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VMware: FAILED: Unable to obtain the IP address of the helper virtual machine

After migrating the last Linux Suse Enterprise 32-bit physical machine with VMware Converter Standalone 4.3 I received a error:

FAILED: Unable to obtain the IP address of the helper virtual machine



The solution is simple, by converting the physical machine to a virtual machine the VM will start directly. By starting the VM the mounted Converter ISO will boot with a VM HelperNetwork. In case you’re VLAN doesn’t have DHCP functionality you need to configure a static IP for the VM HelperNetwork.

To  assign a static IP address to the Helper virtual machine, select Use the following IP address: and specify the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway. Be sure the IP address you specify for the Helper virtual machine is not already in use on the network. 
(Optional) To configure the DNS server address manually, select Use the following DNS server address: and type the preferred DNS server address. Optionally, type and alternate DNS server address. 
Select another option to set or click Next to view a summary of the conversion task. Converter Standalone uses the IP address and DNS server you specified to copy data from the source Linux machine to the destination virtual machine during conversion.



The VM will boot with the configured network settings:



P2V status:



Sander Daems is founder and author of this blog and working as a Sr. Infrastructure Consultant by IT-Value. Sander has over 10 years experience in IT, primary focus: virtualization, storage and SBC

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  1. Jim Nuertron
    April 17th, 2011  (Quote) at 21:30  (Quote) | #1

    Great this solved my problem, thanks Sander

  2. Matt Cut
    April 19th, 2011  (Quote) at 15:53  (Quote) | #2

    Easy, but thanks!

  3. Thomas
    April 22nd, 2011  (Quote) at 09:17  (Quote) | #3

    Hehe Google first hit, bingo!

  4. ordispott
    April 24th, 2011  (Quote) at 02:35  (Quote) | #4

    moet controleren:)

  5. Mark Tigris
    June 15th, 2011  (Quote) at 21:57  (Quote) | #5

    Thanks you solved my problem

  6. Burhan Farah
    September 17th, 2011  (Quote) at 07:37  (Quote) | #6

    Thanks you solved my problem

  7. November 25th, 2011  (Quote) at 15:20  (Quote) | #7

    thank you vmpros!

  8. Anderson Palma
    December 11th, 2011  (Quote) at 02:31  (Quote) | #8

    Muito obrigado velho, depois que alterei o que recomendou conseguir converter.

  9. reza
    January 15th, 2012  (Quote) at 17:42  (Quote) | #9

    very thanks

  10. Franco Sch
    January 25th, 2012  (Quote) at 10:58  (Quote) | #10

    Followed your instructions but I receive the following entries on the ESX Server:

    Setting uo interface eth0: DONE
    Setting default route: route: ioctl 0x890b failed: Network is unreachable: FAILED

    Any ideas how to troubleshoot this problem?


  11. Franco Sch
    January 25th, 2012  (Quote) at 11:55  (Quote) | #11

    @Franco Sch

    Problem solved as I double checked the settings and there was an error in the Gateway.

    STILL, after this the the VM Converter stops on – Connecting to the Converter helper on the destination VM @ 1% … without showing any signs of progress …


  12. March 1st, 2012  (Quote) at 12:56  (Quote) | #12

    Smoot and easy guide. Worked greatly

  13. Maraghy
    March 18th, 2012  (Quote) at 16:11  (Quote) | #13

    Thanks alot , it works 🙂

  14. JoHan
    April 9th, 2012  (Quote) at 05:52  (Quote) | #14

    Thanks … it’s works …

  15. JS
    July 2nd, 2012  (Quote) at 09:47  (Quote) | #15


    Very good, but due to security constraints in my network, I need to know the MAC address to give it a static IP.

    Do you know if there is some way to configure (or know) the MAC address that this helper VM uses? I looked in google or VMware documentation and I haven’t found any answer.

    P.S: how do you open the console you are showing above (when you write “The VM will boot with the configured network settings:”)? Maybe could be a solution to my problem if I can open a console with this machine (I also will see in the ESXi logs).

    In advance, thank you very much and best regards

  16. rjax
    July 25th, 2012  (Quote) at 15:02  (Quote) | #16

    4 time failed with same error

    with your guidance ….. 14 minutes completing my task

    two thumb up maan ….

  17. April 26th, 2013  (Quote) at 08:10  (Quote) | #17

    Very good post. I am going through a few of these issues as well.

  18. Derek
    September 10th, 2013  (Quote) at 14:46  (Quote) | #18

    Thanks alot…it works for me. However i had to upgrade from VMware converter V5 to 5.1

  19. Victor
    November 27th, 2013  (Quote) at 12:51  (Quote) | #19

    I had this problem too, and this article was helpful!!! When I was trying to convert, my network hardware was in a different VLAN to the Helper VM IP. When I change nexus Vlan to the same network range, works succesfully!! Thank you for your post

  20. May 13th, 2014  (Quote) at 23:22  (Quote) | #20

    Excellent post comme d’hab

  21. November 1st, 2014  (Quote) at 19:16  (Quote) | #21

    Great its really works for me also. Thanks

  22. March 18th, 2015  (Quote) at 18:49  (Quote) | #22

    Great, Thanks

  23. May 18th, 2015  (Quote) at 03:27  (Quote) | #23

    thanks sanderdaems

  24. Christian
    August 5th, 2015  (Quote) at 22:45  (Quote) | #24

    Nice Job BRO !!!!

  25. Brigitte
    March 1st, 2016  (Quote) at 03:36  (Quote) | #25

    hey top post I’m a big bingo fan from Holland

  26. April 15th, 2016  (Quote) at 08:43  (Quote) | #26

    Thank you very much. Worked for me.

  27. dk
    April 19th, 2016  (Quote) at 23:41  (Quote) | #27

    Thank you … helped

  28. Giovanni Castellanos
    October 24th, 2016  (Quote) at 20:01  (Quote) | #28

    Gracias por compartir la información, me fue de mucha ayuda.

  29. Cristiano
    May 18th, 2017  (Quote) at 13:01  (Quote) | #29

    Thanks man!!

  30. June 14th, 2017  (Quote) at 00:57  (Quote) | #30

    Thanks you solved my problem

  31. vpintyak
    October 27th, 2017  (Quote) at 13:40  (Quote) | #31

    Great Men, Thanks! only you, could help me!

  32. Ganesh Kosre
    November 8th, 2017  (Quote) at 13:03  (Quote) | #32

    Really great job.

    It’s Worked for me.

    Thank you very much.

  33. Jebat
    November 17th, 2017  (Quote) at 11:56  (Quote) | #33

    Thank you very much. Worked for me.

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