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Adding a Windows XP VM to ESX 3

Posted by Steve on July 23, 2008

I have encountered another little issue with ESX 3, you cannot straight add a Windows XP VM. I tried to Add the VM as I would any other VM, click add VM, follow the wizard steps, attach the Windows ISO and boot up. Unfortunately this causes an error with XP; during the bootup the Windows setup cannot find any Hard Drive. Then when you try to boot again, it boots to a blank screen, and the VM is dead.

This is actually a known issue with ESX, there are, unfortunately, a few extra steps you have to follow when adding a WinXP machine.
– Select custom, instead of typical, when you add the VM
– For I/O Adapter select Bus Logic (instead of LSI)
– When booting up the VM you MUST press F6 when the first blue setup screen shows up (if you don’t you have to create the VM again!)
– When prompted to, connect the floppy that is located in /vmimages/floppies
– Click through and proceed like you would a normal install

That is the work around, not too bad, but it would be nice to have known this going in! There is also a quite detailed explanation of this over at the vmware site:


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