While trying to install a fresh copy of Windows XP SP3 on VMWare ESXi 5.1, the Windows installation kept failing when it came to find the installation drive. It just did not find any hard disk drives, regardless of whether we chose LSI or Bus Logic as the SATA controller.
While searching it seems this was a common problem with older versions of ESXi. What’s odd is that neither my coworker nor myself remember ever needing an additional driver while installing this same version of XP on a virtual in ESXi 5 in the past. My only guess is that perhaps we previously installed XP only on ESXi 5.0 and never before on 5.1?
In any event, using the driver for LSI Logic worked, as per the instructions here: and using the WinXPSCSI.flp file linked from the article, uploaded to the VMWare datastore.