Any VMGuru out there to help me ?
In order to get around the USB issue, try disabling the USB controller via the BIOS. I believe that the ESX install will progress only to fail on your unsupported ethernet controller. ESX requires 1 supports ethernet controller. You could invest in a supported Intel PCI or PCIE card which won't set you back too many dollars......
Unfortunately, I'd suspect that if this worked and you were able to proceed with the ESX install it may still not allow you to install to the local storage as the 890GX SB850 SATA controller is unsupported. Adding a supported SCSI/SAS controller may get costly. As far as I'm aware, the latest AMD SATA controller to be supported is the SB700 series.
As ESX/ESXi is more of an enterprise solution for virtualisation it is quite picky about supported hardware due to the performance characteristics usually required for such environments.
The AMD SB800 series southbridge SATA controllers may be supported in a future release of ESX/ESXi. The 890FX chipset (890GXs big brother) which also sports SB850 also delivers IOMMU which is a direct memory access technology that aids hardware running virtualisation environments. This may or may not be an indicator that the SB800 series controllers may see some support in the future.
VMWare also provides a workstation class virtualisation product called VMWare Workstation, you could use this as an alternative while praying for support for your SATA controller.
Hello leju, thank you for your note.
I have swapped my MB with GA-890FXA-UD5 rev2.0. I learned from Dave Mishchenko about IOMMU need and VMDirect in my conversation on vm-help (http://www.vm-help.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2146&start=10)
The 890FX chipset supports IOMMU (http://www.techspot.com/review/269-amd- ... page3.html) and tech support from Gigabyte confirmed VMDirectpath to work with this MB.
Before I deep dive into assembly and install attempt, I am running into following questions / thoughts. What would be your thoughts on these?
1> ESXi 4U1 doesn't have any console to allow me to flip thru VM Consoles. The how will I interface with DVR VM that outputs HDMI to my TV and takes input from Cable TV provider?
2> How do I use media center capability via DVR VM without going thru vClient?
3> It sounds like I am looking for ESXi 4U1 to work like VMWare Workstation. That is my need. Could it be possible to run vClient in the DVR VM and monitor the ESXi 4U1 that is hosting the DVR VM itself? This way I don't have to use a second machine.
Not sure if I'm following you correctly.
It sounds to me like this 890FX based box is your only physical machine. In that case once you've created a bare metal esx host out of it you have no Windows platform for installing the vSphere client.Persoanll, I've never been in this situation and do not have the experience to know if deployment of a windows vm can be scripted in PowerShell from the esx command line. If it is possible you could then RDP to the windows box and install the vSphere client.
I'd imagine that setting up an ESX vm as a DVR could be quite challenging, in my experience ESX isn't normally used for that kind of thing. There will be limitations such as the lack of dxva for hardware acceleration of video since ESX doesn't support OpenGL/DirectX hardware accelerated graphics drivers.
VMWare Workstation does have DirectX support, though I've never used it or know if it supports dxva.
My next question would be, why do you need ESX? Unless you want to use VMWare HA/Fault Tolerance, DRS, vMotion I can't see why VMWare workstation won't fit your needs. Bear in mind that with VMWare Workstation 7, you can create virtual ESX host. This is not the most elegant or speedy solution but will allow you to try out features unique to ESX. This implementation of ESX limits it to 32-bit guests however.
Hi leju, the reason I want to use ESXi is - it is barebone and free. VMWare workstation is $$.
I would like to interface my TV with DVR VM (win 7) over HDMI and use that VM to manage VMs running on the ESXi 4U1 installed on this machine.
From my laptop, I can always manage ESXi console via vClient, but my goal and need is to operate media center that is running in a DVR VM.
That's why I feel, I am trying to use ESXi more like a VMWare workstation, don't know if it is possible or not. I don't have budge to spend on VMWare workstation.
Hi leju, the wikipedia link - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_platform_virtual_machines has posted ESX server 4 supporting 3D acceleration.
I am hoping that same is applicable for ESXi 4 U1.
I've got almost your exact setup. 890FXA rev 2.0 board, with 1055t prodcessor and 4gb of memory. I'm using an Intel PRO/1000 PT Dual nic. ESXi is installed on a 350gb SATA drive that is hung off of the GSata connector and i've got 2x 2TB drives on the sata3 6gb connectors.
