Fixing the OS version of transferred ESXi-hosted OS X VMs
Starting with VMware Fusion 7.x Professional, it’s been possible to transfer virtual machines from VMware Fusion to VMware ESXi. This ability has been improved with VMware Fusion 8.x Professional, but there is a recurring issue with OS X VMs transferred from VMware Fusion to VMware ESXi 6.x. The symptoms normally look like this:
1. An OS X VM running OS X 10.10.x or 10.11.x is created in VMware Fusion 8.x Professional
2. The hardware version of the OS X VM is changed to Hardware Version 11, to allow compatibility with ESXi 6.x
3. The VM is transferred successfully to VMware Fusion 8.x Professional to the ESXi 6.x server
4. Following the transfer, the OS X VM is started but does not successfully complete the OS startup process.
The root cause is that there is some OS information which is not transferred successfully along with the VM, but it’s relatively straightforward to fix. For more details, see below the jump.
The issue is that the listed OS version for the VM is changed to Other (32-bit) during the transfer process, which seems to change the boot support which VMware ESXi provides to the VM. To fix this, please use the procedure shown below.
1. If needed, launch VMware Fusion 8.x Professional and connect to the ESXi server in question
2. Make sure the affected ESXi-hosted OS X VM is powered off
3. Open the VM settings for the affected ESXi-hosted OS X VM
4. Click on General
5. In the General settings, verify that the VM is set to Other (32-bit)
6. Click on Other (32-bit) and change the OS to Apple Mac OS X 10.10 (64-bit)
7. When prompted, click the Change button to confirm that the OS should be Apple Mac OS X 10.10 (64-bit)
8. Verify that the OS is now listed as Apple Mac OS X 10.10 (64-bit) in the General settings.
9. Close the VM settings
10. Power on the VM
The VM should now boot successfully.