There is a known issue when trying to perform a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (Standard or Enterprise) Installation on a VMware vSphere Virtual Machine, running on VMware vSphere ESXi 5.x, Can Only Install to the “C:” Drive and the instance will be unable to “see” the non-C: drives.
The issue can occur on both Windows 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 based Virtual Machines.
The workaround is to disable the vSphere HotAdd/HotPlug capability for the Virtual Machine:
To disable HotPlug capability using the vSphere Client:
- Connect to the ESXi/ESX host or vCenter Server using the vSphere Client.
- Power off the virtual machine.
- Right-click the virtual machine and click Edit Settings.
- Click the Options tab.
- Click General > Configuration Parameters > Add Row.
- Insert a new row with the name devices.hotplug and a value of false.
- Power on the virtual machine.
For more information see the following VMware KB article:
Disabling the HotAdd/HotPlug capability in ESXi 5.x and ESXi/ESX 4.x virtual machines