine Name: VMPROS_XENAPP_HW_4. Select also the new destination by clicking the dropdown box “Datastore”

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3. View/Edit Options: You can edit the VM settings before you migrate the host with the new hardware level. I won’t change anything so click next

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4. Ready to Complete: Check Check double Check > Finish

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Busy with migration, time remaining 50 (Microsoft) minutes

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Finished in 13 minutes, transfer rate: 16.7 MB/sec on local storage

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Final result is VM Version 4 🙂

sanderdaems

Sander Daems is founder and author of this blog and working as a Lead (Sr.) Consultant by UNICA ICT Solutions. Sander has 15+ years experience in IT, primary focus: virtualization and modern worksplace.

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12 thoughts on “VMware: How to downgrade VM hardware level 7 to 4

  1. I found that converting from ESX 4.0 to ESXi 3.5 won’t offer the choice of hardware version. Conversion then failed. However, converting from ESX 4.0 to ESX 4.0 does offer the choice of hardware version, as you noted above, and conversion of the same VM is successful. Then, it’s a matter of moving the VM to the ESXi 3.5 host.

  2. This is a great article, I do have a question. Is this supported by VMware? I know it works because I did it myself before I read this but working and supported are different animals.

  3. Jeff Boldt :

    This is a great article, I do have a question. Is this supported by VMware? I know it works because I did it myself before I read this but working and supported are different animals.

    Hi Jeff, yes this is one of the supported ways to revert the hardware level.

    The other way is to create a snapshot (powered down state) before hardware level upgrade, you can revert the snapshot if the hardware level is not a success

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