Building Windows 8 VM in a 4.1 virtual environment

Thor2923
Thor2923 used Ask the Experts™
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My boss has asked me to set up a few Windows 8 virtual machines so we can start getting the feel of it. He wants workstation and server and gave me to links to download the ISOs. The troube is, we are using VMWARE 4.1 and when I go to create a virtual machine there is not WINDOWS 8 under the GUEST OPERATING SYSTEM drop down menu. Is it possible to install Windows 8 in a 4.1 environment? What do I select as the drop down?
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VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
I do not believe Windows 8.0 will function on vSphere 4.1 (ESX/ESXi 4.1), you will need to upgrade to ESXi 5.0 and the use the latest build ESXi 5.0 Build 515841 (released 15/12/2011).

But you would normally use

Windows 7 64bit for Consumer preview Windows 8 64 bit, and Server 2008 R2 64 bit for Windows 8 server.

As a workaround you could use VMware Workstation 8.0 and VMware Player 4.0 which both support Windows 8.

VMware Player 4.0 Free Download
http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_player/4_0

VMware Workstation 8.0 (60 day trial, $199)
http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_workstation/8_0

if you get the following screen, it's not supported by ESX/ESXi 4.1.
Windows 8 - HAL INITIALIZATION FAILED
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
I already have it done using VMware Workstation V8.0.2. The Windows 8 .ISO installed just fine.

I did one try as "Other 64-bit" which failed, and then I installed it as "Windows 7 64-bit" and then the Windows 8 .ISO installed just fine. Since there is no Windows 8 pick, and since Other 64-bit failed, Windows 7 seemed the next likely choice.

There was a new Workstation version out this week or late last week, and so you should look to see if a V4 upgrade is available.

If you cannot do it with V4 (ESX I assume you mean) then try Workstation.

I am posting this with Windows 8 and IE V10. .... Thinkpads_User
Ive got this to work in workstation 8 and all is very good. Just make sure you remove the floppy drive from the config as it can ask for a key otherwise. Strange but true
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
If you install from .ISO, it will ask for a key, but that key is readily available from the download site and works (I used it). .... Thinkpads_User
I booted from the ISO with no trouble, only when the floppy wasset as an active device ;')
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
I'm just checking the new build of ESXi 4.1 Build 582267 which was released by VMware 30/01/2012, to see if it now supports Windows 8.0.

ESXi 4.1 Build 502767 does not support Windows 8.0.
ESXi 4.1 Build 582267 does not support Windows 8.0.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Updated and Checked.

ESXi 4.1 Build 582267 does not support Windows 8.0.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
So then, Thor2923, use VMware Workstation V8.0.2 and it should all work to your satisfaction. I have it running.

Assuming you get Windows 8 going, be sure not to trip over the Start button.

.... Thinkpads_User
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
In Summary in Answer to your querstion

"Is it possible to install Windows 8 in a 4.1 environment?"

Unfortunately, No.

Workarounds, your options, as originally stated in http:#a37666206

1. ESXi 5.0 Build 515841
2. VMware Workstation 8.0
3. VMware Player 4.0
4. Configure and use VMware Workstation 8.0 as a nested Hypervisor in a virtual machine in ESXi 4.1 (performance will be slow).
5. Physical Desktop.

Author

Commented:
not the solution I was hoping for, but correct answer
May already be "solved" but you can actually install the current version of Windows 8 on an ESXi v4.1 server.

You need to download the bios.440.rom and copy it to the same location as your VMWare machine files are.

Then under the Advance / General options for the VM session, click the Configuration Parameters. Edit or create the following entries:

bios440.filename = bios.440.rom
mce.enable = TRUE
cpuid.hypervisor.v0 = FALSE
vmGenCounter.enable = FALSE

Then the session runs fine as a new install or from a converted computer/session.

Haven't tested this for Windows 2012 Server, but no issues with Windows 8 yet.

This info is not my own, but was posted in this thread by jmattson:

http://communities.vmware.com/thread/394669

That is also where to get the ROM image since this site won't allow .rom files as attachments

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