Migrating to Azure with Win11 compatibility


“Migrating to Azure with Win11 Compatibility” CLONE VM FIRST, SO YOU CAN REVERT!  If EFI conversion fails, machine is permanently dead.   You need a cloned copy of it to get back to working state

Also – make sure there is enough space to install Win11 later.  Ensure there is at least ~40GB free.  If necessary, extend the disk before doing any tasks below.

Migrating to Azure with Win11 compatibility

Method 1:- 

Convert to EFI mode machine :

First we need to get the boot format into GPT instead of MBR:

log in as an administrator and open cmd prompt as admin

type in mbr2gpt.exe /disk:0  /allowfullos /validate

check the validation completes successfully


If it does, type in   mbr2gpt.exe /disk:0  /allowfullos /convert      This will take a few moments to complete.

then power down, and change boot type in VMware to EFI

Power up and check machine comes back to life.

You can migrate it to Azure, and it will come up as a Gen2 VM.   NB oncve all the above is done, leave the VM alone for an hour or two, so the migrate appliance uploads correct EFI/BIOS boot type info into Azure.


Win11 upgrade :

First ensure migrated VM is a Gen2 type.

Then mount the Win11 ISO image from <\\FSSVR01\resources\Win-ISO\Operating Systems\Windows 11>

Once it has loaded, run Setup and click to ‘change how Setup downloads updates’ and choose Not Right Now

Leave that screen for a moment and open File Explorer on the machine

Browse to c:\$WINDOWS.~BT and scroll down to find appraiserres.dll – remove or rename this file

Go back to the Win11 setup window and click Next – it should then skip right past all the TPM etc checks and begin installing.

Migrating to Azure with Win11 compatibility

Notes and troubleshooting:

If you see ‘cannot find OS partition’ on the validate command, then you need to do the following:

type in bcdboot C:\Windows /s C:

then, from Disk Management make sure the C: partition is set as Active

Start again with the mbr2gpt commands above. Should validate OK now.


Partition extension: Once the machine is GPT and UEFI boot, there is a 100MB partition added to the end of the HDD.

This means you can’t extend the C: drive without moving it.

in \\fsver01\resources is a zip file called portable_free. Copy this file into C:\Temp and extract it.

Add the extra space via Vmware

Then run the portable_free utility (npe.exe, run as Administrator) and use it to move the 100MB FAT partition to the very end of the disk. This has the

effect of making the Unallocated space next to the C: partition, and allows it to be Extended. Will need a reboot to apply fully.


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