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VMware vSphere 5.x

According with KB 2006859 (Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 Operating System does not boot or install on ESXi or ESX) Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 VMs are fully supported for ESXi 5.1, ESXi 5.1 U1, ESXi 5.0 U1 and ESXi 5.0 U2.

Note: For Windows Server 2012, you must install the patch ESXi500-201209001(Patch 04) on ESXi 5.0 U1. For more information, see VMware ESXi 5.0, Patch Release ESXi500-201209001 (2032584).

Also Hyper-V could be run in a VM. For more information see how to enable nested hypervisor on vSphere 5.1.

With the last patches release, starting from vSphere 5.1U1 vCenter Server is now supported on Windows Server 2012 (see also this video) and also those OS could be well customized from vCenter Server.

Note that the vSphere Client (especially old versions) could has some issues with Windows 8… Another good reason to move to the vSphere Web Client.

VMware vSphere 4.x

Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 will not be supported on ESXi/ESX 4.0 or 4.1.

But according with this community thread and this post, there is a trick to run them on a vSphere 4.1 enviroment:

  • Create a new VM over the vSphere Client.
  • As “Guest Operating System” use “Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit)
  • If you finished the creation of the VM download the follwing bios file and upload it to your ESXi datastore
  • Move the bios file to the folder of the new VM
  • Now open the .vmx file of the new VM and add the follwing lines
    • bios440.filename = “bios.440.rom”
    • mce.enable = TRUE
    • cpuid.hypervisor.v0 = FALSE
    • vmGenCounter.enable = FALSE
  • Run the VM and install Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012

For only run the vSphere Client on Windows 8, there is a trick explained on this post (basically it force the compatibility mode to Windows 7… same trick works also this other client version).


Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-24. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-23. Nutanix NTC 2014-20. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.