Success so far!
Booting off the CD is impossible, since it freezes but don't ask me why THIS works:
PXE booting works just fine!
So how come this doesn't work? Who the hell knows. So I have tftp-hpa running on a Gentoo machine here on our network to provide the cd's contents to the boot menu. Adding this to my pxelinux.cfg/default:
LABEL ESX 3i Install
append esxi/vmkernel.gz --- esxi/binmod.tgz --- esxi/ienviron.tgz --- esxi/cim.tgz --- esxi/oem.tgz --- esxi/license.tgz --- esxi/install.tgz
I copied the root of the cd off into the esxi folder under the tftp root directory. There's plenty of instructions on how to set this up as well out there, but I can help with some questions if you have them. Let me know how this works for ya'll.
I am currently running with the precision 490 on esx 3.5i as well as 3.5 for testing purpose. I will say the config different I had with you is, I am using the Xeon processor which is same with the server processor on PE 2950. For memory I am using 16GB ECC servers memory. I am running my environment without raid and only SATA DISK. Everything is working accordingly.
Malaysia VMware Communities - http://www.malaysiavm.com
I'll admit I haven't read all of the posts on this thread, so if I'm revisiting old topics, I apologize.
I'm assuming changing the SATA options in the BIOS of the T3400 to RAID Autodetect/ATA is somehow adversely affecting the operation of the SATA optical drive. Hence the lockups when using that mode.
I have come up with a different answer that is easier than setting up a PXE environment. All you need is a blank USB Key (Thumb, Pen, Jump, etc.) Drive and about 10 minutes. Here goes:
Download UNetbootin. I used the Windows version available here: http://sourceforge.net/project/downloading.php?groupname=unetbootin&filename=unetbootin-windows-281.exe&use_mirror=internap
Run UNetbootin, select Distribution, FreeBSD, Version 7.0. At the bottom select USB Drive as the Type and the appropriate drive letter for your blank drive as the Drive. Click OK.
Once UNetbootin completes, copy the contents of the ESXi CD to the USB Drive.
On the USB drive, rename syslinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg.OLD.
Make a copy of the ISOLINUX.CFG file and rename it to syslinux.cfg.
Make sure the T3400 SATA Operation is set to RAID Autodetect/ATA in the BIOS.
Plug the USB drive in to the T3400 and boot to it.
Using this method I had two T3400s installed and configured in less than 15 minutes.
I hope this helps everyone out. Enjoy.
Remember to NOT use RAID or AHCI for your drives, only ATA mode will work.
Jeff Elben: Thanks for that USB boot method. That should help out a bunch of people, since technically that method should work the same as PXE, since it's not using anything on that ATA/SATA bus. Rather an odd problem to say the least. Maybe some sort of IRQ conflict or somesuch between the CD drive and HDD. shrug
And yes, USB would be faster and much easier to set up!
I've recently setup VMware ESX Server 3i build-123629 (Update 3) on both a Dell Precision T3400 and a Precision 390 BIOS version 2.6.0 (05/19/08)
Seagate ST3160815AS Sata 160GB HD
In the BIOS I set SATA Operation to "RAID Autodetect / AHCI".
It was set to "RAID Autodetect / ATA" and there is also the option for "RAID". I tried the ATA and got the no disk found message during installation.
The CD did work fine in both cases and was able to run the installer all the way up to the disk detection point.
It is working fine on the Net with the on board Broadcom GigE NIC too BTW.
This is the ISO file I downloaded to run install these servers.
VMware ESX Server 3i U3 Installable Refresh
Version 3.5 Update 3 | 123629 md5sum: 444e1f57d1bc2296391b74e9ee406acb(¹)
Hope that helps some of you out there...
I was able to find a solution to getting VMWare ESXi version 4.0 installed on a Dell Precision T3400 system & support 64 Bit Virtual Machines. I did not have any problems installing ESXi on the system once I changed the SATA settings to be RAID with ATA functionality if there are not any active RAID drives. I did have problems trying to set up 64 bit VM's on this system though. After reading articles, I determined that it was my processor series that I had installed on my T3400 system. When we purchased the T3400, we selected a low end processor for this system. We had the Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 series processor. You would want to compare your processor with what Intel shows as having the virtualization functionality built into it. The Intel article can be located at http://www.intel.com/products/processor/core2duo/specifications.htm?iid=prod_core2duo+tab_spec for Core 2 Duo processors. Core 2 Quad processors can be located at http://www.intel.com/products/processor/core2quad/specifications.htm.
I replaced the processor with an Intel Core 2 Duo 6300 series process running at 1.86 GHz. The 6300 series does have the Intel Virtualization Technology (VT) functionality. Once I installed the 6300 series processor, I looked in the BIOS. In the Performance tab, there was a new option available for Virtualization. I enabled that feature & then performed a clean install of VMWare ESXi 4.0 on the system.
After finishing the setup, I then started a VMWare convert to move a 64 Bit virtual machine onto the T3400 system. It finally accepted the T3400 as an acceptable location for 64 Bit virtual machines. Prior to processor replacement and SATA changes in the BIOS, I could not perform a VMWare convert targeting the T3400 system. Every time that I tried to select the T3400 system, VMWare convert would come back saying that the T3400 does not support 64 Bit virtual machines.