I've been running a Centos 7 distro with Plex Media Server installed on a VM running on ESXi 6.5. The hardware is an old T110 Dell server, which AFAIK won't run a later version of ESXi.
It is all running on one 1TB WD Red hard disk.
I'm getting close to filling the disk.
I have a 4TB WD Red disk. I also have a 2TB external disk, which I could use to backup and store the media data until I get everything back onto the rebuilt server.
So far, I've started the long process of copying the media to the external disk to have a backup if anything goes wrong in the upgrade.
While that is running I'd like advice to overcome several blind alleys I've been down.
I've tried all afternoon to get a way of rebooting the server to install a new copy of ESXi onto the new hard disk, and hit a roadblock each time.
1. I downloaded the VMwarevisorESXi6.5xxx.iso file, and tried first to burn it to CD, but the burn process failed, without an understandable reason - it's an external USB 3 connected DVD RW drive. I tried again, using another external drive, a BluRay/DVD/CD R-RW drive, and two different disks. Nothing ran successfully to completion.
2. I've also tried half a dozen different times, and slightly different ways, of making a bootable USB flash drive, on two different USB flash drives. One is a Lexar 8GB which I've previously used to boot a copy of FreeNAS when other drives wouldn't work. The other is a PC Specialist 16GB drive. None of the ways of using either drive will boot the T110 server. I've set it in the bios to boot from USB, it sees that there is a device in the drive, but either says it isn't bootable, or (most recently) says that the isolinux.bin file is missing or corrupt.
3. In case my download was indeed corrupt, I've tried and failed to find the Free product link again - a Google search gives me a link to a page https://www.vmware.com/go/get-free-esxi and when I go there I get an error message on the page /auth.vmware.com/oam/server/obrareq.cgi and immediately shows Oracle Access Manager System Error .
i've tried again from the Products page, found a dowload link for ESXi 6.5. I've tried the sub-versions .0, Updates 1, 2, 3 and 3a and every time get a message You aren't authorised to download this version. I have a licence for v6.5, but it isn't being recognised.
As you can read, I'm having a VERY bad afternoon and evening.
For the moment, I've put the original 1TB drive back in the server, and started the media server, in order to copy the media data off the VM. It appears that will take an age - just one folder of video (films and TV shows) is nearly 600GB, and said it will take 14hours - overnight or more. Now, a short time later, it is saying 'about a day'.
A further blockage - when I tried to connect the external 2EB disk to the server, it didn't show up in Data Storage. Maybe that wouldn't have helped - the USB on the server is only v2.
Any thoughts on what is stopping the flash drives either from being bootable at all on anything, or not being recognised as bootable by the server? I've used Balena Etcher before to make bootable SD cards for a Rasperry Pi and that worked with no problems.
I had created this tutorial on how to create a bootable USB stick and install Esxi 6.5 or 6.7 with all the necessary links to download the necessary software. It is in Italian, however there are images that can help you:
Thank you, Alessandro. I only saw your message after I'd finally managed to get ESXi and ClearOS installed after repeated failures.
I think my downloaded ISOs may have been corrupt. When I tried all over again, with fresh downloads, this time I still couldn't get a bootable USB memory stick, but after a couple of attempts each, I DID finally manage to write a bootable CD with ESXi on it, and later a DVD with ClearOS.
I've copied all my media onto the new disk, and am now trying to get SAMBA properly configured - initial setup hasn't yet allowed access to the media share over the network.
But I'll get there eventually - haven't been very well (nothing serious I think) for a few days, but when recovered I'll try again with the configuration.