How do I install a 2 cpu WindowsNT4.0 Virtual Machine on VMware ESXi3.5

Posted on 2009-02-19
Last Modified: 2015-01-05
Hello Experts,
I'm trying to install a Windows NT 4.0 VM with 2 CPU's on VMware ESXi 3.5 server.
The installation process just keeps rebooting after starting to copy installation files.
Any idea's how I can get this to work - or is there a documented limit in ESXi for WindowsNT4.0
Question by:Starrett2005
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Make sure that after the initial copying of files, you pop out or disconnect the CD-ROM.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Ack, sorry; misread your question. I would check VMware's knowledgbase, it is pretty extensive.
    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    Can you first try with a single CPU and do you get the same crashing of the guest OS?
    LVL 42

    Expert Comment

    Do you have an application that will do multithreading?  If not than multiple CPU will not be of any benefit with windows nt.
    LVL 36

    Expert Comment

    by:Bing CISM / CISSP
    NT4 does support SMP or two or more CPUs, but it also does have limitations.

    1. NT4 must be BETTER installed on a SMP machine from the beginning.

    2. several manual steps are required if you have to upgrade an existing NT4 box to support the 2nd processor. see the following MSKB article for detailed information.

    How to Manually Add Support for a Second Processor

    that means, if you changed the CPU settings of an existing NT4 VM on VMware, you have to follow the step 2 to manually add SMP compatible DLLs for the NT4 box.

    hope it helps,

    Author Comment

    1) I can successfully install WindowsNT4.0 on ESXi3.5 using the WindowsNT option. During the VM setup there is no option to specify the # of Processors. End result...a single processor VM.
    After OS install and SP6a and all patches, I power VM off and do not have the choice to change # of processors used by VM.
    2) When creating a new VM  with the "other" OS option, I can select 2 processors, I start the NT4.0 OS install, it starts copying files then BSOD's and reboots. Starts a continuous install loop as I just described.
    I cannot find any certified documentation at VMware that states 2 proc are the max for an NT VM.

    Author Comment

    Sorry, I meant to say:
    I cannot find any certified documentation at VMware that states 1 processor is the max allowed for an WindowsNT4.0 VM.
    LVL 36

    Expert Comment

    by:Bing CISM / CISSP
    have you applied SP6? also make sure the files to be copied for SMP upgrade should be SP6 files too.
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    This could be difficult as very few still use NT4.
    I have not installed NT4 for many years but have imported it into ESX recently.
    The things I can think of.
    NT4 doesn't natively support the LSI controller but it does support the buslogic (VMWare SCSI) so be sure you have set the SCSI controller to Buslogic.
    Don't worry about how many CPU's it installs with, 1 is fine to start with. If you can get it up and running SP6 it and install the VM tools (which will fail to install the VGA driver)
    Once running you can change the Kernel easily enough.
    I don't remember all of the steps so I won't try to explain a process in which you must be very precise.
    On that point, don't remember if the multi CPU HAL is actually supported in ESX. I know it wasn't in ESX version 2.5. I would suggest going with the uni cpu model to start with. You will likely find it's the fastest NT4 server you have ever seen with just 1 CPU.

    Accepted Solution

    Solution found:
    Create an NT Virtual machine
    Before installing OS:
    Remove VM from the installed VM list.
    Export the VM file to your PC desktop.
    Open VM file with notepad and change the CPU parameter to 2.
    Import the VM back into ESX
    Right-click VM and add to inventory.
    Install 2 CPU WindowsNT4.0

    While this will install and run on ESX3.5, theres a reason why VMWare only allows a single CPU WindowsNT VM to be created by default. The performance of this 2 CPU WinNT VM sucks, but if your application requires 2 CPU machine on NT. This appears to be the only way in ESX3.5.

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