We bought a Supermicro E200-9B Server with the idea
to install ESXi 6.5 in a lab environment. We know this server is not on the HCL
of Vmware. However on the internet there are several blogs or discussion that
it should work.
Unfortunately we have an issue. The Installation
starts from the USB stick and get stuck at "relocating modules and
starting up the kernel". The message on screen before says "....firmware
Various indication on the Internet says it is a
graphic issues. Indeed I think the bootloader is nearly finished before it
changes the screen in another mode. First thing we tried SHIFT+O
I tried several things to change settings in the
Bios and even removed the m.sata HD and memory. Installed ESXi 6.0. Nothing
Motherboard is: X11SBA-LN4F with Bios version 1.1
So I'm reaching out to you if you have another idea or experience with this model? I read there is a possiblitiy with serial cable to log the loader process. It seems quite complicated since there are only USB ports available.
You can look for live vmkernel log if the vmkernel is started using ALT + F12. As the hardware is not in hcl list, there are chances that it might or may not work as 6.5 has some strict hardware parameters it verifies.
After trying various things I gave up. I even installed ESXi on a Intel NUC 5th generation which worked fine and used that USB with the Supermicro.
I contacted Supermicro support and they friendly replied that they have no records for the E200-9b model. However they mentioned the E200-8D works. Indeed the blogs on the internet indicate that E200-8D should work with ESXi. I compared the spec of both models, E200-9b pretty new, and noticed the graphic chipset is not the same. I'm pretty sure the issue is the graphic chipset.
I hope this posts will help someone before buying a Supermicro mini server.
What make/model USB device were you trying to use for the ESXi install?? I've seen various issues with sub-par USB (thumb) drives with ESXi installs. These are ones that appear to be fine when used with a Windows system, but will not work right (if at all) for ESXi.
Personally, I've had solid results with a variety of (not the cheapest models) Sandisk and Kingston USB thumb drives. With the costs going down, and capacity going up, it's almost harder to find a small drive these days. Small as in under 16GB.