I recently converted a physical CentOS 5 server to a virtual machine on VMWare ESXi 4.0. After the process completed successfully, I was elated since I have several similar servers that must be converted. I was not looking forward to the prospect of reinstalling each server manually and moving data manually. However, my elation quickly turned to dismay when I tried to turn on the newly created virtual machine and only got an empty black screen with a white cursor in the corner on the console. Here are the steps I took to resolve the issue:
1. Boot the virtual machine to a CentOS install disk.
2. At the first prompt, type “linux rescue” (without the quotes) to boot into rescue mode.
3. Follow the prompts to get to a rescue mode command prompt – no need for networking.
4. Issue the command “chroot /mnt/sysimage” to change the system root to the system installed on hard drives.
5. Issue the command “grub-install sda” to re-install the bootloader.
6. Disconnect the install disk image from the virtual machine.
7. Reboot the virtual server and be elated again as it boots into CentOS 5.