VMware vCenter Converter Standalone error 1603 ‘Unable to complete vCenter Converter Agent installation’ while trying to p2v + fix

When doing a p2v I always use the standalone version of the Converter software. It proved to be more stable than the vCenter Converter plugin.

While trying to p2v a server onto our vSphere platform I was presented with the following error by the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone client: “Unable to complete vCenter Converter agent installation on <SERVERNAME>. Error code: 1603.”

While checking the event log of the server in question, I noticed a perfect error description (Error 1714). There was an older version of the converter agent installed on the server and it refused to be uninstalled:

I checked the uninstall string and tried a manual uninstall, but of course that failed too.

The installation MSI wasn’t available on the server anymore.

This is a problem many of us will have faced. Quite annoying. In this case, however, the software is still available for download on the VMware website (Thank you VMware for keeping some of the older versions available).

So I downloaded VMware vCenter Converter 3.0.3 Enterprise Edition. I didn’t want to install the software, so I extracted the VMware Agent.msi from the installer by executing VMware-converter-3.0.3-89816.exe. This will extract the MSI installer to a subdir of  %TEMP%. From there I used UniExtract to extract the files from the MSI.

In the subdir ‘VMware Converter\program files\VMware\VMware Converter’ that will be created by UniExtract, I found the file I needed; VMware Agent.msi. I copied it to another folder and stopped the installation of VMware vCenter Converter 3.0.3 Enterprise Edition. I had to manually delete the extraction folder.

I copied the VMware Agent.msi to the server I wanted to P2V, pointed the VMware Agent uninstaller on the server to the MSI I just copied and was able to complete the uninstall of the ‘old’ Converter agent.

From here, the installation of the ‘new’ vCenter Converter Standalone agent went smoothly. The P2V ran without any problems. So I was able to put another old hardware server out of commission. Hurray for virtualization!

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About Yuri de Jager
Technology Addict

One Response to VMware vCenter Converter Standalone error 1603 ‘Unable to complete vCenter Converter Agent installation’ while trying to p2v + fix

  1. I had the exact same issue but for me simply running “msiexec.exe /unregister” followed by “msiexec.exe /regserver” was enough to correct the problem and the agent was deployed fine.

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