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    How to install windows 8 on esxi 4.1 ?

    jvanzeir Novice





      I would like to install windows 8 on my current esxi 4.1 environment, of course without success. I receive the error about that




      I've found serveral forums that only workstation 8 and new esxi5 with patch2 is able to install Windows 8.

      Is there any solution regarding windows 8 on esxi 4.1 ?

      It would be great, because I must not upgrade to esxi 5



      Thanks in advance




        • 1. Re: How to install windows 8 on esxi 4.1 ?
          rickardnobel Virtuoso

          Moved thread from vSphere Networking to ESXi 4.1 forum.

          Regards / Rickard

          • 2. Re: How to install windows 8 on esxi 4.1 ?
            Nikhil Patwa Expert


            What I can see is Windows 8 is a pretty recent OS which is not released yet and ESXi 4.1 is an old version not supporting the current OS and Windows 8 is only supported in latest VMware versions - Workstation 8 and ESXi 5 as these are the versions most people will be using or upgrading to.


            I suggest you have a separate ESXi 5 in your environment for Windows 8 VM (any specific reason for Windows 8 installation since its not yet released, trials?)



            • 3. Re: How to install windows 8 on esxi 4.1 ?
              Que2 Novice
              • VMware ESX 4.1 Build 260247 (13 July 2010)
              • VMware ESX 4.1 Update 1 Build 348481 (10 February 2011)
              • VMware ESX 4.1 Update 2 Build 502767 (27 October 2011)
              • VMware ESX 4.1 Update 3 Build 800380 (30 August 2012)

              -from wikipedia



              I do not understand why there are so many appologists not willing to ask or answer hard questions.

              Googling I could not find any other answer, only it is not supported and to move to ESX 5.

              ESX 4.1 is not terribly old and most folk tend to upgrade every other major version.


              What I would like is a technical explaination as to why Server 2012 does not work. It can not just be because there is no profile for it; there is the "Other" catch all profile as well.  I really want the reasons "Why" VMWARE can not implement this in ESX 4.


              I guess my expectation was too great; I expect ESXi to work like little hardware "virtual" machines.  I can install Server 2012 on a old Acer Aspire with a Atom processor and installation is fine.


              I have a hard time wrapping my head around why it can not run on Vmware ESXi 4.1... just upgrade to ESX 5 because it is supported is not enough.  VMware's offical explanation is not enougth.  I do not expect them to rearchetect ESX 4.1 to support this but I want a more detailed "technical" explaination as to WHY IT IS NOT SUPPORTED.


              I am left thinking that the real reason that Server 2012 it is not supported in ESX 4.1 is to make the ESX 5 upgrade compelling.  With the licensing changes and etc. it just did not seem a compelling upgrade for us at the time; now they are pushing the move by saying it is not supported but not really saying why.


              Perhaps I should learn to be a sheep.

              • 4. Re: How to install windows 8 on esxi 4.1 ?
                continuum Guru
                vExpertCommunity Warriors

                If I remember right jmattson gave a technical reason why Windows 8 does not run in unpatched 5.0 or older versions.

                • 5. Re: How to install windows 8 on esxi 4.1 ?
                  Que2 Novice

                  I did a search here:



                  I also looked at jmattson blog and I did not come up with the post that speaks to this.


                  I know that the decison has been made on this but I wanted to find out the technical reason why because they do not discuss this in the vmware offical answer on this.  The blame is probably microsofts but I have been so much an esx fan/cheerleader, I guess I expected a bit too much.


                  If jmattson could chime in it would be wonderful.



                  • 6. Re: How to install windows 8 on esxi 4.1 ?

                    If I recall correctly, Windows 8 has dropped support for the PIIX4 that we virtualize.  I do not believe that Windows 8 will install on physical hardware with a PIIX4 either.  The virtual BIOS included with current VMware products has a WAET entry that fixes this issue.  It's possible that you may be able to get Windows 8 to boot by using a newer virtual BIOS and some additional configuration file settings.

                    • 7. Re: How to install windows 8 on esxi 4.1 ?

                      If you'd like to give it a shot, download the attached file and add the following options to your configuration file:


                      bios440.filename = "<full path to rom image>"

                      mce.enable = TRUE

                      cpuid.hypervisor.v0 = FALSE

                      vmGenCounter.enable = FALSE

                      • 8. Re: How to install windows 8 on esxi 4.1 ?
                        Que2 Novice

                        Oh this is that same that can be found in  .rsrc\BINRES\   .


                        You are my hero.


                        This works, smooth as butter. I just remember to make sure I use the built in Windows Driver and stay away from the vmware driver, which I did not install. I did install the other pieces, especially the mouse driver.


                        Thanks a whole bunch.


                        I would award points but I am not the original thread starter.

                        If you are ever in the DC area I will buy you a case of your favorite drink.

                        • 9. Re: How to install windows 8 on esxi 4.1 ?
                          continuum Guru
                          Community WarriorsvExpert



                          with that settings I can run Windows 8  on Workstation 6.5.4 - good bye WS 9

                          • 10. Re: How to install windows 8 on esxi 4.1 ?
                            MikeKeller Lurker

                            I'm having some trouble pointing the configuration parameter to the full path of the filename. can anyone help me? I don't know much about what the path should look like.


                            my path for my ISO, copied directly is:


                            [datastore1 (7)] SW_DVD5_Win_Pro_8_64BIT_English_MLF_X18-16134.ISO


                            The .rom file in is the same folder, so in the configuration parameters I added a row:




                            and made the value


                            "[datastore1 (7)] bios.440.rom"


                            but when I attempt to power on the machine, it says


                            Could not open "[datastore1 (7)] bios.440.rom" (2 (No such file or directory)).


                            any help would be greatly appreciated.

                            • 11. Re: How to install windows 8 on esxi 4.1 ?
                              Que2 Novice



                              I put the bios file in my VM directory so I did not need to set a special path; the BIOS file was located without a path.


                              I would try to copy the bios to your VM directory and omit the [datastore1 (7)] path that you assigned to it.



                              • 12. Re: How to install windows 8 on esxi 4.1 ?
                                MikeKeller Lurker

                                That worked wonderfully. Thanks for the help.

                                • 14. Re: How to install windows 8 on esxi 4.1 ?
                                  MarcosRepiso Lurker

                                  Thanks jmattson!

                                  Works great!!


                                  Thanks for the support.

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