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Windows 11 on ESXI free license

  • 1.  Windows 11 on ESXI free license

    Posted Mar 20, 2023 06:57 PM

    I am trying to create a new Windows 11 VM ( version 22H2 ) on my stand-alone ESXi server, but this seems to be no longer possible. It always stops at the Windows TPM check. For about one year ago one could bypass the Windows TPM check by going to the command prompt using Shift + F10 and then open the registry and add a few keys.

    Does someone know how to install / update a Windows 11 VM on an ESXI server ( free license ) ?



  • 2.  RE: Windows 11 on ESXI free license

    Posted Mar 20, 2023 07:03 PM


  • 3.  RE: Windows 11 on ESXI free license

    Posted Mar 21, 2023 12:24 PM

    Thank you Mannharry for your response, but the article you indicated is for the installation of Windows 11 on a normal PC. In my case I want to install a virtual machine on a stand-alone ESXi host with free license.

    The problem is that in that case a virtual TPM device is required which, in a commercial environment, is provided by the key provider in the vCenter. But in case of a free ESXi licence there is no vCenter.

    Does anyone know a solution ? Otherwise it would mean that Windows 11 can no longer be installed on a VMware ESXI host ( free license ) ?



  • 4.  RE: Windows 11 on ESXI free license

    Posted Mar 21, 2023 04:23 PM

    I'm not entirely clear where your issue is . . . as an experiment I have just successfully installed an Win 11 [22H2] VM on a standalone ESXi Server without any issues.

    Select Shift + F10, then at the command prompt type the following:

      reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\LabConfig /v BypassTPMCheck /t REG_DWORD /d 00000001
      reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\LabConfig /v BypassSecureBootCheck /t REG_DWORD /d 00000001



  • 5.  RE: Windows 11 on ESXI free license

    Posted Mar 21, 2023 05:24 PM

    ,

    You are right here, unfortunately, vTPM needs from vCenter and without it cannot be installed which is strange as it is a clear limitation for installing Windows 11 in standalone hosts. As per this documentation, the solution for this is having persistency configured on ESXi but vCenter is still needed, see "Standalone Hosts": https://core.vmware.com/resource/windows-11-support-vsphere#sec19673-sub7

    Unless someone has another solution, I believe skipping TPM from the registry during installation will be the only workaround.



  • 6.  RE: Windows 11 on ESXI free license

    Posted Mar 21, 2023 08:40 PM

    Thank you CarltonR and Lalegre, I found out in the mean time that the fact that Shift+F10 did not work was caused by  my (Mac) keyboard. Using another keyboard did indeed interrupt the install procedure and I could access the registry.

    I have a Windows 11 21H2 running on ESXI standalone which I installed one year ago using the skipping TPM trick in the registry. But this version will now no longer update to the 22H2 version. That is why I wanted to try out installing a new version 22H2. Consequently one would have to transfer all data from the old to the new version. And probably the same procedure next year with version 23H2 ?

    As you say a clear limitation for installing Windows 11 on stand-alone hosts.



  • 7.  RE: Windows 11 on ESXI free license

    Posted Mar 21, 2023 10:21 PM

    If all you wish to do is upgrade your current Win 11 21H2 VM to 22H2 then a quick Internet search will bring up a number of possible options where TPM is not supported.

    This one uses Rufus to create the necessary 'modified' installation files, 'How to update windows 11 21H2 to 22H2 CPU, TPM not supported' . . . I'm sure you can adjust the approach taken to work within your VM.

    or alternatively . . . 

    Use the replace the appraiserres.dll file from within the Win 11 22H2 install files, with the one from a Win 10 install method.

     

    Note: I would suggest that you make a 'clone' of the current Win 11 21H2 and experiment on the clone rather than use the 'live' VM.



  • 8.  RE: Windows 11 on ESXI free license

    Posted Mar 22, 2023 12:55 PM

    Thank you CarltonR, that is exactly what I needed. I am going to test this.

     



  • 9.  RE: Windows 11 on ESXI free license

    Posted Mar 23, 2023 03:25 AM

    or bypass:    reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\LabConfig /v BypassTPMCheck /t REG_DWORD /d 00000001
      reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\LabConfig /v BypassSecureBootCheck /t REG_DWORD /d 00000001



  • 10.  RE: Windows 11 on ESXI free license

    Posted Mar 23, 2023 10:50 AM

     wrote: "or bypass:    reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\LabConfig . . ."

    These registry entries are for when upgrading from Win 10 to Win 11, or installing Win 11 afresh, and they do not work when performing an upgrade from Win 11 to a later version e.g. Win 11 21H2 to Win 11 22H2. 



  • 11.  RE: Windows 11 on ESXI free license

    Posted Jun 01, 2023 07:34 AM
      |   view attached

    I haven't tried it myself, but it's worth a try

    Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\MoSetup
    Name: AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU
    Type: REG_DWORD
    Value: 1

    Source: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/ways-to-install-windows-11-e0edbbfb-cfc5-4011-868b-2ce77ac7c70e