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Windows 8 operating system does not boot or install on ESXi or ESX

Like many of you, VMware is getting familiar with Windows 8 preview. VMware is hard at work testing and enabling support of Windows 8 on vSphere.
Consider this guidance, which is based on testing Windows 8 up to build 8224:
  • Windows 8 Developer Preview release 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 from Media.
    5. Install 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, enable 3d graphics or reinstall the operating system and Tools without VMware's WDDM video driver.

  • USB xHCI is currently not recommended for use with Windows 8. To work around this issue, remove the USB xHCI controller or use the USB EHCI+UHCI controller.

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

  • vmxnet3 virtual NIC does not work in a Windows 8 virtual machine with ESXi 5.0. To work around this issue, use e1000e or e1000 NICs

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