Jason_Weir
Contributor
Contributor

HP integrated VMware ESX Server 3i - reinstall

Anyone have any idea how to reinstall ESXi onto the internal usb thumb drive. My new HP DL580G5 will no longer boot from it and I want to try a reinstall. I have a support case open with HP but so far they have not been much help..

-Jason

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9 Replies
lexonb
Contributor
Contributor

HP have special recovery cdrom for HP ESXi USB stick. Russian HP support ingeneer send us this CD after fault update HP ESXi USB from vmware site Smiley Sad

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Jason_Weir
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks!

I was finally put in contact with an HP engineer and now I've got the bootable CD - it fails when it cant find the usb drive. The drive is fine, as it works in another machine. If I boot into DOS I can see the drive but for the life of me I cant make it bootable. I'm still working on this with HP and will update here when I find the resolution

-Jason

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lexonb
Contributor
Contributor

We has not problem witth HP Repair ESXi ISO image. Boot CD Image see USB flash without problem. Our hardware - Proliant BL460c (USB flash drive inserted in to the internal motherboard USB slot). Repair CD Image was boot from Virtual CD ILO2 interface.

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Jason_Weir
Contributor
Contributor

HP has now sent me 2 different CD images to try, they indicated the image may not work on all hardware platforms - that may explain why it worked on your BL460 and not on the DL580

Either way both CDs fail with the following errors

"No devices found less than 10GB!"

"Please remove the CD and press the ENTER key to reboot"

It seems the boot CD is not detecting the USB drive

Here is what I did as a workaround

1. Copy the file hpvm-82664.dd.gz from the CD to a running Linux box.

2. Insert the USB drive into the Linux box, make sure it is not mounted (umount /dev/sda)

3. Type the following command from the directory where hpvm-82664.dd.gz resides

4. gunzip -c hpvm-82664.dd.gz | dd of=/dev/sda bs=64k

5. /dev/sda may be different for each machine

6. dd will overwrite the USB drive with the image from the CD

The system now boots into the hypervisor just fine.

I still have a case open with HP - hopefully they will resolve the problem...

-Jason

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mhennecke
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Can you give some more details on what "My new HP DL 580 G5 will no longer boot from it" means? Did the BIOS no longer recognize the USB device as a bootable drive, did the boot loader (the syslinux screen with the white progress bar) start but fail, or did the kernel start loading and then fail? I'm trying to determine if there is a linkage between the failure to boot and the failure of the recovery CD to find the USB device. If the BIOS was failing to find the device then I wouldn't expect the recovery CD to find it and it would suggest a problem with the USB port (or a bad connection). If the boot loader or the kernel were failing to boot from the device, then I would have expected the recovery CD to have been able to find it.

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Jason_Weir
Contributor
Contributor

Sorry for the lack of detail but I was still trying to diagnose the problem. I do have some more info.

The system is detecting the USB stick just fine, I can burn another bootable image to the USB drive and it will boot just fine.

The recovery cd runs an install script (install.sh) that detects any drives and presents you a list to choose from, then uses DD to burn an image to the USB drive

On my DL580 that drive detection fails. so I manually DD'd the image to the USB drive which worked fine.

HP is still working (probably with the VMware guys) on the recovery CD trying to get it to correctly detect the USB drive, it seems to be a hardware problem, specific to at least the DL560's.

I've attached the install script for your review

The script fails on line 145 - numDevices=`fdisk -l 2>/dev/null | grep -c MB` - it finds no devices.

I used line 393 manually - gunzip -c $file | dd of=$drive bs=64k 2>/dev/null &

The image file is located on the root of the cd and is named hpvm-82664.dd.gz.

-Jason

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mhennecke
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

That install script is definitely not something from the VMware recovery CD. It looks like something HP made themselves. The VMware recovery CDs actually boot 3i from the CD and do the install.

My guess would be that the USB device is slow to be recognized by the Linux on the HP recovery CD and so it isn't in the list at the time that the fdisk command was run.

If you boot from their recovery CD and the installation fails, can you run the "fdisk -l" and see if the drive shows up then? If so, perhaps all HP needs is to add some delay early on to make sure all of the filesystems have been detected before they start looking for the install targets.

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Jason_Weir
Contributor
Contributor

It does not drop to a shell or I would have tried that, ctrl-c, ctrl-x nothing will get me back to a prompt. Doesnt look like any of the other virtual tty's are availiable either.

-J

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mhennecke
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

If you have the USB key plugged into one of the external USB ports, could you check teh BIOS setting for "USB External Port Capability" to see if it is set to "USB 1.1" instead of "USB 2.0"? If should be set to "USB 2.0" or else the drive will be operating at a much reduced transfer rate. We have seen problems with both ESXi and with Linux in detecting USB 2.0 keys plugged into the external ports of these HP systems if the ports are configured as "USB 1.1". The internal USB port is always USB 2.0 so if you've got the key there, then this isn't the problem.

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