A new virtual machine is like a physical computer with a blank hard disk. Before you can use it, you must partition and format the virtual disk and install an operating system. The operating system’s installation program might handle the partitioning and formatting steps for you.


Do not install a 64-bit operating system after you select a 32-bit guest operating system type.

In some host configurations, the virtual machine cannot boot from the installation CD. In this case, you can create an ISO image from the installation CD and install from the ISO image.

If you are using a PXE server to install the guest operating system over a network connection, you do not need the operating system installation media. When you power on the virtual machine, the virtual machine detects the PXE server.

For information about your specific guest operating system, see the Guest Operating System Installation Guide.

Before you begin, you must add a CD or DVD drive to the virtual machine. The CD or DVD drive must use the installation CD or an ISO image with the guest operating system.

If you are replacing an operating system, click Configure VM in the Commands section on the Summary tab to change the guest operating system for the virtual machine.


Log in to vSphere Web Access.


Select the virtual machine from the Inventory panel.


Click Power On to power on the virtual machine.


Click the Console tab to use the VMware Remote Console to complete the guest operating system installation.


(Optional) To change the boot order of the disk devices in the virtual machine BIOS, press F2 when prompted during the virtual machine startup.


Follow the instructions that the operating system vendor provides.


(Optional) If you are using an ISO image that spans multiple files, you are prompted to insert the next CD.


Click the Summary tab.


In the Hardware section, click the CD/DVD drive’s icon and select Edit.


In the Connection section, click Browse to locate the next ISO image file and click OK.


Click the Console tab to return to VMware Remote Console.


In the guest operating system, click OK or respond to the prompt so that the installation can continue.


Repeat these steps for additional files.

Install VMware Tools, as described in Install VMware Tools on the Guest Operating System.