VMware P2V Permission to perform this operation was denied fix

Just the other day we had a Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard physical server that needed to be P2V’ed, and after trying to use VMware Converter Standalone 6.1.1 we ran into the error message “Permission to perform this operation was denied” after entering the source machine details.

vmware p2v permission denied

Even after trying to start VMware Converter as “Run as administrator” the error persisted. Below is the workaround we performed to quickly allow us to P2V the physical server.

Workaround for Permission to perform this operation was denied

  1. Log into the server you’re trying to convert to a virtual machine.
  2. Open Local Security Policy (open run dialog and type secpol.msc).
  3. Go to: Local Policies > Security Options.
  4. Change “User Access Control: Run all Administrators in Admin Approval Mode” from Enabled to Disabled.
    local security policy disabled p2v
  5. Restart the server to make the changes take effect.
  6. You should now be able perform the P2V without issue.

After making the above change we was able to successfully P2V the server without any further issues:
VMware P2V completed

Once you confirm the P2V is successful I would recommend changing User Access Control: Run all Administrators in Admin Approval Mode back to Enabled from Disabled.
local security policy enabled p2v

If you have another workaround please share in the comments!

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  1. Quick thanks and to let folks finding this article know this tip still works (as of 25 Feb 2021) … at least it worked for me …

    – Windows 10 Pro / SP1 (1803) (host to be P2V’d)
    – VMware Workstation 16 Pro (running on host to be P2V’d)
    – VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Client 6.2