Creating a virtual floppy disk image for Windows XP installation on VMware

For VMware Workstation or ESX Server and other virtualisation Software it is sometimes necassary to have a virtual floppy disk file.

For example if you want to install Windows XP in a VMware virtual environment and you want to use a SCSI Disk at the virtual LSI Controller.  Windows XP hasn’t any driver for this controller and therefore no harddisk ist found and the installation aborts. Solution is, creating a virtual floppy file, copy the driver to this and attach the file as virtual floppy to the virtual machine.

Note: In the vSphere GUIs you can only enlarge SCSI Disks online. For IDE Disks you have to do this at the ESXi host command line which is described here.

Best system for do this is linux, here for example debian. There are all tools which are needed, except two are missing, installed by default .  Check if the dostools and unzip are not installed or get them via

apt-get install dosfstools unzip

Creating a empty floppy image with an 1,44MB FAT 12 filesystem is very easy. Name the  file as you want. For VMware vSphere the extension .flp should be the better choice. Create the floppy by using the following command

mkfs.msdos -C /tmp/floppy.img 1440 -F 12

Floppy is now ready to take some files .

In linux mount the floppy using the loop device. Mounting the floppy is as easy as creating:-) I take it that there is nothing mounted at /mnt.

mount -o loop /tmp/floppy.img /mnt

You can get the driver file for the LSI Controller at LSI Logic supportpage The right one is LSI20320-R. Select the option “Legacy Host Bus Adapters” at the dropdown list, than drivers, File for the x86 Version is SYMMPI_SCSI_WinXP_x86 or use the deep link. Download the file to your home directory (which represend by the ~ in the shelll) and extract it to the folder /mnt.

unzip ~/ -d /mnt

Then you have to unmount the virtual floppy

umount /mnt

Attach the virtual floppy to your virtual machine. When you start the Windows XP Setup press immediately after starting the F6 key. Then the windows setup let you choose the driver.


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One thought on “Creating a virtual floppy disk image for Windows XP installation on VMware”

  1. Instead, you’ll need to create an FLP file. This is an image of an FDD that VMware can mount and use as if there were an actual floppy disk in the computer.

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