daKrisht
Contributor
Contributor

Windows XP on ESXi Question

Hey Everyone,

I'm having some difficulty installaing Windows XP SP3 on my ESXi host.

I tried switching to LSI from reading a post or two, but still nothing. I get the "Windows could not find your hard disk drive" error.

Are there any guides or tutorials on the proper procedures for installing Windows XP?

It's strange, ESXi gives you the option of choosing Windows XP as your VM of choice, but it doesn't work when installing.

Thanks for the help in advance.

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32 Replies
java_cat33
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hi - you need to have either the LSI or BUS logic driver (depending on what you set for the VM).

This link provides you with instructions....

daKrisht
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for that, java_cat!

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daKrisht
Contributor
Contributor

Ran into some trouble:

I followed the directions step-by-step, created the .flp file with the LSI drivers, inserted the virtual floppy when prompted, formated Windows XP Professional Setup to the NTFS (quick) file system and when that was done I received:

"Setup cannot copy the file: symmpi.sys"

To retry press ENTER...

These files appear to be on the .flp file I created but Windows is searching the Windows XP CD-ROM for some reason for these files?

My ESXi config is as follows:

Windows XP SP3 VM

CD/DVD Drive: Connected - Host Device (on the server itself, CDROM inserted into drive)

SCSI Contrroller 0 - LSI Logic

Hard Disk - Virtual Disk

Help? Smiley Wink

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

Is the connected option for the virtual floppy drive checked?

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java_cat33
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

try using the bus logic driver. I've only ever used the bus logic for XP VM's.

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daKrisht
Contributor
Contributor

Yeap, Connected Option for the floppy is checked - but damn Win Setup seems to be searching for the files on the install CD-ROM.

@java_cat - follow the same steps (download, extract, create .flp, place in datastore) but download the Bus Logic Drive instea?

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java_cat33
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

You shouldn't have to do this .... but yes (it's an easy test).... follow the same instructions except the .flp for the bus logic driver is preconfigured. Make sure the VM is set to use the bus logic too if you follow down this path.

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daKrisht
Contributor
Contributor

Java - what do you mean I "shouldn't have to do this" - never thought installing XP on ESXi would be such a pain?

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java_cat33
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Normally it isn't a pain if you have the SCSI driver. What I meant was it should just work and that you shouldn't have to try using the bus logic to get around the issue.

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daKrisht
Contributor
Contributor

It's strange. I see the files it's searching for on the .flp image (in the datastore) but Setup is searching for them on a CD-ROM instead?

I guess I'll try everything again with the BusLogic option..

(I'm installing this on a Sun Fire X2250 w SATA HDDs FYI)

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java_cat33
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

let us know how you get on.

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daKrisht
Contributor
Contributor

Will do - I'll be at it tomorrow again!

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daKrisht
Contributor
Contributor

Damn it, this is getting annoying now Smiley Happy

Still no go.

I have my WinXP.ISO file in a datastore, I have my .flp image (BusLogic vmscsi-1.2.0.4.flp) in a datastore. I boot the system from the ISO file in the datastore, press F6, attach the floppy, press S, XP Setup shows "VMWARE SCSI" driver, press enter, format to NTFS (quick) and once setup begins installing, I get:

"Setup cannot copy the file: vmscsi.sys"

I have the options of trying again or skipping - the latter just takes me to another error ("vmscsi.inf" or all of the files that are in the .FLP image)

If I skip the files, WIndows appears to install everything but obviously that's not the case since I get "NTLDR is missing" errors...

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neop26
Contributor
Contributor

Hi

There is a workaround...

I build custom xp for work and also for home...just dont like the default setting and moreover like to take of stuff that I dont use...

So each time I build it I used to use vmware server or player tor test em...

But lately I got an esxi server for home as well just to study and do testing for work... So run my xp builds on it..

So I did come across the issue that you have an since most of my systems dont even have a floopy anymore its been a hassle...

But during the builds I just had to change my way of building the xp. I build custom drivers now into the xp install disc before hand.,..yep it bloats the size a bit more but u can skip issues like this..

Its not hard at all.... it may look like lot of scripting and stuff trust me i didnt even do one..

