Solving error: VMWare Workstation, setup Windows XP, Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer

Solving error: VMWare Workstation, setup Windows XP, Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer

When you’re trying to install Windows XP Professional or any other XP edition on a virtual machine using VMware Workstation, you may receive the following error: “Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer.”. To resolve this, attach a floppy disk drive image containing the correct drivers and hit F6 during the first part of the installation to install the additional drivers.

This post is a step-by-step instruction and adaption of VMWare’s own knowledge base article, which unfortunately only contains instructions for ESX Server.

For Windows XP 64 bit (and probably Vista / 7), see the follow-up article which explains how to install an LSI Logic SCSI Device driver.
This tutorial helps you when installing Windows XP 32 bit using the LSI SCSI option. When you select the BusLogic controller, you won’t run into the issues described here.

Solving “setup did not find any hard disk drives”

You receive the following error:

Type F3 and restart the virtual machine, then follow the four steps below.

Step 1: Find the floppy disk drive image

To be able to attach the floppy disk drive image, it must be in the same directory as your virtual machine files, so:

  1. Download the FLP-file from VMware;
  2. Copy it to your virtual machine location.

If the driver doesn’t work, try this LSI PCI Fusion-MPT Miniport Driver FLP Image (684) that I compiled myself based on internet resources. It worked for me, where the original failed.

Do not use the pre-installed pvscsi-WindowsXP.flp file, it’s a different driver.

Step 2: attach the floppy disk drive image to your VM image

Windows XP setup must be able to find the image, so attach it:

  1. Right-click on the virtual machine in VMware Workstation (you can do this while it is running, or when it is stopped)
  2. Select “Floppy drive 1″ in the left pane;
  3. Select “Use floppy image file” in the right pane and click “Browse”;
  4. Select the file vmscsi- (or whatever the name was you downloaded) from the list;
    Screenshot open floppy disk drive image VMWare Workstation
  5. Click Open;
  6. Select “Connect” in the top-right, this will make the image available as a floppy drive to the guest operating system;
  7. Click OK.

Step 3: Restart Windows XP Setup and select the driver

When you restart the computer, Windows XP Setup (when you still have the cd-rom attached) will fire up again. When you see the following screen, which is right at the beginning, hit the F6 key:

It will seem as if setup continues as normal, but a while later you will be asked for drivers.

Step 4: Specify and install the drivers

After you typed F6, setup continued and then showed the below screen. If it doesn’t you didn’t click F6 in time or with the focus on the virtual machine.

Type S to specify an additional device. You should now see the SCSI Adapter select screen (the screen will show LSI PCI Fusion-MPT Miniport Driver when you use the patched FLP-file from Undermyhat):

Click Enter to select the VMWare SCSI Controller (name may be different). You should see the following screen now:

Press Enter to continue.

Step 5: Enjoy the Windows XP Setup

Hope you like coffee, or grab a few cans of beer. Sit back and enjoy the Windows XP installation ;) .


When things are not going as expected. I’m not a VMware employee, nor a VMware or XP setup researcher. The following situations occurred when I tried installing Windows XP myself. When you have a different issue, your first bet is the VMware Knowledge Base, or the VMware support forums and communities.

When you don’t see the SCSI controller select screen in Step 4

When, after you clicked S to specify additional devices, you don’t see the SCSI Adapter select screen, but instead you see the following screen:

you may have a disconnected floppy disk drive. In the settings screen from step 2 above, make sure that both “Connect” and “Connect at Startup” are selected. Then hit Enter in the screen above and you should find the SCSI controller now.

You also see this screen when you select Connect after you started up the virtual machine, in which case simply hitting Enter is enough to see the driver-select screen.

When you see NTLDR is missing error on start-up

This message shows up when the virtual machine tries to boot up from the floppy disk. You can solve this by following these steps:

  1. Screenshot WMWare Workstation start into BIOSRight-click the virtual machine in VMWare Workstation;
  2. Select Power, then “Power On to BIOS”;
  3. In the BIOS, select “Boot” by clicking the right-arrow three times, this is the boot load order screen;
  4. Click the minus-key two times to place it below CD-ROM;
  5. Type the F10 key to exit, select Enter to save the changes.

The following little movie shows the BIOS steps in action: VMWare BIOS device load order

When you still see (1) “Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer” message after installing the SCSI drivers

This happened to me when I selected the wrong floppy disk drive image, as in the following screen (notice the tiny differences with Step 4 above?):

Pre-installed with VMWare workstation comes a floppy drive image that looks remarkably the same as the one mentioned in this article. The name is pvscsi-WindowsXP.flp and it’s located in the $VMWareInstallationDir$\WMWare Workstation\Resources directory.

Do not use this file, it doesn’t contain the correct drivers. Microsoft recognizes the drivers as VMware PVSCSI Controller, which is not the same

The PVSCSI Controller is the Para Virtual SCSI Controller. More info can be found in this knowledge base article from VMware on Configuring disks to use VMware Paravirtual SCSI (PVSCSI) adapters.

When you still see (2) “Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer” message after installing the SCSI drivers

If you’ve been trying the previous steps a couple of times and banged your head why it still isn’t working, you are probably trying to install a 64 bit version of Windows XP. Unfortunately, this isn’t supported by the SCSI driver provided by VMware (perhaps you remember that you cannot select the BusDriver when creating the virtual machine) .

Instead, you need an LSI Logic SCSI disk driver. This takes a few steps, but I compiled a ready-made floppy-disk image for you, see the next post. You can try these instructions after you downloaded that image, or created your own.

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