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Windows 7 VM Fails to install in FreeNAS v 11

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE

Jim Nevins

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
12
Hello,

New here and also a proud, new owner of a FreeNAS home build. Recently installed version 11 and setup sharing for files in a windows workgroup, other clients can map shared drives and share files as expected. I own a standard windows 7 64-bit iso and want to create a VM with it. After configuring and starting the win7 VM, it installs and reboots just fine, then, it tries to complete the install, eventually failing, saying ". . .windows failed to install . . . incompatible with hardware . . . ." I've been reading from older posts on the subject matter that I need to create some sort of custom ISO and load that... Is this true? or should I be able to just use the stock ISO?

Any and all help is appreciated, thanks in advance!

Here's my current build;
Platform - Intel Xeon CPU E3-1231 v3 @ 3.4 Ghz
Memory - 32 Gib ECC RAM
Drives - (3) 4 TB NAS drives
 

chris crude

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
210
I had problems with Win7 not installing all the way, and in the VNC only the keyboard would work no mouse. I gave up after trying a few fixes and downloaded the proper Win10 ISO from Microsoft media creation tool and used my Win7 licence to install it.
 

Jim Nevins

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
12
No I haven't been able to. Through my research, it seems that most people re-package the ISO to include the needed drivers and such. I'm not well versed in that, so it's gonna take some time for me. It's interesting to note that Chris Crude installed Win10 successfully and activated it with his Win7 License...
 

MatthewSteinhoff

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
573
I've tried to install both Windows 7 Professional and Windows 10 Professional. Both install just fine but then become unresponsive to both RDP and VNC connections. When the VM becomes unresponsive, using 'Stop' from the FreeNAS GUI to shut it down does not work but doing 'bhyvectl --vm=VMName --force-poweroff' from the shell will stop the instance.

Not sure if I'm doing something wrong - this is my first FreeNAS VM test - or if there are some issues with Windows VMs under FreeNAS 11. I'm really hoping someone else will figure it out because I don't have enough experience with bhyve to do much in the way of troubleshooting.

The CentOS 6.x VM I'm running to run Plex is working like a champ which is why I think this may be Windows-related. I've read the FreeNAS 11 VM docs but I haven't had time to go googling for additional information.

Cheers,
Matt
 

chris crude

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
210
The only time win10 becomes unresponsive for me is If I stop the VM from the GUI without properly powering down win10 inside the VM first. Rebooting after that is difficult, have to re-link cdrom device to it's .ISO and restart/reshutdown from the advanced boot options. Once it's running it stays running.
 

Amsoil_Jim

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
141
same problem here with incompatible hardware :mad:
 

MatthewSteinhoff

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
573
Figured it out. Using the AHCI/Intel E1000 configuration should work. But I couldn't get it to work reliably. This bhyve/Windows procedure recommends creating your own Windows ISO spin and using an auto installation script. If I had dozens of Windows VM to create, that might be a better way. Since I only needed one, I streamlined the procedure...

1. Put Windows ISO on FreeNAS share.
2. Put VirtIO driver ISO on FreeNAS share.
3. Create VM with TWO CD-ROMs using the above ISOs.
4. Boot from the Windows ISO, grab the drivers off the other ISO.
5. Install Windows.
6. Be happy.

Other tips...

If you want your VM to start properly on reboot of FreeNAS without any human intervention, make sure you do check 'Autostart' and do NOT check 'Wait to boot:' in the VNC device configuration.

Cheers,
Matt
 
Joined
May 24, 2017
Messages
7
Figured it out. Using the AHCI/Intel E1000 configuration should work. But I couldn't get it to work reliably. This bhyve/Windows procedure recommends creating your own Windows ISO spin and using an auto installation script. If I had dozens of Windows VM to create, that might be a better way. Since I only needed one, I streamlined the procedure...

1. Put Windows ISO on FreeNAS share.
2. Put VirtIO driver ISO on FreeNAS share.
3. Create VM with TWO CD-ROMs using the above ISOs.
4. Boot from the Windows ISO, grab the drivers off the other ISO.
5. Install Windows.
6. Be happy.

Other tips...

If you want your VM to start properly on reboot of FreeNAS without any human intervention, make sure you do check 'Autostart' and do NOT check 'Wait to boot:' in the VNC device configuration.

Cheers,
Matt

What drivers did you have to grab ?
 

MatthewSteinhoff

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
573
What drivers did you have to grab ?
You need the VirtIO drivers. Instead of using the AHCI/Intel E1000 combination for disk and network, use the linked Virtual IO drivers. They are reportedly faster and, in my experience, functional.

Cheers,
Matt
 

ryanhunt

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2015
Messages
33
Great tip @MatthewSteinhoff ! I just wanted to know, I'm having trouble even getting past the Windows boot logo - whether or not I use VirtIO or AHCI. I was wondering if you knew where I can check for logs to find out why my Windows VM's are simply not loading? I can't find logs files/errors anywhere...
 

MatthewSteinhoff

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
573
was wondering if you knew where I can check for logs to find out why my Windows VM's are simply not loading?
I'm afraid I don't.

One more tip... Use RealVNC and make sure to set the display quality to 'high'. In all the reading I've done, RealVNC seems to be the only VNC client that works well and that Windows functions best if the display quality is set to 'high'. Before I set RealVNC to 'high', I had trouble getting a reliable VNC connection. So, try that if you haven't already.

Cheers,
Matt
 

Grinas

Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
100
I've tried to install both Windows 7 Professional and Windows 10 Professional. Both install just fine but then become unresponsive to both RDP and VNC connections. When the VM becomes unresponsive, using 'Stop' from the FreeNAS GUI to shut it down does not work but doing 'bhyvectl --vm=VMName --force-poweroff' from the shell will stop the instance.

Not sure if I'm doing something wrong - this is my first FreeNAS VM test - or if there are some issues with Windows VMs under FreeNAS 11. I'm really hoping someone else will figure it out because I don't have enough experience with bhyve to do much in the way of troubleshooting.

The CentOS 6.x VM I'm running to run Plex is working like a champ which is why I think this may be Windows-related. I've read the FreeNAS 11 VM docs but I haven't had time to go googling for additional information.

Cheers,
Matt
how long before it becomes unresponsive?
Does it shutdown?
 

Grinas

Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
100

Jim Nevins

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
12
sure! I'm using Windows 7 64-bit. I've used this image a few times before in a non-VM environment without issue. I'm learning that I must use the virtio drivers but am unsure as to which ones for what devices. I've setup two CD-ROM's, one with the latest version of VIRTIO and the other with Win7 64-bit.
 

mike360x1

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
107
Boot from the Windows ISO, grab the drivers off the other ISO.
Any chance you could specify which driver we should look for? I have tried each and every one of them and none seems to bring up the disks. Also, install the viostor driver crashes the vm

Moreover, which version do you download in the link you provided? there is
virtio-win-0.1.139.iso and
virtio-win.iso
Would one be the x86 and the other x64?
 
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Jim Nevins

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
12
sure! in the virtio-win-1.139.iso i've been using \NetKVM\w10\amd64 for the NIC. for some reason, changing the NIC adapter to virtio seemed to do the trick.
 

mike360x1

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
107
I thought you were initially installing windows 7? What driver did you use for that? [Disk and Network]?

Edit: I found a site that references each VirtIO Driver with its functionality. Alas, I still cannot get to install windows 7 properly on my VM. I've tried both the AHCI and VirtIO option.
 
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