Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

Cannot install VMware ESXi 4.1 "Unable to find the system image to install"

Jump to solution

Downloaded ESXi 4.1 iso, burned to a CD, booted CD, go through screens, hit F11 to install. Immediately get the following error:

-


Installation operation failed!

The installation operation has encountered a fatal error:

Unable to find system image to install. This is due to the image not being mounted correctly or the CD-ROM not being supported.

-


The hardware is a homebuilt system with Intel DQ35JO board, latest BIOS, Intel E6850 CPU, 8GB RAM, 2 SATA drives. I know this is not on the compatible list but is a "whitebox". I've installed ESXi 3.5 on it in the past and gotten it up and running, and I've seen other success stories with this board/CPU. Yes I enabled virtualization mode in the BIOS and powered down/up.

Here's what I've tried:

-- Redownload VMware-VMvisor-Installer-4.1.0-260247.x86_64.iso to make sure it wasn't corrupt (2 copies compared perfectly)

-- Tried a different CDROM drive (IDE)

-- Created a bootable USB stick using uNetBootin 4.7.1 and booted from it

-- Switched SATA setting in BIOS from AHCI to IDE

I keep getting the exact same error. I've searched here and everywhere and find no reference to this error.

Help -- what do you all suggest for my next step?

0 Kudos
50 Replies
Highlighted
Immortal
Immortal

If it was an installer problem everyone would have the same issue. Or everyone with a 2950 would have the problem or or or . . . .

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Immortal
Immortal

a PowerEdge 2950 g2 is a Gen 2 ( sorry G2 is what the Dell support refer to it as)... 

Interesting bit of slang from Dell, considering that they don't list a "G2" or "Gen anything" if you try to look for a manual or driver on their website.

...had ESX 4.1 installed on it a few months ago ( when it was released) and I wiped the  box when it came out of production...

Was the box upgraded to 4.1 from an earlier version?  From mine and other posts, it's possible to upgrade to 4.1 or use alternate media to get a 4.1 installation to a machine that won't directly  install 4.1 clean.

I'm not saying there wasn't a change in the installer, which we obviously all confirmed.  Just that even my tests show differences between optical drives or controller that the optical drive is connected to that 4.1's installer can't handle.  ESX's installer has always been picky about hardware, so a firmware update seems a highly probably issue.  Every call I make to HP tech support, I'm always asked to update the firmware even if "it was working fine before."  So it's not much of a stretch for me to consider the same for ESX & Dell.  Again, not saying that it's not an installer issue, but since a PowerEdge 2950 is listed in the compatibility list and not a PowerEdge 2950 "G2", perhaps you have slightly different firmware (in whatever hardware) than what VMware tested. Smiley Happy

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

I'm having this same problem with my HP ML330 G6 on the most recent BIOS.  I actually opened a case with HP since I'm using thier ESXi ISO and their website specifically says this version is compatable (with no caveats).  I did try to install 4.0 ESXi which worked for the install of ESXi but then creating a Guest VM it said I had no installed drives for CD/DVD.  USB CD/DVD drive works all around but I shouldn't have to resort to that if this server is supported 100%.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

I have the exact same problem on a new ML350 G6 E5620 server. The VMware 4.1 iso runs but then claims it cannot find the system image.

I downloaded the lastest 'customized' .iso from hp (4.1_Dec_2010_ESXi_HD_USB_SD_Image_Installer_583772_009), burned it to a CD, booted with that locally in the ML350, and it still had the same problem.

So, I used the Virtual Media feature on the ILO2 interface to connect the local CD on my Dell workstation to the ML350, booted from the same CD that way and the installation completed. (The ILO must be upgraded for the Virtual Media feature to work.)

This is definitely caused by VMware's handling (or mishandling) of the CD-ROM/DVD drive. But I have no way of knowing if the hardware mfgs are straying off spec, or VMware's driver is not broad enough.

iptman: If you get an answer from hp on this I would appreciate knowing about it.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

http://communities.vmware.com/message/1688617

HP replace the DVD drive with a different model and all is well.  Still a SATA drive but with a different P/N.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

Solution to installing ESXi 4.1 from a locally mounted CD - on a system that was quite happy to install 4.0 - the 4.1 installation failing with;

Unable to find the system image to install. This is due to the image not being mounted correctly or the CD-ROM not being supported.

It seemed logical to first look at the DVD RW itself so I upgraded the firmware on the Samsung SH-S223C, which was only a year old - and it worked Smiley Happy.SH-S223 firmware.JPG

Intel S5520HCR

DVD RW on ICH10R in compatibility mode

RAID 5 array on Adaptec 3405 v5.2.0

Hope this helps

LLucan

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

still having this problem with esx4.1u2. "fatal: not a multiboot kernel" when I pxe boot or from cdrom

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

Replying to myself after more than a year...wheee

To install ESXi from a bootable USB flash drive you need to edit syslinux.cfg. What you do is add "askmedia" to the end of the append line. I just duplicated the standard install label and used it from the boot menu. Mine looks like this:

LABEL install-fromusbdrive
  KERNEL mboot.c32
  APPEND -c boot.cfg askmedia
  MENU LABEL ESXi-5.0.0-469512-standard ^Installer (from USB)

Verified working on HP DL380 G7 :smileycool:

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

thanks.  i actually got this working another way.  i'm pxe booting with the 4.1u1 image and then pointing to the 4.1u2 media in my ks file. works no problem.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

Same here.  I have an ML110 G5.  I got the same error installing ESX4.1.  Swapped the CD drive with a Lite-On CD drive and ESX installed fine.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

I just tried this with the DP35DP and USB boot does not work. Install to SATA HD does.

I am running must current Intel Bios.

Any idea what's going on here?

Might there be an update in the works?? Smiley Happy

0 Kudos