I ran into the same problem as you when doing the install, hanging on the USB section. When I hit the ALT and CTRL keys down for a few seconds, the system continues on. I was able to get around this work around by disabling USB in the BIOS (I actually disabled just about everything.... internal NIC's, USB ports, serial ports, parallel ports and audio).
Now when the system boots it gets hung loading the nic at the e1000. Again, hitting the alt and ctrl buttons allows it to pass.
Anyone know a) what that key combo does in the boot process? and b) how to get around it?
Also, what is extra funky is I have setup RAID 1 on the two 2tb drives. I can see the logical drive in the bios. however, when I am looking at the configuration in vSphere, the drives are not mirrored and I can actually make two different data stores with each of the physical drives. I'm worried that the hardware thinks the drives are mirrored, but ESXi is writing to each drive individaually? Anyone seen this? I'd like to mirror the drives if possible.
The behavior of your hard drives indicates that the RAID controller is a software RAID controller, NOT a hardware RAID controller, which is the only flavor ESX/ESXi will use (for RAID arrays, otherwise drives are presented as individual devices within ESX/ESXi)...
All of the issues you both have been encountering is exactly why you should only use hardware actually listed on the VMware HCL, or one of the very few validated third party HCL sites, such as Ultimate ESX Whitebox which lists both unsupported hardware and which ESX/ESXi release has been confirmed to work (sometimes with exact hardware configurations). The vm-help website could also assist you... Either way, just because an item is listed for one release of ESX/ESXi there, never assume it will work on a different release.
I would also advise trying ESXi 4.0 update 2 or ESXi 4.1 booting from an USB flash drive (2-8GB in size) before trying to go through local hard drives. Also only use NIC's that are either Intel or Broadcom listed on the VMware HCL. There are many NIC's in desktop motherboards that simply will not work with ESX/ESXi at all... Server grade/class (true server grade) motherboards have a much better chance of working. You're best bet is to get either a server, or high end workstation class configuration (one that is damned close to being a server in it's own right) for ESX/ESXi... Dual socket motherboards, for server class/grade processors, memory, NIC's, SAS hard drives (and SAS RAID controllers with BBWC either on them or batteries available) are good places to start. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up for troubles either right from the start, as shown in this thread, or when VMware updates the product and now the new release no longer works on your hardware.
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Thanks for the advice on the hardware support. I know for sure the Intel Pro/1000 PT card I'm using is supported. I'll see if swapping it helps at all. I could have swore I saw my motherboard listed on the supported hardware list (Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5), but its apparently not there now. There was a thread on vm-help regarding this board being supported which is why I went that direction:
Thanks again for the pointers. Looks like I'm in the market for a new board.
Hi edrosphere, before you make a decision of changing motherboard, please look for a thread in vm-help.com/forum
http://www.vm-help.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2146 and read the answer from rza on Aug 17th.
He was successful in getting it up and running.
I have swapped that board with GA-890FXA, it supports IOMMU.
I saw that reply. I don't have that board (I have the FXA-UD5) and after weeks of trying to get this thing working I'm throwing in the towle. I'm going with the Asus M4A785TD-V EVO which is listed on the ultimate esx whitebox website 3 times... which I'm hoping means it really really really works.
I noticed in the F12 screne a ton of CPU Halt errors on all six cores, which can't be good. This system is brand new and properly cooled, so I'm thinking VMWare just isn't liking some of the hardware on the motherboard and reporting errors. Although ESXi (4.0 and 4.1) will install and boot any guest OS I've used is unusably slow even with 4 - 8gb of ram and all 6 cores assigned to the guest. I take that to mean ESXi isn't jiving with the hardware and I should look elseware for a solution. (I have loaded Win7 and Fedora on this hardware as a test and this system is blazing fast; so I'm going to assume the hardware/CPU really are fine and ESXi just isn't happy about it).
Thanks all for the help!
I have the same solutions as all of you. I can tell you how to get past the hanging of the USB, ethernet controllers etc. Disable CE1 support on your motherboard. Once you have done this, you will be able to load ESXi 4.1.
I have a different issue, I have a LSI MegaRaid 84016e and all my components are all seen. I just cannot get my LSI controller to be passed through to my openfiler. I have 30Terabytes of storage and I need to pass it through. I am considering all options at the moment.
Might want to make sure you are using the correct drivers:
Here is the link for VMware HCL for that specific Raid Controller:
it also list the drivers that are compatible so you may have to update them.
VCP-410 | Server+
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