Contributor
Contributor

"Invalid Partion Table" Error booting ESXi 7 from USB Flash Drive on Dell Precision M4800 laptop

Hi,

I am trying to boot ESXi 7 from USB-flash on my good old Dell Precision M4800 laptop in my home lab. However it shows "Invalid Partion Table" error msg. If I press 'any key' it boots ESXi successfully. However I need it to boot automatically without pressing 'any key' every time I need to restart host.

Dell explains this behavior in article:

  • USB key was created with a floppy(00H) format that emulates HDD(80H). Upon boot the BIOS is unable to find 80H at MBR partition entry, so it shows that the partition table is invalid.

Also they suggests to update BIOS however I use the latest on.

I see there is the issue with M4800's BIOS as there is no problem with my good old Lenovo x230.

However, I hope someone can give me advice on how to "fix" the ESXi boot-loader on USB to give the Dell BIOS what it wants.

Regards,

Roman

4 Replies
Immortal
Immortal

Here's the fix:  Stop trying to run ESXi, which is designed for server-class hardware, on a consumer laptop.

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Contributor
Contributor

This fix will not help me :smileycool:

Immortal
Immortal

The fix you need to hear isn't necessarily the one you want to hear.

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Contributor
Contributor

Hello,

 

I spent a chunk of today trying to get this to work, and I figured it out. The default image uses FAT16 for the EFI partition, the spec says it should be FAT32, and the Dell systems only look for Fat32 boot partitions. I copied the files out of /dev/sda (or whatever your usb/sata drive is), formatted it to fat32 with the EFI flag (gparted calls it ESP), then copied the files back. System booted right away. Let me know if that works, for testing there are great reasons to run on a laptop!

 

Dan

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