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What purpose does having a virtual floppy drive on a guest in ESX serve?

Is there a way to configure ESX by default to NOT include such a device? It's annoying to have to remove it by hand once a new VM is ready to be provisioned.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

I've used it to kickstart older versions of RedHat that didn't readily support network kickstarts (or where setting up that infrastructure - DHCP, web server, etc wasn't feasible)

Also older Windows installs where you need to provide disk drivers and your only option is to use and F6 floppy.

The only way i can think of to remove it by default is to create a template virtual machine that has the device removed, then deploy from that template.

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+1 for F6 and for recommending templates. – jscott Apr 12 '10 at 19:56
Note with ESX 4, there's support for IDE disks in XP VMs, so no more need for the floppy drive for that. – xenny Apr 12 '10 at 20:20
that'll do :) ..thanks for the background – warren Apr 13 '10 at 1:14

It's a handy general purpose boot option for troubleshooting older OS's. As others have said the addition of IDE Disk support with ESX 4 removes some of the usefulness but it certainly had its place - I've got a couple of really small appliances that boot from floppy images.

I agree that it shouldn't be included by default - it's wasteful and of no use whatsoever on most VM's.

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I've only used a floppy for setup on Windows XP guests, to install the LSI SCSI driver.

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