Any progress to report Paul...
I've been reviewing this thread and looking back on the process generally... The common line appears to be that different USB sticks work differently... So I am wondering if this is hardware specific.
You said you have used to USB sticks successfully. I wondered if you could post here the exact[/b] sticks you use. I would be happy to go out and actually buy them just to test this... the theory being is if I can reproduce a working system from the same type of USB device - then it must HW specific?
I've got it working using the steps that Paul outlined and an Imation 4G drive. It runs a kickstart and installs on a compaq DL385 G1 though I still have some other weirdness that I'm trying to track down where it doesn't seem to be applying all of my kickstart changes that work with the floppy and/or cdrom method.
do you have any commands after the %post as I can't get these to work.
No. That was the weirdness that I was referencing. I thought it was just me =)
I've got it working using the steps that Paul
outlined and an Imation 4G drive. It runs a kickstart
and installs on a compaq DL385 G1 though I still have
some other weirdness that I'm trying to track down
where it doesn't seem to be applying all of my
kickstart changes that work with the floppy and/or
Cool... Can you post the precise make & model of the flash drive?
Did you get to the bottom of your kickstart woes...?
My %post section (which I shameless nabbed from brianhouse.net) works just dandy on my PXE method. So I can't see why it wouldn't with the USB stick. If I could just get past these Anaconda errors...
It does sound like a hardware issue. Paul mentioned earlier about the installer wanting to "protect" the system. Perhaps different sticks have different write-protection methods which would indicate why some behave differently from others???
I tried a different usb drive ( sd->usb adaptor actually ) and it didn't work so I stole a 4g flash drive from an intern that was on vacation to test it out. The model number is 'HMDS-04GC' but a google of that doesn't yield a result. Most of the little crap that we order comes from CDW, so I found one that looks the same here:
I'm using the same kickstart that I have been using to integrate into CDROMs and have also used via floppy, but the %post section isn't being executed, I'm looking into why.
Ok good. (well not good)
I was pulling out my hair as to why they would not execute.
My problem may have been a brain fart, it looks like I have windows-style formatting on my ks.cfg file. I reformatted it and am re-installing the host now. I should know in the next 10 mins or so.
How can you tell that it is windows formatted?
transfer it to an esx box and run "cat -ev ", if all the lines end in ^M then it's formatted windows style.
BTW, I got it all working now.
/me dances a little jig
This is pretty sweet, now I have all my disaster recovery on a usb drive with boot menus and all. My kickstart installs all my patches and sim agent from an ftp repository and does all my configuration completely hands-free.
Paul, do you mind if I re-use some of you work on my site?
I bought another 1G flash drive on the way home today from Fry's for $12 USD. I don't think the model matters much, I had the same success with this one. Mike if you want me to load up everything on a flash drive and ship it to you drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go for it!
And thanks for offering to help Mike out... I've been trying to find the time to sit down in the lab and go through it all again, but it ain't happening because I'm freakishly busy lately.
I bought another 1G flash drive on the way home today
from Fry's for $12 USD. I don't think the model
matters much, I had the same success with this one.
Mike if you want me to load up everything on a flash
drive and ship it to you drop me an email at
That's for the offer Dom, but as you might expect I'm more interested in getting the set-up nailed so I can confidently put it out for others. I want to include it in the book along side a PXE appliance I have been working with... but if I can't get it to work, I won't want to put something in the book that I'm 100% confident will work...
If its not the USB stick itself like a hardware issue - Perhaps I am doing something wrong in the process. Attached is a PDF version of the instructions I've documented so far. I bought WinISO to create the custom ISO, which for me didn't work. But mkisof did work...
I'd appreciate anyone who has got this working to check my instructions in case I am doing something wrong....
esx-on-a-stick.pdf 64.4 K
My problem may have been a brain fart, it looks like
I have windows-style formatting on my ks.cfg file. I
reformatted it and am re-installing the host now. I
should know in the next 10 mins or so.
I've had this myself. I created my kickstart file using the VMware scripted tools. Then I cut & pasted this into PXE server appliance I have been working on. What I didn't know is that this server was formating its files as "DOS Format". Symptoms included my %post section not being processed correctly. My %post creates a file with the cat > command, and then tags itself to the /rc.d/local file to be executed on first boot. This is because esxcfg commands need a VMkernel loaded to function...
Other symptoms include these cat > files not being correct format and have odd characters in the file name like filename_r and when edited with nano filename_^m. I knew what the problem was but took me ages to find it. I've seen this before in editing scripts on a windows PC but forgetting use "Text" in WinSCP to transfer them to ESX. If you use binary then these ^M characters get added to each and every line.
I thought the > cat process was the problem, but ACTUALLY, it turned out to be the KS script itself. I only realised this when I went to edit the KS file with nano. It popped up with \[DOS Format] in the menu. Blink and I would have missed it.....
Since the same problem bedevils license files - I've taken to using the COS at all times to edit or create files. If this is impossible I used Wordpad. Notepad always screws up license files....