WHat u need is

1. XP CD

2. nlite

3. driverdbase..

since making it is beyond the scope of this forum i wont go further but u can have it all done up in half an hour and have ur new xp build with all drivers in it already...

Btw all the sites for the above products have in depth tutorials ....even I could do it Smiley Happy

Cheers

Let me know if this has helped...

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cmacmillan
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Of course, you can dump SCSI and go to IDE... Or, you can follow thread:

http://communities.vmware.com/thread/159110

which leads you to:

http://communities.vmware.com/message/838234#838234

and this driver floppy image:

http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmscsi-1.2.0.4.flp

Cheers!

--Collin C. MacMillan

SOLORI - Solution Oriented, LLC

Collin C. MacMillan, VCP4/VCP5 VCAP-DCD4 Cisco CCNA/CCNP, Nexenta CNE VMware vExpert 2010-2012 SOLORI - Solution Oriented, LLC http://blog.solori.net If you find this information useful, please award points for "correct" or "helpful".
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daKrisht
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks, but that didn't work either.

I've tried multiple .FLP images (maybe 4-5 different ones) and always get screwed in the same place:

"Setup cannot copy the file: symmpi.sys"

I've wasted too much time trying to install Win XP on ESXi - this is ridiculous, not one definitive guide on how to install it successfully, multiple threads on people having issues, just not up to par with VMWare's technologies.

Maybe VMWare should focus on writing a guide on How To Install Windows XP on ESXi 3.5 U3? (I read their "supposed guide" on the issue which is complete garbage)

As someone who has been using ESXi and Infrastructure for months now, rolling out multiple OS' of Solaris, CentOS, RHEL, Win Server and etc., VMWare gets a straight "F" for this and I am severely disappointed by it.

How can it be so difficult, irritating and problematic to install a lousy version of Win XP

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cmacmillan
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Just to be sure, I ran a fresh installation (of 32-bit Windows XP) as described:

1) buslogic controller

2) floppy image referenced in last post.

3) F6 on boot, then "S" to select driver and "VMware SCSI driver" installed

This worked as promised without a hitch...

I'm sorry you're having problems, but if you are getting SYMMPI.SYS

errors on installation, it has NOTHING to do with the driver provided

by "vmscsi-1.2.0.4.flp" disk image. Are you installing from an ISO

image or a pass-through CD-ROM?

My configuration:

ESXi 3.5u3 build 143129

CD: Windows XP VLP, ISO image (via NFS) - connected, connect on startup

floppy: vmscsi-1.2.0.4.flp (via NFS) - connected, connect on startup

512MB

1 vCPU

5633_5633.png

--Collin C. MacMillan

SOLORI - Solution Oriented, LLC

Collin C. MacMillan, VCP4/VCP5 VCAP-DCD4 Cisco CCNA/CCNP, Nexenta CNE VMware vExpert 2010-2012 SOLORI - Solution Oriented, LLC http://blog.solori.net If you find this information useful, please award points for "correct" or "helpful".
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daKrisht
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks, Collin.

I agree with you, SYMMPI.SYS has nothing to do with the driver - it is simply Win XP Setup not being able to locate the .sys file (searching for it on a CD-ROM when it's on a Floppy).

I initially tried with the Win XP CD-ROM on the local machine, then I tried putting an .ISO of that CD-ROM on the datastore of the ESXi host - nothing.

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cmacmillan
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

You are welcome.

My only suggestion would be to rip-up the XP setup you have (delete from disk) and restart with the wizard for XP (gives you buslogic) and use the VMware floppy. That worked like magic for me and took about two minutes. It's not sounding so much like an ESX/ESXi issue anymore...

All of my ISO source images are from "dd" captures of a hard CD and exported via NFS. I doesn't matter if they're on a local VMFS volume or NFS volume, but if it's corrupt, it could be very frustrating. Can you checksum the ISO against the disk to check for consistency?

--Collin C. MacMillan

SOLORI - Solution Oriented, LLC

Collin C. MacMillan, VCP4/VCP5 VCAP-DCD4 Cisco CCNA/CCNP, Nexenta CNE VMware vExpert 2010-2012 SOLORI - Solution Oriented, LLC http://blog.solori.net If you find this information useful, please award points for "correct" or "helpful".
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