Mods, please move this post if its in the wrong topic, apologies if it is. I am currently teaching myself how to use ESX Server in my spare time, and installation is proving to be a problem for me. I think it will be a very basic problem to some people out there, but Ill ask anyway (we were all new once!). Im running a desktop PC with Windows Server 2003 installed, it meets all requirements hardware wise, for software I downloaded the 60 day trial from this website (the .ISO image). Ive burned this ISO image to a CD and am having no success booting from the CD (which is what all the .pdf's on the net thats Ive read and Readme's on the CD say to do). This is where I think I am making a very big and obvious mistake, am I suposed to use a boot floopy to boot onto the CD or what? Im confused as Ive tried all kinds of things. Keep in mind I am very new to ESX and Linux based systems, but I do have experience using windows systems. Any advice you could give me to get this install going would be great as I think it wont be a problem after that! Any information you guys need, just ask.
You cannot just use any pc to install ESX onto. ESX has a very specific hardware Compatibility list. http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi35_systems_guide.pdf
Main problems are the chipset and network card.
If you want a cheap solution, use vmware server.
Or you can do a search on 'ESX white box' and you'll find what others have used on a budget to get their own ESX systems up.
Barring some problem with the boot order in the BIOS, the next most likely possibility is that you've burned the ISO file to the CD directly perhaps, as opposed to writing it out to CD as an image. The former will not create a bootable CD. To do the latter, you will need 3rd party CD writing tools (not the stuff that comes with Windows.) Popular choices are Nero, Alcohol 120%, etc.
If you're trying to teach yourself ESX and have limited/no access to appropriate hardware, you may have more luck installing ESX inside a VMware Workstation virtual machine. There are folks here on these forums that have set up complete labs of multi-server farms with iSCSI storage inside of VMware Workstation.
Unfortunately the approach does not work well with ESX 3.5 (yet), but I think for your purposes ESX 3.0 will be more than good enough.
The guides at Xtravirt.com are a good start: http://www.xtravirt.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=99&Itemid=124
as far as i have seen... ESX is compatible only on SCSI disks... not on IDE/ATA
recently esx 3.5 supports SATA.....
how much RAM do you have in your PC... if it is more that 1G.. then it might boot....
if you want to set up a test environment have a read of the PDF files here on how to install ESX 3 onto VMware workstation 6.