Error HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED when you install Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 on VMware VM

This article provides a solution to fix a HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED error that occurs when you install Windows 8 or Microsoft Windows Server 2012 on VMware VM.

Original product version:   Windows 10 - all editions, Windows Server 2012 R2
Original KB number:   2814803

Symptoms

Consider the following scenarios:

Scenario 1

When installing Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, or booting using Windows PE 4.0 on a VMware 4.x virtual machine running a Windows operating system, you may encounter the following error:

Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. We're just collecting some error info, and then we'll restart for you. (0% complete)
If you would like to know more, you can search online later for this error: HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED

Note

If you attempt to boot the x86 version of Windows PE 4.0, the system will hang.

Scenario 2

You attempt to execute an Offline P2V using System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1 for a virtual machine (Windows operating system) running on a VMware ESX server 4.x, you experience the symptoms as mentioned in the Scenario 1.

Scenario 3

Assume that you install Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 on a VMware virtual machine. In this situation, the VM crashes while booting and you may receive the following Stop error code:

STOP: 0x0000005D (parameter1, parameter2, parameter3, parameter4)

Cause

VMware 4.x doesn't support Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 as guest operating system. VMware 4.x also doesn't support an Offline P2V of a virtual machine running a Windows operating system when using System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2012 SP1. This version of VMM uses WinPE 4.0 when executing the Offline P2V process.

Resolution

Upgrade to later version of VMware (at least version 5.1). For Scenario 2, the options include:

  1. Execute an Online P2V. This option may not be recommended for some virtual machines, such as those functioning as Domain Controllers, and or SQL servers.
  2. Execute a V2V
  3. Use the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter solution - Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter

More information

You can also run into this issue in other scenarios involving WDS, SCCM, or other deployment technologies. For example, attempting to PXE boot a Windows 8 boot.wim.

For more information on support for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 in VMware, see the following article:
Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 Operating System does not boot or install on ESXi or ESX (2006859).

For more information on support for operating systems in VMware Guests, see the following article:
VMware Compatibility Guide.

Hardware requirements for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012:
PAE/NX/SSE2 Support Requirement Guide for Windows 8