HomeVirtualizationVMwareConfiguring The VMware PVSCSI Adapter for a New Windows Installation

Configuring The VMware PVSCSI Adapter for a New Windows Installation

In This Article:


When you are creating a new Virtual Machine, there are four SCSI controller adapters available. The default adapter is the LSI Logic SAS, which is good enough for most VMware environments. However, for solutions where Virtual Machines require maximum performance, VMware offers the VMware Paravirtual adapter, aka PVSCSI.

“VMware Paravirtual (PVSCSI) adapters are high-performance storage adapters that can provide greater throughput and lower CPU utilization. They are best suited for environments where hardware or applications drive a very high amount of I/O throughput, such as SAN environments. PVSCSI adapters are not suited for DAS environments.”

To configure and install the PVSCSI Adapter for a fresh Windows installation, you need to use specific drivers, but don’t worry, VMware provides these drivers...


@Virtual Machine Creation

During the creation of a New Virtual Machine, you need to configure the virtual hardware to use the PVSCSI adapter.

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  1. Wait until you get to Customize hardware section.
  2. Under Virtual Hardware, expand New SCSI controller.
  3. Under the Change Type drop-down list, select VMware Paravirtual.
PVSCSI Adapter VMware Paravirtual

Besides the default CD/DVD Driver that you’ll use to the Windows Installation, you’d need a second unit to mount the PVSCSI drivers.

@Still under Virtual Hardware.

  1. Click ADD NEW DEVICE, and select CD/DVD Driver
  2. Select the prior added New CD/DVD Driver. 
  3. Under the Client Device drop-down list, select Datastore ISO File.
PVSCSI Adapter, New CD/DVD

From Select Files / Datastores:

  1. Under the vmimages folder, select tools-isoimages.
  2. Select Windows.iso and click OK.
PVSCSI Drivers

Note: If the vmimages folder doesn’t load the files. Finish the VM creation, then come back to these settings with the Edit option. Try to load the files one more time.

@During Windows Installation

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  1. Boot the Virtual Machine from the Windows (OS) drivers. During the Windows Setup, wait until you reach Type of Installation and select Custom.
Windows Setup
  1. Click Load driver.
PVSCSI Load Driver
  1. Click Browse.
PVSCSI Load Driver browse
  1. From the New CD/DVD Driver, browse: Program Files / VMware / VMware Tools / Drivers / pvscsi / Win8 / amd64.
  2. Click OK.
PVSCSI Load Driver amd64
  1. The new driver is ready to be installed, select it and click Next to Install it.
PVSCSI Load Driver
  1. Wait until de driver is loaded, select your hard disk (Driver) and click OK.
PVSCSI Load Driver
  1. Windows installation will start under the PVSCSI controller.
PVSCSI Load Driver, windows installation

For more information about PVSCSI or if you want to know to change an existing LSI Logical SAS Driver to PVSCSI, see KB1010398.

Juan Mulford
Juan Mulford
I have been active in IT for over fourteen years now. I am a solutions architect, working with storage, virtualization, and VDI solutions. For the past ten years, I have been living and working in Taiwan.

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