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I get an INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error when booting my Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 guest operating system from a raw disk.


This issue may appear due to one of several problems, as described in the following sections.

ACPI Issue

The following, older versions of GSX Server and Workstation may display this error due to an ACPI issue. Please see one of these articles for a solution:

If the ACPI solution does not work for these versions of your VMware software, the INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE message may be due to a driver error. Please see the solution that appears in the following section.

IDE Controller Driver Issue

For all versions of GSX Server, Workstation and VMware Server, this problem can also be caused by the use of a third party IDE controller driver on your native Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 partition.

To solve this problem, you need to replace the third party IDE driver with a standard IDE driver. Complete the following steps:

  1. Boot natively into your Windows partition (do not boot the guest operating system from a virtual machine).
  2. Create a copy of the original hardware profile.
  3. Shut down and boot natively again using the copy of the hardware profile.
  4. Open the Device Manager, select the IDE Controller object and edit its properties.
  5. Click the Driver tab, then click the Update Driver button.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Select Display a list of the known drivers, then click Next.
  8. Select Standard Dual channel PCI IDE controller instead of the driver that matches your physical IDE controller.
  9. Click Next, then click Next again.
  10. Click Finish, then Close.
  11. Shut down the operating system when prompted. Boot into your Linux host, start the virtual machine and power it on.
  12. Select the edited hardware profile when prompted.

This allows you to load the standard IDE driver and continue booting past this problem.

P2V Assistant, Importing Ghosts, Cloning Issue

This error message may also appear if you clone or ghost a system that uses one driver, then import it into a virtual machine that was created using a different driver (for example, IDE instead of SCSI, or BusLogic instead of LSI Logic). For customer solutions to this issue, post to or search on the VMTN Discussion Forums at


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