Saturday, April 25, 2015

Getting Windows 8 or 2012 to work as a guest under vSphere 4.1

There have been other blogs and kbase articles that define how to get Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 2012 / 2012 R2 running under vSphere 4.1.  I plan to to offer you a complete document with references

For the guest configuration, I would choose the following:

Windows 2012 / 2012 R2
Guest OS: Windows 2008 R2
vCPU: 2
vMemory: 2GB
Network Card:  E1000

Windows 8 / 8.1
Guest OS: Windows 7 (32 or 64 to match your media)
vCPU: 2, but 1 should work
vMemory:     1GB, but 2 would be better
Network Card:    E1000

After you build the OS, but before the OS is installed the VMX file needs to be modified, so use the vSphere client to do these steps
  1. Browse to the datastore where the VMX files is located
  2. Download the VMX file to your windows system
  3. Edit the file with a Linux compatible editor like Notepad++ and add the following lines:
    1. bios440.filename = bios.440.rom
      mce.enable = "TRUE"
      cpuid.hypervisor.v0 = "FALSE"
      vmGenCounter.enable = "FALSE
Then upload the updated VMX file and the bios ROM file from this location.  If you feel a little unsure about using a random file acquired from the internet there are directions on how to extract the file from VMware Player.  I have not done this yet, but trust the ROM file that is the VMware community

Next just install the OS as normal, it should work fine, no BSOD.

Now what I have not seen is anything on VMware tools, and from what it looks like any version of the VMware tools that come with 4.1 will corrupt the video and make  it unusable, so when installing VMware tools, use the OSP version.

Here is the root location of all the tools:
Here is the version that I have used successfully:
But guessing the latest which is for vSphere 6 would also work:
If you want read more about OSP tools, this page is useful.

Good luck with your Window 8 / 2012 builds!!


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