Friday, May 2, 2008

Installing Windows XP on ESX Server

Yesterday I was trying to install Windows XP SP2 on my lab VMWare ESX Server. Thinking this would be a simple procedure I was not aware of how this little task was about to set me back about 2 hours that I would never get back!!

Creating the VM was easy like always but the install of XP was the hang up. Going through the setup hung on an error, "Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer."

Ok. Whatever! I'll just find the driver on LSI's website and supply it during the setup. After all this is not that uncommon when it comes down to VMWare and XP. Googling the error and you'll find that several others have been running into this problem for a while. I downloaded the required LSI Logic scsi drivers that VMWare wanted and put them on a floppy. The driver that VMWare tells you to download are the LSI20320 drivers.

Great! Problem fixed right!? Nope! After rebooting and supplying the driver (About 3 or 4 times), which XP happly accepted, the same error appeared. What the HECK!! Come on!!

Ok then. Lets just try the Bus Logic Adapter instead of the LSI adapter. You get to choose which adapter when first creating the VM. That should take care of it. NOPE! Same error. Ah Come on man!!!

About ready to give up on this assumed "small task". I tried to use a .flp file which contains the files needed in an all in one floppy image that VMWare can supply to a VM. The flp file contained the Bus Logic VMWare scsi driver (I doubted this would work because everyone who had this issue used the LSI drivers and were successful). I uploaded the flp file to the ESX Server's Datastore. You can do this by browsing the datastore and clicking on the Import icon to upload any file to the datastore. Next, open the settings for the VM and select the floppy drive and select the option to specify an image then browse to the .flp file in the datastore. Reboot the VM once again and press F6 when ready to supply a different driver. Next, connect the flopppy by opening the setting of the VM and clicking on the "Connect" check box then go back to the VM and hit enter on the VM screen. This was the only way I could get my XP VM to work. Lots of trial and error for me but in the end I was victorious!! 8)

Here is the flp file that I used. Its used for the Bus logic adapter.

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