I have this problem and I already read many things about this issue. I have a motherboard with an NVidia MCP55 SATA controller.
I managed to install VMare ESXi on this board. lspci -p shows:
|0000:00:04.0 10de:036e 10f1:2912 255/ /||@ V vmklinux_9 vmhba0|
|0000:00:05.0 10de:037f 10f1:2912 11/ 11/0x2d A V sata_nv||vmhba1|
|0000:00:05.1 10de:037f 10f1:2912 10/ 10/0x2b B V sata_nv||vmhba2|
|0000:00:05.2 10de:037f 10f1:2912 5/ 5/0x2e C V sata_nv||vmhba3|
So the controller is recognized correcly. The problem is, that harddisks which are connected are not recognized by VMWare. How can I make VMWare to recognize all connected disks and not only some sometimes?
Any ideas are very well appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
That's the "sometimes" part.
I did a couple of tests with up to three connected harddisks. The add storage shows exactly what storage adapter also shows.
I could never see more than one additional harddisk (in add storage). In storage adapter I can always see the bootdisk and sometimes I can see one additional device (which can be added with add storage).
This may happen due to an unsupported driver version or due to an faulty hardware(i dont this this is a fault hardware)
Check the adapter driver version and see if it matches with the below list, to check the dirver version refer VMware KB: Determining Network/Storage firmware and driver version in ESXi/ESX 4.x and ESXi 5.x
The hardware should not be faulty. the board, controller and harddisks are working reliable with Windows OS. I also tested the harddisks with another computer and Ubuntu Linux. Still no problem there.
About the driver versions:
The installed driver is sata_nv, Version: 3.5-4vmw. According to the Compatibility Guide it should be sata_nv version 3.5-3vmw.
I'm even more confused. The recommended version is older than the installed version? How is that possible? And how do I get this older version? Does it make sense to downgrade?
I downloaded ESXi 5.0 with this old driver and tested it. I got the same behaviour. So no solution there at all. I also tested some other harddisks (I have a couple of harddisks at home). The only pattern I can see is, that the driver can only see 2 devices at a time (the controller according to the BIOS sees every harddisk). And the driver cannot see any SDDs. I installed ESXi 5.5 on another computer on a SSD. When I put this SSD into my computer with this MCP55 it can boot from this SDD. Curious, but not understandable for me.