Windows Server 2008 on ESXi (vconverted) complains of missing winload.exe on boot


Ok, so we just went through an exercise of moving off of VMWare Server 1.0.6 and onto VMware ESXi. Some pain during this exercise but mostly due to a corrupted VMDK (by the way, chkdsk /R, yes R”, not /F, did the trick on that one).

However, once the VMDK was cleaned up and successfully converted onto our shiny new ESXi host, the next issue was a big ugly black startup screen indicating that WINLOAD.EXE was missing.


Well, that was fine. I had the ISO for the Windows Server 2008 DVD, mounted that, booted the VM off of the ISO and performed the following using the command line repair tools.


  • bootrec /RebuildBcd
  • bootrec /FixMbr


Rebooted and voila, I have a server that is starting to respond!