This blog has, IMO, some great resources. Unfortunately, some of those resources are becoming less relevant. I'm still blogging, learning tech and helping others...please find me at my new home on

Monday, July 19, 2010

Installing Windows Server 2008 R2 on VMWare ESX Server 4.0.0

I’m not sure why this is, why this works, or if you’ll run into it, but I had some troubles with installing Win Server 2K8 R2 on our ESX server.

We have an ISO that is stored on our data store.  We typically select this in the Device Type selection to install an OS.  I selected the Windows Server 2008 R2 (multi-edition) ISO that I have and started the VM.  I got the language selection screen, clicked on ‘Install Now’ and then the fun ensued:


A requried CD/DVD drive device driver is missing. If you have a driver floppy disk, CD, DVD or USB flash drive, please insert it now.

Note: If the Windows installation media is in the CD/DVD driver, you can safely remove it for this step.

What?  Floppy disks?  Those are so 1998 (the year before I stopped using floppies.  I digress…).

So, to get past this, I tried to burn a DVD of the ISO to use that for the installation.  In Summary –> Edit Settings I set the Device Type of the DVD drive to “Host Device”.  I rebooted the VM and ended up back in the same spot as above.

With the above screen still displaying, I returned to the settings page for the DVD and switched it back to the Datastore ISO image.  Et, voila! When I switched back to the console of the VM I was past the driver error!


I initially went down the route of trying to find a driver for VMWare’s DVD drive in Win 2K8, but this 8 minute fix seems to work better.  7.5 minutes to burn the ISO, and 30 seconds to reboot and switch the selection.

A few acceptances of license agreements later, and blamo!


Good luck with yours.


  1. this method does not do the trick for me

  2. Sorry to hear that...what did you run into?

  3. Worked perfect for me...Use the iso.

  4. I faced the same issue; Downloaded new ISO image of Windows 2008 R2 64 bit and re-initiated the installation in VM; it worked fine.

  5. Hey Mr.James why it took my machine more than 2 hours to install win2k8r2 ?
    other OS's install just fine like Ubuntu Linux and Winxp.
    My machine is a costume build Gigabyte with Intel E6750 and 5GB of RAM.
    all other VM's are turned off.

  6. It's the costume... Sometimes the computers get embarrased on server installs when they are wearing costumes.


  7. YOUR THE MAN!!!! Tell everyone... :D

    Stuck for 2 days. Read this and was moving forward within 5 minutes. Thanks my friend.