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Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 Operating System does not boot or install on ESXi or ESX

Symptoms

  • Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 fails to boot or install on any version of ESXi or ESX
  • Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 is not working
  • You cannot use Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 in ESXi or ESX

Purpose

This article provides information on using Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 in a vSphere environment.

Resolution

Note: Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 will not be supported on ESXi/ESX 4.0 or 4.1.

Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 is fully supported for ESXi 5.1 and ESXi 5.0 Patch 4.


    Note: The information below relates only to pre-release versions of Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012. For full support please install the GA version.
     
    Consider this guidance, which is based on testing Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 up to build 8224:
    • Windows 8 Developer Preview / Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate does not boot on ESXi 5.0. To resolve this issue, you must install patch ESXi500-201112001 (Patch 02): 

      1. Download and install ESXi500-201112001 (Patch 02).
      2. Create a new virtual machine configured for either Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2.
      3. Enable 3D graphics or do not install VMware's WDDM video driver.
      4. Install Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 from Media.
      5. Install VMware Tools.

        Note: VMware does not recommend installing VMware's WDDM video driver. Use the default VESA driver.

    • If you experience a black screen after installing VMware's WDDM video driver in a virtual machine with Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012, enable 3D graphics or reinstall the operating system and VMware Tools without VMware's WDDM video driver.

    • VMware does not currently recommend using USB xHCI with Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012. To work around this issue, remove the USB xHCI controller or use the USB EHCI+UHCI controller.

      Note: Any changes to the virtual hardware must be preceded by a full shutdown on the command line (shutdown /s /t 0 /full). Otherwise, the Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 hibernate-shutdown may not fully detect hardware changes and you may experience a blue diagnostic screen or triple fault at boot.

    • The vmxnet3 virtual NIC does not work in a Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 virtual machine with ESXi 5.0. To work around this issue, use e1000e or e1000 NICs.
    Based on VMware KB # 2006859

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