Windows 2008 R2 does not include (obviously) VMware Paravirtual drivers by default, so a few more actions are required during install process.
Configure a VM with a Paravirtual adapter:
Start the installation process and map the Floppy drive to a image located within the ESXi hypervisor:
The disk selection box won’t show yo any available disks:
Just load driver from the Floppy image:
And now the boot disk connected to the VMware Paravirtual adapter is available:
Remember to disconnect the Floppy drive after the installation.