Erik67
Contributor
Contributor

Free ESXi on Intel Server Board S3210SLHC

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I have experimented with the free ESXi for the past two weeks. First on an IBM xServer 330 (8674-41X) with dual PIII and built in SCSI, which works fine.

After adding av few VMs I wanted more power and built a new system with an Intel Server Board S3210SLHC, a Xeon X3320 (Quad Core 2,5 GHz) and 4 GB memory (so far).

I could not get ESXi to recognize SATA drives attached to the internal controller (ICH9) so I ended up booting from a USB stick. It seemes to be recognizing the internal controller as "2 port SATA IDE Controller (ICH9)" with vhmba33 and vhmba1 inside the VI client. The USB is recognized as vhmba32. I also logged on to the consoled an ran lspci. There I can see the two controllers as vhmba0 and vhmba1. Since the MB has six SATA ports the first controller is actually a 4 port controller and there is actually a conflict with vhmba0 and vhmba33 (SATA0 to SATA3). The last two ports (SATA4 and SATA5) is a 2 port controller and it works fine when I connect the drives to them.

So now I have a fully working system when I use the last two SATA ports, but the first four is unavailable. Does anyone know how I can enable the first four?

By the way here are the PCI IDs for the two controllers:

8086:2920 Standard dual channel PCI IDE Controller (not working since it is four channel)

8086:2926 Standard dual channel PCI IDE Controller (working)

- Erik

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KOAL
Contributor
Contributor

Hi @all,

same issue on HP xw4600 with ICH9R - 6 SATA-Channels.

Well, it works...here the workaround:

please read

[

|http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/customize_oem_tgz.php]

-- thanks to Dave Mishchenko for this documentation--

1. for ICH9(R) please set the working mode in your BIOS to AHCI, no RAID or IDE!

2. boot from USB-Stick

3. logon local on ESXi with Alt-F1 and "unsupported"

4. run lspci and look for the Intel storage adapter, notice the device ID, it should be 2922

5. follow the steps and insert the line in simple.map (2922 with ahci) and add a description in pci.ids for the added line in simple.map

6.change to ALT-F2, reboot the ESXi

7. open VI-Client and take a look to your storage adapters, you should see the new HBA with the target(s)-HDD`s

hth

AL

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20 Replies
rsears
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for the post as it was very helpful. I have been using the s3000ah without issue but tried one of the s3210slhc and had the same issues about not seeing a hard drive.

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nick_couchman
Immortal
Immortal

You can try playing around with the controller "mode" in the bios - set it to Native or Enhanced, if you have that option, and see if that allows the installer to see those ports. Also, I seem to recall that the ICH9 was one of the controllers that several people have issues with - you might search/browse this forum and see if that's the case. However, the whitebox HCL (http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3.5/Whiteboxes_SATA_Controllers_for_ESX_3.5_3i.htm) lists several motherboards and systems that have the ICH9 controller that do work with ESX and ESXi. You might pull up that site and look at some of the threads referenced there to see if that will help get this controller running.

hahn0man
Contributor
Contributor

Hi,

we have testet the Intel S3210SHLX (same with 2 64bit PCI-Slots), the second NIC (Intel 82566DM-2) onboard is not recognized.

Greetings

Thorsten

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KOAL
Contributor
Contributor

Hi @all,

same issue on HP xw4600 with ICH9R - 6 SATA-Channels.

Well, it works...here the workaround:

please read

[

|http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/customize_oem_tgz.php]

-- thanks to Dave Mishchenko for this documentation--

1. for ICH9(R) please set the working mode in your BIOS to AHCI, no RAID or IDE!

2. boot from USB-Stick

3. logon local on ESXi with Alt-F1 and "unsupported"

4. run lspci and look for the Intel storage adapter, notice the device ID, it should be 2922

5. follow the steps and insert the line in simple.map (2922 with ahci) and add a description in pci.ids for the added line in simple.map

6.change to ALT-F2, reboot the ESXi

7. open VI-Client and take a look to your storage adapters, you should see the new HBA with the target(s)-HDD`s

hth

AL

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vm_sjo
Contributor
Contributor

I have the same board and the 2nd NIC isn't detected. It's quite frustrating when you go out and buy a proper server board made by INTEL and VMware doesn't support the storage or network controllers properly. If I have to spend more than an hour or two trying to get this fully working, i'll be scrapping VMware and going to vXM instead.

Makes me wonder why I bother with the several ESX hosts I architected at work. :smileyangry:

VMware Guys: Wake up and smell the coffee, you need to fix this rudimentary device driver support in this product or you will alienate potential paying (license) customers.

