Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Upgrading VMware ESX 4.1 guests to ver. 7 hardware

This is pretty straight forward, but thought I would log my process just in case I totally forget down the road.

First, you can check the version of the virtual machine by going into the 'edit settings' dialogue and looking in the top right hand corner. Version 7 is the latest and greatest.

1) Install the upgraded vmware tools and reboot the server
2) Shut down the guest after it reboots
3) Right click on the guest in the VMware console and select 'Upgrade Virtual Hardware'
4) Remove the old NIC card and add a fancy new VMXNET3 connection. You may want to make a note of your network config if you don't know it.
5) Start up the VM, and once in windows, configure the network settings.
6) Wait for the hardware to finish installing, reboot once more, and done!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fixing poor video performance on ESX 4.1

Apparently there is some kind of bug for ESX 4.1... windows 2008 servers have terrible console video performance on the new platform, regardless of updating the vmware tools. The quick fix for that one is to go into device manager and replace the drivers on the display adapter. Specify your own drivers, browse to c:\program files\common files\vmware\drivers\wddm_video\ and specify the vm3d driver in there. Reboot and voila, console performance returns.