Trying to install Windows XP within VMWare ESX and getting the following error message?
"Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer."
If so not to worry – all that the Windows XP installation process is telling you, as the error message explains, is that it can’t see any available hard disks on which to install XP.
The reason for this is that the necessary hard disk controller drivers have not been installed.
Within ESX there are two types of SCSI controller types available. These are ‘BusLogic’ or ‘LSI Logic’.
When installing Windows XP the ESX VM will assign the ‘BusLogic’ SCSI controller type as the default. The Windows XP installation media doesn’t contain the drivers for either of these controllers so unless they are provided via floppy disk at the start of the installation process then XP will not know about any of the disks attached to the controller (which it doesn’t have drivers for).
Using an LSI Logic SCSI controller type has been shown to provide faster performance over that of a BusLogic controller type.
Although only relating to ESX v2.1.1 and Windows Server 2000/2003 this article highlights the performance difference with running a Windows Server OS using a LSI Logic controller under the VM as opposed to BUSLogic. Ok, I know it doesn’t mention XP but apparently XP also benefits with increased performance (as with W2K3) when using the LSI Logic controller type.
To provide Windows XP with the correct drivers during the installation process following the steps outlined below.
All you have to do to resolve this issue is:
– Download the flp (floppy disk) image for either LSI Logic or BUSLogic from the links below:
*Update Note (March 09): A few people have reported that the newer LSI Logic XP driver doesn’t work. I would recommend trying the older version first and failing that try the newer version. Thanks to ‘cubeconn’ in pointing out a useful VMware Forum post around this.
LSI Logic XP Driver (Older Version)
LSI Logic XP Driver (Newer Version)
– Upload the flp file(s) to your data/ISO store used by your ESX server.
– From within the XP installations Virtual Machine settings, edit the floppy disk settings and select the flp file containing the SCSI Controller driver you wish to use during the installation process. Though don’t tick/check the ‘Connect at power on’ box. Otherwise XP when you go to start the installation will try to boot from the floppy disk and will fail.
– Start the installation of the guest OS, in this case Windows XP after creating the VM.
– When prompted to add ‘Additional SCSI Drivers’, press F6 (Function 6 button).
– Connect your floppy disk ISO (flp file) of the SCSI controller driver you wish to use.
– Then press the ‘S’ key to specify an additional device. The XP installation process should now read this ISO file and will detect the controller drivers. Press the ‘Enter’ key to continue.
– The XP installation should now detect the disk created for this guess OS and proceed as normal.
– Install VMTools!