viper8
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Enthusiast

ESXi 3.5 - clean install, will it wipe current vmfs partition?

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So let's say I have an ESXi 3.5i U3 server that is installed on a single RAID 5 array. I want to do a clean reinstall using U4. When I installed U3 it parititoned the drives automatically, so when I go to install U4, will it preserve the current vmfs partition or will it delete it then recreate a new one?

The whole reason I'm asking this is just in preparation of a time when a firmware update could possibly fail (not assuming it will, just want to have a plan in case something goes wrong). Just want to be sure I can do a reinstall w/out losing the current VMs. I'm not worried about having to reconfigure everything - not a big deal.

Thanks!

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kjb007
Immortal
Immortal

You have the option to wipe clean any vmfs partitions, or leave them alone. It is up to you whether to destroy existing, which you do not want if there are vm's there, or to leave them alone.

-KjB

VMware vExpert

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB

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kjb007
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Immortal

You have the option to wipe clean any vmfs partitions, or leave them alone. It is up to you whether to destroy existing, which you do not want if there are vm's there, or to leave them alone.

-KjB

VMware vExpert

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB

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viper8
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Okay excellent! I've never had to do a reinstall so I've never seen that option before, but it's good to know that it exists.

Thanks again

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drewdown
Contributor
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I was going to ask the same question but on a different scale. I have a 1TB LUN and 5 300GB LUNS configured. ESXi is currently installed on the 1TB LUN but doesn't have any VM images on it. All of my VM images have been migarted to 4 of the 300GB LUNS, leaving one empt 500GB LUN. I want to install ESXi on the 5th LUN, what would be the best way to go about doing this? The 1TB LUN will go away when all this is said and done.

I see that I have 2 options:

Unmap the 4 300GB LUNS, re-install ESXi onto the 5th LUN, re-map the LUNS and then register the VM's. If I do this will ESXi try to partition the LUNS eventhough they already have been when I re-attach them? Or will it see that they have already been partitioned and be gravy?

DON't unmap the 4 300GB LUNS, re-install ESXi onto the 5th LUN, re-attach the LUNS and register the VM's. Same as above.

Would either be beneficial over the other? Either way I will have to re-attached the LUNS, does ESXi care either way?

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kjb007
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ESXi will not repartition. They will be seen as existing vmfs, once you have the remapped, and a storage rescan has taken place. As long as you're not trying to boot of a SAN lun, you're fine, since ESXi doesn't boot from san.

-KjB

VMware vExpert

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB
drewdown
Contributor
Contributor

kjb,

So I shouldn't remove any of the storage through ESXi?

  1. Un-map the LUNS from the host,

  2. map the new smaller OS LUN

  3. re-isntall ESXi on the new smaller partition,

  4. re-map the LUNS to the host

  5. Rescan from the GUI?

Thats the process I should follow?

FYI: because I wasn't completely sure how attaching storage works with ESXi I simply tried removing a LUN with VM's on it and then re-adding it, it wiped the data off that LUN. Obviously because it formated the LUN and I don't see away around not formatting data when adding it as storage in ESXi. I obviously want to avoid that in the future, so simply rescanning should allow those storage devices to be seen again without having to go to Storage > Add Storage....??

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satish_lx
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Many time i have install and upgrade ESX in test envirment but it never formate VMFS partion its on remote disk so you can add after rescan and at installation time it will ask you yo keep as it is or not.

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Satish Patel

  • Journey toward "Virtual world"

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kjb007
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Immortal

It's always good to remove access to the drives not in use when installing/reinstalling/upgrading. Just in case. You are correct that when you add the LUNs back in, do not use 'add storage' wizard, because it will reformat the drives. After attaching the drives, use rescan hba's, and the storage should be visible.

-KjB

VMware vExpert

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB
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drewdown
Contributor
Contributor

Update:

I went ahead and re-configured my bladecenter S evironment last night. I configured a 10GB volume to install a fresh copy of ESXi onto, detached the existing LUNs and attached only the 10GB LUN. I installed ESXi and re-attached the remaining 5 LUN's and performed a rescan. All my LUNS showed up correctly and the VM's powered on without fail.

Couldn't have been any smoother.

TY Kjb.

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kjb007
Immortal
Immortal

Good to hear.

-KjB

VMware vExpert

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB
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