Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Install WinXP Virtual Machine on VMWare ESXi 3.5

Today I just tried to create a virtual machine and install Windows XP Professional with SP3 on a VMWare ESXi 3.5 Server. I though it will be easy since I already tried Windows 2003 Server on IBM eServer XSeries 345 with VMWare ESX Server 3.5 before. The only difference is this time I am installing the VMWare ESXi Server 3.5 on an IDE Hard Disk Drive, not SCSI. That's no a problem for me, since I also did the installation on IDE HDD in Feb. 2009, please see my post Install VMWare ESXi 3.5 to an IDE drive. So the installation for the ESXi Server was quite smooth. But when I try to install Windows XP Professional after I created new virtual machine. The installation was stopped and give the following error message.

"Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer."

After I did some homework via the Internet, finally I found this is because the necessary hard disk controller drivers have not been installed.

Within ESX and ESXi there are two types of SCSI controller types available. These are ‘BusLogic’ or ‘LSI Logic’.

When installing Windows XP the ESX VM will assign the ‘BusLogic’ SCSI controller type as the default. The Windows XP installation media doesn’t contain the drivers for either of these controllers so unless they are provided via floppy disk at the start of the installation process then XP will not know about any of the disks attached to the controller (which it doesn’t have drivers for).

Using an LSI Logic SCSI controller type has been shown to provide faster performance over that of a BusLogic controller type.

So here is the solutions:

1. Using the VMWare SCSI Disk Driver which provided by VMWare. You can download flp image from here:

And press F6 quickly once you boot up the Windows XP professional setup CD/image, and select the driver from floppy image.

2. Or you can use the default driver which provided by Microsoft. But you also need to press F6 to load special driver.

After that you should be able to install Windows XP as usual.

Good Luck!


  1. Thanks for your fine instruction.
    Can you also tell us where to find the driver for xp mentioned in paragraph "2."

  2. Here you are:


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