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USB Datastore on WDC My Book Duo - size reported is 0MB

Ok - so I know this is 100% completely unsupported by VMware, but it is for my home lab.

I currently have an Intel NUC (NUC5I5MYHE) running ESXi 6 that boots off a 8GB USB2 key.  Also plugged into the NUC is a WDC 1TB Passport USB 3.0 drive and a SATA WDC Black 320GB drive.  The Passport is setup as a working datastore, but not quite big enough for what I actually need (I'm trying to use this NUC as a Veeam replication repository).  So I ordered a WDC My Book Duo 6TB unit, and configured it as RAID1, but for some reason, I can't get ESXi to see any space on it.

Now I should preface all this with the comment that I originally had the same issue with the 1TB Passport, but after doing some research on it, I came up with the instructions below:

To do this, you must use the CLI, and this certainly is not supported by VMware in any way, shape, or form.

  1. ) Stop the USB Arbitrator service so that USB devices can been seen by the ESXi host from in the ESXi Shell:   /etc/init.d/usbarbitrator stop
  2. ) Permanently disable the USB Arbitrator service on future reboots:    chkconfig usbarbitrator off
  3. ) Find the Device ID of the USB device:  esxcfg-scsidevs -c | grep USB à take note of the device name (<diskName> below) and size in MB (i.e. 953837MB)
  4. ) Determine if any partitions already exists on the USB device:    partedUtil get <diskName> à partedUtil get "/vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba33:C0:T0:L0"
  5. ) Delete any existing partitions that already exists on the USB device:   partedUtil delete <diskName> <partNum> à partedUtil delete "/vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba33:C0:T0:L0" 1
  6. ) Repeat step 5 until there are no partitions left on the USB device
  7. ) Create a new label on the disk (all existing data will be wiped):   partedUtil mklabel <diskName> gpt à partedUtil mklabel "/vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba33:C0:T0:L0" gpt
  8. ) To determine the endSector for the new GPT partition, take the size in MB from step 3 and multiply by 2048, then subtract 2048 à i.e. 953837MB x 2048 - 2048= 1953456128
  9. ) Create the new GPT partition:  partedUtil setptbl <diskName> <label> ["partNum startSector endSector type/guid attr"] à partedUtil setptbl "/vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba33:C0:T0:L0" "gpt" "1 2048 1953456128 AA31E02A400F11DB9590000C2911D1B8 0"
  10. ) Format the new GPT partition as VMFS5:  vmkfstools -C <type> -b <block size> -S <datastore name> <diskname>:partition à  vmkfstools -C vmfs5 -b 1m -S WDC_PASSPORT /vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba33:C0:T0:L0:1
  11. ) Rescan the HBA for new devices:   esxcli storage core adapter rescan --all
  12. ) Rescan for the new datastore:    vmkfstools -V
  13. ) Verify that the new datastore is seen and mounted:    esxcli storage filesystem list

The problem with the My Book Duo is that in step 3, the size reported is 0MB regardless if the Duo is configured as Raid1, Raid0, or JBOD mode.  The firmware is current on the My Book Duo.  I've even gone so far as to use PartedMagic is wipe the drive (in Raid 1) and manually create a GPT partition.

Does anyone have any thoughts aside from "yeah - it's not supported you dumb idiot..."  Smiley Wink



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did you ever solve this?

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