Install Windows XP on VMware ESX Server: Some tweaks and workarounds

It’s so easy to install the Windows XP Professional on VMware Workstation on VMware Server just because of XP installation CD comes with the IDE driver by default. But think the case you are going to install Windows XP Professional on SCSI disks and your XP Installation disk doesn’t contain the SCSI storage drivers! So, you will see the error message “Setup didn’t find any Hard Disk drivers installed on your computer’ and you have no choice ignoring the setup. So how to install the Windows XP on VMware ESX server? Answer is simple: you have to inject the SCSI driver before the installation continue! So how to do it?

Download the SCSI Driver and Create Floppy Image

Download the Buslogic SCSI driver from here:, (this floppy image is ready to use)

Download the LSILogic SCSI driver can be found from, unzip it and put the driver for LSI20320-R controller into a new floppy image named ‘LSILogic.flp’, I used MagicISO to build the image.

Tweak your XP Installation CD Image

First let me explain why you need this. During installation after you have ejected the SCSI drivers from the floppy image it can recognize the SCSI storage type so the installation continues. But the issue you will must face while it will start copying files on C:\ drive it can’t find the vmscsi.sys, vmscsi.inf and just because of these drivers are not included on your installation CD i386 directory, right? So there might be two solutions: #1. you can recreate the CD image by injecting these drivers, #2. you can instruct the installation not to ask the drivers again from the CD image. I preferred #2 just because of simple and quick procedure. So how to do it?

– Go to the installation disk i386 directory, find out the WINNT.SIF file, open it with notepad.exe

– Change the instruction from OemPreinstall=”Yes” to OemPreinstall=”No”, it will prevent asking the SCSI drivers again while starting copying the files.

Start Installation

– Configure the ESX VM instance with BusLogic/LSILogic SCSI disk as per your server supports


– Configure the floppy drive with the image you just build


– Configure the CD/DVD Drive with the customize image you just build.


– At the very starting of the installation press F6 to inject the SCSI driver, it will give you the below options after while, follow the procedures.




Whoa!!! Now close your eyes and wait for the installation finishes. 🙂