yann_bizeul
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Installing additional NIC drivers without networking

Hi folks,

This is kinda stupid, but here is my problem, in simple words : I need network to install network drivers, but, wait... the network needs network drivers !!

Basically, I'm stuck, and here is the platform :

HS22 Blade server with BNT 10GB Virtual Fabric switch, connected to Emulex 10G Virtual Fabric NICs (ServerEngines "brand" or whatever this is called).

That's all I have, so I'm looking for a way to install those drivers (basically, the vmware-esx-drivers-net-be2net_400.2.101.386.0-1.0.4.164009.222638.iso archive download on VMware site) without actually having the network.

I'm sure VMware could not expect people to install the network drivers only using... the network Smiley Happy

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6 Replies
AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

The driver are on a ISO because you can put on CD and add it during the install process.

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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yann_bizeul
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I'm using ESXi on a flash drive, there is no install process (well, there is dd on my computer, but that doesn't count I think)

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

You can reinstall your ESXi and specify the ISO with the drivers.

Otherwise without at least a network connection is quite difficult to add the drivers to a ESXi.

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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yann_bizeul
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Reinstall ?

Again, this is a dump of the dd file provided in the ESXi ISO CD, there is no installation. Even the flash drive was provided pre-installed by IBM in the blade

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yann_bizeul
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Ok, problem solved, this is for the records.

This is something VMware must do something about : supporting only network driver installation, even for network drivers is a non sense and an alternative must be supported and provided.

Here is what I did :

- Mount the USB key on your machine (mounted on my Mac)

- Copy the driver to Hypervisor 1 partition, like in the root, whatever

- Re-plug the USB key and boot the server

- Switch to console using Alt-F1, and enter unsupported mode (blindly type "unsupported" then Enter and root password)

- put the host in maintenance mode (with "vim-cmd /hostsvc/maintenace_mode_enter")

- go in /bootbank (cd /bootbank)

- install the driver manually using esxupdate command (like "esxupdate --bundle sve-be2net-2.101.386.0-offline_bundle-222638.zip update")

- reboot

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yannbizeul
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Guys, it is 2011, and the same issue persists :

- VMware does not provide out of the box the drivers for Emulex VFA

- Not does IBM is their OEM delivery the the USB key

So the technic remains the same, but for non US keyboard, my advice is to also put a script in the Hypervisor1 partition, that runs the maintenance mode and the driver installation without having to find special characters (_ ") on the keyboard :

#!/bin/sh
vim-cmd /hostsvc/maintenance_mode_enter
esxupdate --bundle SVE-be2net-2.102.518.0-offline_bundle-329992.zip update

Copy that (named sveinstall.sh for example), with SVE-be2net-2.102.518.0-offline_bundle-329992.zip in Hypervisor 1 partition.

Then you boot ESXi 4.1 USB key, and go into Technical Support Mode (after enabling it - LOCAL, obviously...)

then

# cd /bootbank

# sh sveinstall

That's it, reboot, reconfigure management network and connect using vSphere Client.

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