Vmware Fix for Server 2012 Virtual machines running on ESXI 5.0


Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 is listed as Tech Preview support for ESXi 5.0 Update 1 in the Guest OS compatibility guide. For more information on the Tech Preview support level, see Understanding guest operating system support levels (2015161).

Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 is fully supported for ESXi 5.1. For more information, see What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.1.

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). For more information, see VMware ESXi 5.0, Patch Release ESXi500-201112001 (2007680).
    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.

6 thoughts on “Vmware Fix for Server 2012 Virtual machines running on ESXI 5.0

    1. There are benefit’s using VMXNET3 over E1000e, Ramses Smeyers has a blog showing his findings on a benchmark comparing both. http://ramses.smeyers.be/blog/?p=37. VMware’s performance evaluation Shows improvements when using VMXNET3 over VMXNET2 http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsp_4_vmxnet3_perf.pdf. I changed over to VMXNET3 in March this year and noticed a considerable improvement on the performance of VM CPU’s. You are more likely to see an improvement over a long period of time.

      Best Regards,

  1. Hi,

    Just a note on the bit “enable 3D graphics or reinstall the operating system and VMware Tools without VMware’s WDDM video driver.” I had this issue with 2012 R2, but was able to avoid the reinstall by starting in safe mode, then going to system> device manager> and rolling back the video driver

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