1 2 Previous Next 24 Replies Latest reply on Feb 9, 2015 3:05 AM by kastilem

    No boot after clean install

    buckmaster Hot Shot

      I have a generic Intel motherboard with a sata ich9 controller, home lab.  It has ran esx4 fine ever since esx4 beta.  When I load esx5 to hard drive or usb drive on reboot the monitor just displays a cursor.  When inserting the esx5 installer cd and rebooting you have two choices 1. Install Esx or 2. Boot from local HD.  When selecting boot from local HD, esx5 will boot from the previous install?  Seems like the bootloader is not correct.  Any ideas?



        • 1. Re: No boot after clean install
          nalfonso14 Enthusiast

          Hi!, first check the hardware compatibility matrix http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl..


          When you select Local HD, in boot loader, the esxi 5 instalation is abort and process to run esxi preinstalled..

          • 2. Re: No boot after clean install
            nalfonso14 Enthusiast

            if your hardware is in HCL its compatible to esxi... see any error in boot??? check if you see also



            • 3. Re: No boot after clean install
              Nithin Krishnan Expert
              VMware Employees

              Also make sure that you have choosen right booting method (either EFI or BIOS). Use the same that you used it during the installation of ESX5.0 and check it

              • 6. Re: No boot after clean install
                buckmaster Hot Shot

                Thanks.  I'll give this a try when I get home.  Strange.  There must be something different about the boot process from esx4 and esx5?

                • 7. Re: No boot after clean install
                  Hot Shot

                  By default ESXi 5.0 uses GPT based partitions tables and not MBR like it did previously.  This allows you to have disks which are greater than 2TB in size, but some systems are incompatible with it (possibly including yours) or need to have the correct BIOS setting.


                  You can try changing your BIOS to see if it's compatible with EFI or will work in "legacy/compatibility mode".  Alternatively you can reinstall and use the "formatwithmbr" setting at the boot prompt which will cause the partitions to be set up the way they were in ESX 4.x.  Just add it in the same way you would to tell the machine to do a scripted install.


                  Hope that helps..


                  • 8. Re: No boot after clean install
                    buckmaster Hot Shot

                    Patrick you ROCK!!!


                    I've been struggling with this since RC with no solution.  Adding the boot option fixed my issue.  How in the world did you know about the boot option?

                    • 9. Re: No boot after clean install
                      Hot Shot

                      I designed the installer and demanded that we have that feature.  :-D


                      One of the key features for the 5.0 release was that we wanted to support 2+TB disks.  We thought everyone would have BIOSes which were compatible with GPT when we started putting together the requirements back in 2009.  Since we were going to be migrating everyone over from ESX based partition tables onto the partition layout that ESXi uses, we figured we should start getting everyone to use GPT as well.  It works with any system on our HCL, but we knew there were bound to be some people out there with first generation 64 bit systems which didn't support EFI or BIOS based GPT.  We just didn't know how many people it would effect so we left in the option to partition with either.


                      On a related note, we also had a problem with migrating VMFS partitions from MBR to GPT which would have caused the VMFS partition to potentially have been clipped due to the secondary boot record.  If you upgrade from ESX 4.x or ESXi 4.x you still end up with an MBR partition table and not a GPT based one.  If you'd used VUM or the installation CD to upgrade your 4.x based system you wouldn't have run into this problem, but probably would have been scratching your head when you tried re-installing from scratch.  :-D




                      • 10. Re: No boot after clean install
                        buckmaster Hot Shot

                        Thanks again Patrick.  I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.  This is my home lab that I learn vSphere with.  So I know it's not on the HCL I'm just trying to learn on my home budget.  My vendor Intel for my motherboard "Intel® Desktop Board DQ35JO" stopped suppling BIOS updates in Dec 2010 so a BIOS upgrade was not an option.  It has a E8400 processor an even runs FT VM's.  Now when I'm on the road an need to reboot the ESX server I won't have to have the wife place the ESX installer CD in my server to boot with.

                        • 11. Re: No boot after clean install
                          volleyballdan Lurker

                          Patrick, the formatwithmbr seems to help me as well..mostly. Here's what I'm doing and my issue. I run esxi5 bood CD.  do shift + O.  Erase runweasel...type in "formatwithmbr".  I'm not sure if this syntax is correct.  Anyway, ESXi5 loads great this way.  Issue is still upon reboot it won't load.  I've seen once after about 20 minutes it does load but this isn't acceptable.  MB is on HCL, so I'm stuck, and need help.  Thanks.

                          • 12. Re: No boot after clean install
                            Hot Shot

                            volleyballdan:  Don't erase the "runweasel" command.  It's was causes the installer to start.  Without it you're just booting ESXi and nothing more.  Add the "formatwithmbr" and you should end up in the installer (weasel) and your drive with be formatted in a way that your BIOS can understand.

                            • 13. Re: No boot after clean install
                              wdbarker Enthusiast

                              For anyone trying to duplicate these successes, "add" means type a space and formatwithmbr. I first tried a comma, and that didn't help. I didn't try a plus sign because a space worked. So, by "boot prompt" they mean the prompt you get after hitting Shift-O. And by add, they mean a space delimited addition of the string. "runweasel formatwithmbr". Clear as mud? I have no idea why it's so important to be obscure with these tips.


                              Oh, but "Thanks anyway" I really appreciate having only 3 things to try instead of the hundreds I'd have had on my own looking into the bootloader with no doc! Thanks Patrick!

                              • 14. Re: No boot after clean install
                                Hot Shot

                                wdbarker:  I wasn't trying to be obscure;  I just didn't have access to a machine to test it out before I replied to the post.  I'm glad you got it to work despite not having clear directions.


                                Incidentally, I haven't worked on the installer for over a year, but I have talked with the dev. manager to get some better documentation.  Hopefully that will be forthcoming, probably in the way of a KB article.

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