MikeJordan
Contributor
Contributor

Installing on Dell Compact Flash

Server Hardware:

Dell Poweredge 860

Quad Core X3220 (2.4 Ghz)

2GB Ram

2 x 250 GB SATA Drives

1 x 4GB Compact Flash Card (Connected to the dell IDE to CF adapter)

I have attempted to install ESXI 4.1 onto the internal compact flash drive of this Dell 860 for this last three days now with out much success. I was able to test out ESXI 4.1 after installing it on a USB thumb drive, but can't seem to get it to boot off the internal IDE compact flash like I want. The installation completes with out fault, and if I load the CF card into another machine I can see that it is partitioned and appears to have installed correctly. I have reformatted the CF using the disk part utility in Server 2008 to FAT32 and FAT and reinstalled but still will not boot. Does anyone have any advice for getting this to work or is this a hardware incompatibility issue?

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12 Replies
DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

Is the IDE device listed as the first boot device?

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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MikeJordan
Contributor
Contributor

Yes, it is set for the first boot device.

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DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

Go through http://vm-help.com/esx40i/ESXi_install_to_IDE_drive/ESXi_install_to_IDE_drive.php to see if there is anything helpful. It wouldn't be a supported install. USB isn't an option for you??

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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jpdicicco
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Are you using the installable or embedded installation disc? You should be using the embedded, not the installable disc. When I downloaded from Dell, the filename was: VMware-VMvisor-Dell-RecoveryCD-4.1-260247.i386_DellCustomized_A01.iso

Good luck!



Happy virtualizing!

JP

Please consider awarding points to helpful or correct replies.

Happy virtualizing! JP Please consider awarding points to helpful or correct replies.
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MikeJordan
Contributor
Contributor

My reasons for installing on the internal card instead of a USB drive is due to the fact that the USB drives don't hold up very well over the long run, and this box is in a shared colo enviroment, so I am weary about having the USB drive stick out and get lost, stolen, damaged etc. I will look for the embeded file, however im not sure if this server originally came with this option or not.

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MikeJordan
Contributor
Contributor

I looked at the embedded but I do not see an x64 edition.

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jpdicicco
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

ESX(i) 4.1 is exclusively 64-bit. Smiley Happy



Happy virtualizing!

JP

Please consider awarding points to helpful or correct replies.

Happy virtualizing! JP Please consider awarding points to helpful or correct replies.
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DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

Get a short USB extension cable and put the USB disk internally. Any issue you have with USB holding up would be shared with CF. Since it isn't a supported install even if you get it working you may have issues down the road. (Upgrades etc). ESXi loads into and runs entirely from RAM. There is one hourly write to the disk for backing up the configuration.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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GotWaffles
Contributor
Contributor

So trying to install from the Dell image states that no supported device that can be found. So in esscense I don't think it will work.

I am still perplexed at the oddity of this installer. It install's fine, the files are present on the CF card, but it will just not boot. The CF card shows up in the BIOS, my diagnostic tools say its ok, I was able to install Windows 7 and Redhat onto the CF card and they booted and operated as intended. I have ruled out the image because it installs and boots from the USB drive. If I boot from the USB drive the CF Card does not show up in the ESXI storage devices, yet I can install the ESXI image to the CF card? That doesnt make any sense.

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zavage
Contributor
Contributor

Hi All!

I ran into a similar problem: Installing  ESXi version 4.1 U 1 on USB Pendrive on DELL Power Edge 860.

I have x3220 Processor.

I followed all tips from all people that replied and downloaded esxi from dell also.

The "trick" here is that the server has on setup a "Hard-Disk Drive Sequence" order.

You have to put firs Hard-disk-emulated USB flash drive.

This is weird because i was installing esx, windows, linux from an external usb dvd drive and usb boots first as a default. but if you don't setup this it won't boot from an installed esxi pendrive... Maybe this applies for SD cards also

Hope it helps!

Z.

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Horinius
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

JP DiCicco wrote:

Are you using the installable or embedded installation disc?  You should be using the embedded, not the installable disc.  When I downloaded from Dell, the filename was: VMware-VMvisor-Dell-RecoveryCD-4.1-260247.i386_DellCustomized_A01.iso

Hi,

I'm also trying to install ESXi 4.1U1 into a Dell PE R710 internal SD module.

When I see the file name of this ISO image, I'm very astonished! :smileyconfused:  Why is it called Recovery?  Dell's support web site provides two ISO images at the same time.  So I've also downloaded the other ISO (the "installable") and check the difference inside them.

I'm unable to check the difference in those gzip'ed binary files, but those human-readable stuffs really show that the "recovery" ISO is meant to be used for recovery!

Strange!  It's really this ISO that we need?

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DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

I don't know for sure but I believe the recovery CD is used for updates and won't overwrite VMFS datastores or configuration and since embedded would have come directly from Dell with ESXi already installed it would be the one to use. If this is fresh you may be OK with either.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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