Windows Vista Crashes in VMware Server 2.0 with STOP:0x0000008E Error
Windows Vista running within a VMware Server 2.0 virtual machine crashes with STOP:0x0000008E Error.
Windows Vista crashes when running in VMware Server 2.0 virtual machine with a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) displaying a "STOP:0x0000008E" error message. This typically happens early in the process on installing Windows Vista as a VMware Server guest, but can also occur during normal operations.
The solution to this problem is to edit the .vmx file for the virtual machine in question (which is typically located in the same datastore location as the virtual disk) and add the following directive:
piix4pm.smooth_acpi_timer = TRUE
Restarting the Windows Vista Installation Process
Once this change has been made, power on the virtual machine again. If the crash occurred during installation of Windows Vista it is likely that the virtual machine will try to boot from the virtual disk, which will likely fail with an error similar to "?????". If this occurs, restart the virtual machine and press the Esc during the Power On Self Test (POST) to display the boot menu. Scroll down the list of boot devices, select the DVD-Drive containing the Windows Vista installation media and press Enter to re-initiate the installation procedure.