Installing Windows Vista is just like installing any other flavor Windows. The new version of Windows needs a terrific amount of memory and disk space to perform well. I gave my first installation 1GB of memory and 16GB virtual disk. After a plain vanilla installation I had nearly 512MB RAM when running idle, and used 7.15GB of disk space.
There are however to issues currently outstanding with running Vista on ESX 3.0.1 and older. Although the BIOS is of the VM is able to boot the ISO of Vista, during the Windows installation Vista fails to find the CD/DVD which VMware emulate. The error states:
A required CD/DVD 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 drive, you can safely remove it for this step”
It appears that there is no driver on the Vista. I first came across this issue in my first installation of Vista, and had to use the forums to find a work around. As currently there is not a KB article from VMware. There are many ways of fixing this issue – I found the easiest was to provide the CD/DVD during the installation. Helpfully, some people have already put the driver into a flp file for us. It is located here:
If you want to read the original forum post about this issue it is located here:
1. When you receive the Load Driver prompt
2. Press Ctrl+Alt to release you keyboard and mouse
3. In the VM console window, Choose VM and Edit Settings
4. Select Floppy Drive 1
5. Choose Use existing floppy image in the datastore, and click the Browse button
6. Select the FLP image downloaded from locations listed above
7. Select Connected
8. Click back into the VM console window, and click OK
The Windows Vista installer should read from the floppy disk and find CD-ROM Drive (A:cdrom.inf)
9. Click Next and continue with the installation