Search the VMware Knowledge Base (KB)
View by Article ID

ESX Server Support for Microsoft Clustering Service with Windows 2003 SP1, R2, and SP2 (2021)

  • 9 Ratings


Is Microsoft Clustering Service (MSCS) in Windows 2003 SP1, R2, and SP2 supported with VMware ESX Server?


The current update adds support for using Microsoft Clustering Server (MSCS) with Windows 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and R2 Guest Operating Systems. Please use the SAN Compatibility Guide ( for ESX Server 3.x for a list of storage arrays that support MSCS for these Guest Operating Systems.

ESX Server 3.0.x

MSCS with Windows 2003 SP1 and R2 is only supported with ESX Server 3.0.1 and later.
MSCS with Windows 2003 SP2 is only supported with ESX Server 3.0.2 and later.

Related KB Articles

Required patches and fixes for MSCS clustering support with Windows 2003 SP1 and R2
ESX-3199476 Patch for ESX Server 3.0.1 (KB 3199476) (This patch is already included in ESX Server 3.0.2)
ESX-2066306 Patch for ESX Server 3.0.1 (KB 2066306) (This patch is already included in ESX Server 3.0.2)
The Hotfix from Microsoft for Blue Screen on Windows 2003 SP1 and R2 Appears When Volumes are Mounted (KB 2267)
MSCS Requires 2Gb Fibre Channel HBAs on ESX Server 3.0.1 (KB 1560391)
ESX Server 3.0.2 supports MSCS clustering for both 4Gb and 2Gb Fibre Channel HBAs (KB 1002304)
Requirements for MSCS clustering support with Windows 2003 SP2
ESX Server 3.0.2 with default 4Gb Fibre Channel HBA driver (KB 1002304)
Recommended KBs for clustering in general
Setup for Microsoft Clustering Service (
Must Use Physical Compatibility Mode for Shared Disks When Using Microsoft Clustering Service with Raw Device Mappings (KB 1822)
Microsoft Cluster Service Doesn't Start (KB 1455)
Configuring IBM FAStT Storage Processor to Use Multipathing with HBA and Storage Port Failover Along with Clustering (KB 1303)
Manually Setting Cluster IP Address for Clustered VirtualCenter Server (KB 2195771)
Creation of New RDM for MSCS Cluster Node when Cluster Service is Active on Another Node (KB 1862)

ESX Server 2.5.x

Windows 2003 SP1 introduced a change that resulted in MSCS clusters not functioning correctly in any ESX Server version.
Fixes are available for:
You must also apply the hot fix available from Microsoft, as described in
Note: Windows 2000 and its service packs, and Windows 2003 RTM continue to function in ESX Server virtual machines. MSCS with Windows 2003 SP1 is supported only with ESX Server 2.5.3 Upgrade Patch 4 and ESX Server 2.5.4 Upgrade Patch 2.



Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


  • 9 Ratings

Did this article help you?
This article resolved my issue.
This article did not resolve my issue.
This article helped but additional information was required to resolve my issue.

What can we do to improve this information? (4000 or fewer characters)

Please enter the Captcha code before clicking Submit.
  • 9 Ratings