Changing VMware SCSI Controller

VMware’s Converter is an incredibly convenient tool (a free version is available) that allows one to virtualize physical machines to VI3, ESX, VMware Server, and/or Workstation.

When virtualizing Windows Server 2003 machines, I have noticed that Converter uses the BusLogic SCSI controller for the newly created virtual machine. This is the case even when virtualizing a VM from one host to another. The consensus is that Windows Server 2003 performs best with the LSI Logic SCSI controller so this necessitates changing the controller after the VM is created.

To change the SCSI controller used by a VM, the VM must be off. Under hardware options, one can highlight the existing SCSI controller and click the ‘Change Type…’ button. The two choices are BusLogic and LSI Logic. After changing the controller, VI3 will issue a warning that changing the controller may result in unexpected results. In the past some have recommended adding a second hard drive with the LSI Logic controller before changing the controller on the boot hard disk. The reason being, if the driver for the LSI Logic controller isn’t already installed on the OS, the OS will not successfully boot. Fortunately, Windows Server 2003 has a driver for the LSI Logic controller so this is no longer necessary in my experience with VI3 3.5. I have not had a chance to try this on earlier versions of VI3 or VMware Server. Your mileage may vary.

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16 Responses to “Changing VMware SCSI Controller”


  1. 1 chedda September 16, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    it works just did it just now and it started up and booted just fine! Thanks for your help!

  2. 2 derek September 17, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    VMWare workstation 6 does not appear to have this option. Any guidance as to what scsi controller it is using? Guessing it’s the buslogic, but as the VM is in an unbootable condition, and the windows CD can’t repair it ’cause it can’t find the HD, it would be nice to know which driver i need.

    Oh well, trial and error.

  3. 3 John C. Young October 5, 2008 at 9:07 am

    And with VMWare v2.0, we now have the option for “VMWare Accelerated SCSI” — what does that mean for performance? Improvements, one would hope?

    John C. Young
    Internet Gateway of South Beach
    http://www.igsobe.com

  4. 4 mellerbeck January 15, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    I was also able to just edit the settings and set the SCSI controller to LSI without any problems. This was with Server 2003. When I started up the machine there was a message asking me if I wanted to convert the controller which I then answered yes to.

  5. 5 Hari Maladi January 20, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I have vmware esx server in that I have a virtual host as win2k3 OS. In win2k3 virtual host I am unable to get the HBA drivers as esx server had. Please help me how to configure the HBA drivers in vmware (win2k3 host).

    Thanks,
    Hari Maladi.

  6. 6 Ilya Bokov August 30, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    And what about drivers for “VMWare Accelerated SCSI” ? Anybody use it ?

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