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Erik67
Contributor
Contributor

Thank you for your explanaiton. I can confirm that this works on a second S3210SLHC server I have assembled.

I like to add some information. When using AHCI all six SATA ports are connected to the same device ID so there is no need to look for more than one controller device.

I can also confirm that the second NIC is not detected, but perhaps there is a compatible driver with a different ID somewhere. I have not looked in to this.

Erik

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rsears
Contributor
Contributor

These boards are not on the HCL. I knew this when I choose the boards for my test lab and knew the risk that there may be some components not supported. If you want 100% support then choose hardware that is on the HCL. VMWare keeps this list very tight to insure the best possible performance / reliability of its customers virtual infrastructure.

Personally I would love full support of these cheaper boards and have faith that it will eventually be in ESXi. After all look at the S3000AH it was not fully suppported until ESXi was released.

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JMills
Expert
Expert

The Intel 82566DM-2 doesn't quite behave the same as a classic Intel e1000 device, driver support for this particular chipset didn't arrive in the Linux e1000 driver until relatively recently. From what I have gathered elsewhere, the Intel 82566DM and 8266DM-2 controllers requires at minimum version 7.6.5 of

the Linux e1000 driver to function properly.

The current revision of the Linux e1000 driver which has been cross-ported for ESXi 3.5.0u2 is 7.3.15 ... ergo, it may quite truthfully be unsupported at the present time.

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lurch89
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

So I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I'll give it a shot.

I've got a server which is currently running ESXi (installed with the IDE hack) on an IDE drive. The system has SATA connectivity built-in, and I have one drive connected to that on port 0. The SATA controller shows up in VMWare Infrastructure Client as "6300ESB SATA Controller" with 2 devices: "vmhba1" and "vmhba32". Both of these show 0 targets, and are listed as type "SCSI". Is there any way I can get it to show my SATA drives?

I'm not sure on specs on this board because I'm not near it right now, but I know it is a SuperMicro P4SCT, and the PCI ID of the SCSI is 8086.25a3.

Any thoughts?

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Neotwind
Contributor
Contributor

Is there any possible solution to install ESXi on intel board S3210SH with mirrored raid (raid of two sata)?

I tried to install but it can't recognize my raid.

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

The drivers that come with ESXi don't support soft-RAID functionality for controller like the Intel ICHxR models. What controller do you have in the host?

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Neotwind
Contributor
Contributor

I have onboard raid in Intel® 3210 server chipset

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

That uses the ICH9R controller and at this point ESXi doesn't support soft-RAID for it - http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets/embedded/3210_coreduo.htm?iid=SEARCH&.

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Neotwind
Contributor
Contributor

Well,pity. Thanks for help,Dave.

Hope ESXi will support ICH9R in future.

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dougshy
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks. I got ESXi running on my xw4600 using this post just fine, but I have another problem. The 4600 has 2 SATA cdrom drive in it, but I can't get either of them to be recognized in order to boot the installation media to install a new client. I have tried everything I can think of. Any one have a tip that would help me?

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aliv
Contributor
Contributor

Am I correct understanding, that the only way to get ESXi 3.5 working on S3210 is to patch simple.map and pci.ids and to have SATA switched to IDE in BIOS?

Is there any way to have SATA switched to AHCI? What about overal performance if IDE mode?

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Erik67
Contributor
Contributor

No, that is not the case.

You have two options:

SATA in IDE mode: Works out of the box, but only the last two SATA ports can be used.

SATA in AHCI mode: All six ports work, but you have to patch simple.map. If you want the correct device texts to be displayed, you can patch pci.ids as well.

I have not compared performance, but I am using four S3210SLHC in ACPI mode with good performance.

Erik

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aliv
Contributor
Contributor

Erik, thanks for reply. I've got oem.tgz from Dave's web site and patched it with my numbers 8086:2922. I've placed oem.tgz in to the root of ESXi ISO. When I boot in AHCI - it still can't see HDDs (doesn't matter which port it's connected to).

I though may be I need to change IDE to ISCSI in TargetFilter.py, but that also didn't help.

Could you please briefly explain what exactly should I do in order to get it going? I'm booting from CD.

BTW - when I run lspci -v I can see a kind of trimmed output - just the numbers without names. Strange - that is different from what I saw on M2N-SLI Deluxe - that shown all normal names of devices.

Thanks!

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hwl2009
Contributor
Contributor

Hi,

I have a HP xw4600, but somehow I am not able to : "logon local on ESXi with Alt-F1 and "unsupported"

I boot from usb and when i try to use ALT-F1 i see a console screen with (last) message: Starting openwsmand

When i start ESXi from cd i can get to the console!

Any suggestions?

Thanks

Hwl

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