Category: VMware Workstation

I am migrating virtual machines from VMware workstation to our cluster. People were trying to save money and use the workstation product instead of getting another cluster.

I am using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone and one migration died. After correcting a couple things; I tried to rerun but received the following error:

A general system error occurred: Unexpected element tag “ConvertManager” seen while parsing serialized DataObject of type converter.AgentInstanceContent at line7, column 63 while parsing return value of type converter.ServiceInstanceContent, version converter.version.version2 at line 7, columen 0 while parsing SOAP body at line 6, column 0 while parsing SOAP envelope at line 2, column 0 while parsing HTTP response for method retrieveConent on object of type converter.ServiceInstance at line 1, column 0

I checked a few things but no obvious issues. This particular VM was part of a group with a similar configuration and they migrated successfully.

Since it crashed, I checked the programs control panel and found that VMware vCenter Converter Agent was installed.

The agent is installed as part of a conversion and is removed at completion. Since the effort failed, it was left in place. Usually, I can rerun without a problem but every so often the mentioned error happens.

I removed the agent (no reboot needed) and was able to initiate a conversion.


I have VMware workstation but I rarely use it as I have access to a large ESX cluster. However, we do acquire companies and sometimes companies do things like run production from the workstation product as it’s cheaper.

We are iterating the company and of course we are phasing out the workstation installs. You would think VMware would make it really simple to migrate to the ESX product as it’s more expensive. But, such is not the case.

We used the vCenter converter and ran a powered on migration.  Slow but does the job.  We had the originals left over and wanted them deleted so a user didn’t notice them and think “oh wait, these VMs are supposed to be running”

If you use workstation, you would probably remember how to delete the VMs. However, at mentioned I rarely use it and the interface isn’t as intuitive as the VMware Client.  There is no simple right-click delete.

To delete a VM, you:

1) Start VMware Workstation
   • If remote, connect to the VMware Workstation installation.
2) Click the virtual machine.
3) Click the VM menu, select Manage and Click Delete from Disk.
4) Click Yes.

To free up the space in VMware Workstation, empty the Recycle Bin. Note: You will not have this option from remote access.