How can I install Guest OS inside VMware ESX 4.0

Silense
Silense used Ask the Experts™
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Hi All,

I have installed host OS ESX 4.0 on a machine. Now I want to install guest OS on that machine. I also download the vSphere Client to access ESX 4.0 server remotely. I can access the ESX 4.0 server remotely through "vSphere Client" but now I want to install Guest OS. Not sure how to do that?

Last time I installed Guest OS on Vmware Workstation which I did on top of Windows XP, as win XP was Host OS. Now ESX 4.0 is my Host OS but I don't know how to install the Guest OS? Please give me step by step sequence to do that...

I insert the CD to install Windows Server 2003 on my ESX server + make the boot drive to CD Rom & remotely accessing via vSphere to install Guest OS but it doesn't boot from CD rom. Please help to install Guest(win server 2003) OS on ESX 4.0 server via vSpere. In ESX 4.0 I set the boot drive CD but It's not detect when I want to install guest OS via vSphere.

I have attached the image to boot Guest OS. Please let me know what I am doing wrong.

Thanks in Advance.
Guest-OS.JPG
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Commented:
Hi,
you can use the VSphere client to install the guest OS. Just put the windows 2003 in the cd drive of the PC that you have the client installed on.
Then follow these steps
1/ Make sure your windows server 2003 is powered off in the vsphere client
2/Right click on the new virtual machine that you have there and click "edit settings"
3/ Click the options tab and select boot options and tick the box to force bios setup
4/ Power the VM (virtual machine) back on and it should go into its bios setup.
5/ make sure it is set to boot from cd in the bios
6/ click the icon on the toolbar of the vsphere client that looks like a cd with a spanner on it and select the cd drive on your pc that has the windows 2003 cd in it.
7/ power on the VM and it should boot from the windows cd in your PCs drive.

Good luck
Cheers
Dave
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
You dont have to go into thw BIOS of the VM...just connect the CD/DVD in the VM's Edit Settings. click 'Connected', and select 'client device'. Place the dvd in your workstation cd rom drive and power on the VM. It will then boot to the DVD.

~coolsport00
Commented:
There is a pretty good "How To" at the following URL

http://www.petri.co.il/managing-esxi4-with-vsphere-client.htm

Here is a quote from the booting part:

"Now to start your VM click on the “Console” tab and then click the green “Start” icon on the toolbar above to turn the virtual power on. Your VM should see your ISO as a CD in its drive and boot off it into the OS installation routine, then you can follow the standard setup procedure. Click anywhere in the console screen to activate control, to release control back to your desktop press Ctrl-Alt. To “eject” the CD when you no longer need it you can return to the VM Settings page and uncheck the “Connected” and “Connect at Power On” boxes.

One problem that may occur is your VM will not attempt to boot off the CD - if this occurs you may need to change the Boot sequence in the VM BIOS (just like you would on a physical server). It can be tricky to press the F2 key in time before the POST screen disappears so instead you can force it to open the BIOS on the next boot. To do this go back to the VM Settings window and select the “Options” tab, down under the Advanced section click “Boot Options” then on the right you will see a check box for “Force BIOS setup”. Check that and then next time you boot your VM you will find yourself in the BIOS settings screen, use the cursor keys to change to the “Boot” menu and move the CDROM to the top of the boot order."

Cheers Dave
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Top Expert 2010
Commented:
As I mentioned already...there is no need to go into the BIOS. I have yet to see a VM not be able to boot to the DVD after performing the steps mentioned above (connecting the CD/DVD hardware and selecting the proper 'connection type'...Client, Host, etc.). If a VM doesn't boot to the CD upon bootup, there are other issues that could be going on. I'm not discounting what you state Dave, but at this point it's not needed....it's overkill.

Regards,
~coolsport00
Commented:
You are right  - in most cases that has been the way it has worked for me, but I have had the odd instance where it wouldn't boot from CD without changing the bios boot order. I was trying to describe a failsafe method.

Cheers
Dave
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.
Commented:
To further help you, make iso images of the OS media and store them in an directory on you vmfs.

This way when you nned to boot or re-use you w2k3, w2kx or linux media etc, it is easily accessible rather than have to insert differing media for installs or option add-ins.

All you would then have to to is to, edit the guest settings and for the CD, point to the location of the iso image you created.
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
I don't disagree with you Dave...but I will say that since a VM by default is supposed to boot to a CD, if it needs configured in the BIOS, there might be more wrong with it than that (something didn't get created correctly by vSphere when created). In that case, configuring the BIOS would prob work, but I wouldn't trust that is the only problem encountered....I would just create another VM (that's just me though). :)

According to the Basic Admin Guide...it is a quicker install to have the ISO on the datastore (as nappy mentions), but I recommend doing that little (if at all) to preserve space for VMs or VM data, unless there's a bunch of space on the datastore to play with.

Regards,
~coolsport00
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.
Commented:
I also don't see any reason to change the bios boot order.

Now, there could be an issue with the host accessing the physical drive.

Also you should make sure that under the guest settings>CD drive, make sure the option connect at power on is selected or your guest will never boot from the the iso or physical media.

Lastly, I have seen where the boot media times out waiting for you to "press any key" to boot from media(even if you force the bios boot order to boot from CD first).
Commented:
I must concede that I haven't had to force a bios boot with a new vm in sphere, it was more an esx 3.5 thing, which I know is a different kettle of fish. I stayed with the cd option rather than an iso, since that was the
Media that the question author had in his original question. I always use Isis myself, and automatically convert any CDs that come across my desk. Makes working remotely much easier.

Author

Commented:
Thanks to all for step by step instruction which really helps. As I am totally new in VMworld that's why don't know what to do next. It's all working fine now. I really appreciate that. Thanks to Dave, Sage & Guru.

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