VMware ESX

How to solve the VMware “PCI to PCI bridge detected” install loop

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Have you ever P2Ved a server to an ESX cluster or converted a VMware Workstation VM into a VMware ESX 3.5 or vSphere 4.0 VM and come across this horrible Found New Hardware message that won’t go away.  Here’s a screenshot of a Windows 2000 Advanced Server that I had to fix and P2V after a catastrophic disaster (RAID failure) displaying this message:

Yes, it’s annoying and it seems like it will never go away.  You keep click on install and it keeps detecting after sucessfully installing as if it’s in a loop.  But the reality of it is that it’s not in a loop.  As silly as it sounds, you have to install it 32 times and it will finally go away! 🙂

The reason for this is because when you update the VM’s virtual hardware (specifically version 7 VMs from my experience), it comes with 32 separate PCI-to-PCI bridge devices that Windows detects and wants to install.  The only workaround I have found so far is to just sit there and install all 32 manually.  Or you can try editing your VMX and set:

pciBridge.present = False

which should work though I’ve never tried it personally.  Don’t want to potentially break something when it takes all of 2 minutes to install all 32 bridges.  Give it a shot and let me know if that fixes it for you guys. 🙂

About Jason Samuel

Jason Samuel lives in Houston, TX with a primary focus on strategic advisory and architecture of end-user computing, security, enterprise mobility, virtualization, and cloud technologies from Citrix, Microsoft, & VMware. He also has an extensive background in web architecture and networking over his 20+ year career in IT. He is an Author, Speaker, and Local User Group Community Leader. He is certified in several technologies and is 1 of 63 people globally that is a recipient of the prestigious Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) award. He is 1 of 42 people in the world that has been awarded as a VMware EUC Champion and VMware vExpert. He is a featured author on DABCC which provides the latest IT Community News on Cloud, Data Center, Desktop, Mobility, Security, Storage, & Virtualization. In his spare time Jason enjoys writing how-to articles and evangelizing the technologies he works with. Disclaimer: The content and opinions expressed in articles and posts are his own and are by no means associated with his employer.

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18 Comments

  1. ccapone11

    April 21, 2010 at 10:05 AM

    Thanks for the tip. I am new to VM and this was my first P2V. This was driving me crazy.

  2. Doophes

    August 25, 2010 at 5:31 AM

    Dude, that is the weirdenst troubleshooting ever.
    but it works. 🙂
    thanks mite.

  3. Jason Samuel

    August 25, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    @Doophes
    You are very welcome!

  4. chrisb915

    October 18, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    When the found new hardware wizard asks to go on the web, click no, and save your self some time.

  5. IonutN

    November 11, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    Did you guys ever try to do this for 10-20 VMs? gotta love VMware at this point…

  6. Dan Thompson

    December 12, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    Hey thanks for this! I was about to go nuts over this one.

    Dan

  7. Frank Esposito

    January 8, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    Hello … I found lines in my vmx file like

    pciBridge?.present = …

    where ? is a digit — will your fix superceed those lines?

    Thanks

  8. Jeremy Perez

    February 4, 2011 at 3:53 AM

    Thanks,
    this tip helped me. I used the first option (32 clic)

  9. TLS

    May 5, 2011 at 3:59 AM

    Thanks!

    I had the same problem with a Win 98 virtual machine I converted from MS Virtual PC. The 32 click option was the only way to get it work under VMWare.

  10. Crazy Man

    February 20, 2013 at 3:50 AM

    Thank you Very Very Very Very Very Very Very Much
    you are brilliant person than all VMware Com. It self
    You Can have Five Stars You smart man

  11. Julian Muller

    July 16, 2013 at 4:10 AM

    It happened to me with win98
    I thought it was a bug (I re-cloned the pc, 2 times before looking up at the web)
    Thank u man!!!!

  12. Pavel

    May 8, 2015 at 5:50 AM

    Yooo! Thank you!!!

  13. Tom

    December 5, 2015 at 11:31 AM

    Thanks ..saved my day

  14. MickSta

    March 10, 2016 at 12:31 AM

    Yep, Thanks. ow u a beer my friend.

  15. Joe Wulf

    August 6, 2016 at 7:25 AM

    Your suggestion of going through all the installs worked on a Win 98SE install I just did (for a lark). Thank you.

  16. richard

    November 18, 2016 at 3:16 PM

    This is what I did with a VM Workstation running Windows XP
    When the first box pops up DO NOT click anything, wait, open a command prompt and do this:
    cd \windows\inf
    del infcache.1
    exit

    now go back to hardware window and click no no internet and finish going through process, then reboot. Fix it for me

  17. Josh

    April 7, 2017 at 1:00 PM

    Thanks! This was very helpful.

  18. Raj

    August 7, 2017 at 3:01 PM

    Thanks a lot, yes it was worth the few mins rather than breaking a working server trying different options.

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