If a virtual machine has multiple hard disks or CD/DVD-ROM devices, you can add up to three additional SATA controllers to assign the devices to. When you spread the devices among several controllers, you can improve performance and avoid data traffic congestion. You can also add additional controllers if you exceed the thirty-device limit for a single controller.

You can boot virtual machines from SATA controllers and use them for large-capacity virtual hard disks.

Not all guest operating systems support AHCI SATA controllers. Typically, when you create virtual machines with ESXi 5.5 and later compatibility and Mac OS X guest operating systems, a SATA controller is added by default for the virtual hard disk and CD/DVD-ROM devices. Most guest operating systems, including Windows Vista and later have a default SATA controller for CD/DVD-ROM devices. To verify support, see the VMware Compatibility Guides at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility.



  1. Right-click a virtual machine in the inventory and select Edit Settings.
  2. Click the Virtual Hardware tab, and select SATA Controller from the New device drop-down menu.
  3. Click Add.
    The controller appears in the Virtual Hardware devices list.
  4. Click OK.

What to do next

You can add a hard disk or CD/DVD drive to the virtual machine and assign it to the new controller.