Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Running Windows 8 on vSphere 5

If you want to install the recently released Windows 8 Consumer Preview in your vSphere 5 test lab, there is a simple method to get your guest OS up and running even though it is not listed as being supported on VMWare website.

First of all install patch ESXi500-201112001 (patch02), which you can download from the VMWare patch repository here

Note: If you didn’t install the patch the following blue screen will appear when booting from the Windows 8 ISO file (woah, it looks like at Microsoft they have hired a new blue screen designer!!):

Windows 8 Consumer Preview blue screen
The warning message will say:

"Your computer ran into a problem and needs to restart.
If you’d like to know more, you can search online later for this code: HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED
It’s collecting error info and will restart in: 0 seconds"

OK, once you have installed patch02, go and get the Windows 8 installation files, which are available in 32-bit and 64 bit version. Here's the link to download them:
Now create a VM and tell vSphere it will be a ‘Windows 7' guest OS. Then remove the VM from you inventory, browse to the vmx configuration file and add one of the following lines (the one that applies to your ISO installation file):
  • guestOS = "windows8srv-32"
  • guestOS = "windows8srv-64"
Once you have saved your modified vmx file, you have to re-add it manually with the datastore browser which will generate a new 'inventory ID'.

Alternatively your can reload the vmx straight away from the shell, without having to removing it from the inventory. Here's the procedure:
  • Open a ssh session to the ESXi
  • Run the following command to get the 'inventory ID' of the virtual machine:
  • vim-cmd /vmsvc/getallvms | grep vmname
  • Take note of the Inventory ID of the VM and run the following command to reload the vmx file:
  • vim-cmd vmsvc/reload vmid
Please, let me a comment or click on the ‘google+’ button to let me know if this post was helpful!

1 comment:

  1. Here's the direct link to download patch02.

    VMware ESXi 5.0, Patch Release ESXi500-201112001:

    hope this helps


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