• How to Virtualize OEM Windows XP Install & Change to Volume License Version

    I thought I was finished dealing with Windows XP in our environment and then this situation popped up.

    We had a developer who worked here four years ago and when he left we kept his hard drive for reference in case we needed something from his drive.  Well, that day came last week when it was discovered some code was never entered into source safe.  I located the old drive and put it in the same model system it came from previously and then performed a p2v on the machine to put a copy of it on our ESXi system.

    I booted the machine and it asked me to activate Windows XP.   The Dell PC that this ran on was apparently loaded with the OEM disk rather than our VL image and key (we had an ex-IT guy here who was too lazy to reimage the PCs when they were received from Dell).  Given this is OEM this cannot legally run on our ESX system so we need to change this install of XP to the VL version.

    When virtualizing this system I originally used the IDE controller (as recommended in the converter).  The machine would not boot.  Googling, I found some users that said to set the controller to scsi so I did the conversion again and this time it booted.

    When I attempted to boot the VM XP guest with the XP VL image and was met with this error “Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer” message.  This is because Windows does not have the drivers needed for the controller.

    The BusLogic driver comes bundled with VMware products:

    • VMware Workstation: %Program Files%VMwareVMware WorkstationResourcesvmscsi.flp
    • VMware ESX: /vmimages/vmscsi.flp

    You can also download it here: http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmscsi-

    Upload this file to a volume accessible to vmware, I just have a folder on a volume where I keep all my iso and driver files.

    Attach the file to the floppy drive on your vm.  Note:  Your path will be different for your environment.

    Now you can reboot the VM guest, press ESC to get into the boot menu (I generally set a boot delay of 1200 ms to make this easier) and boot to your XP image again.
    The XP setup is so fast on this system that I had a hard time getting it to accept the F6 command to install the drivers.  It goes by fast so I found the easiest way was to get into the window for that machine and then force a reboot with Ctrl-Alt-Insert and then hit the ESC, boot the XP and start tapping F6 then as it’s booting.  Once it boots and says it didn’t find you can choose to install drivers.
    At this point you want to open your floppy settings on the VM and click the “connected” box that will no longer be greyed out.  After this you will be free to hit Enter to continue the install.
    Now you can just hit enter and go through the prompt.  This will bring you to the normal XP setup screen when it’s complete.
    DO  NOT PRESS R or select the option “To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console,…”  Just press enter to install XP.
    Accept the license agreement and the install will search for existing installations of XP and find your current install.  If not selected already, select it and then hit ‘R’ for repair.

    Setup will now run and start copying some files for the repair.  It will reboot the machine during the repair and run the repair on the machine.

    It will ask you to click next, put in your VL Key, etc, just as it does with a new install of XP.

    Once complete you can reboot the guest VM and your system should be running the new version of XP for VL.  Login, put in your key, activate!