I know the 1850 isn't on the HCL but I figured I'd try anyway.
The installation freezes and the keyboard does not work on the EULA screen. Hitting F11 to accept does nothing (and control-alt-delete does not work).
While I know we probably want to stick with the HCL for production, using ESXi for testing on other hardware should be fine. I even have it running very well on a Dell Optiplex GX620 right now and it works beautifully.
Any suggestions about the PowerEdge 1850?
It looks like ESX3i has no PS2 support on the 1850. We have a PS2 KVM on
all our servers and that is why the machine appeared to be non-responsive.
I tried plugging a USB keyboard into the front of the machine, and
everything worked perfectly.
So this might be why the 1850 is not on the HCL.
The 1850 was an "extra" machine we had so not having the keyboard isn't
that big of a deal. This will make a good test machine.
I can confirm, that both ESX/ESXi 3.5.0 Update 2 (and refresh) install fine on a Dell Optiplex GX 620.
Co-Author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center
(ISBN:1420070274) from Auerbach
I can confirm the Dell 1850 does indeed work just fine.
You could possible have a bad PS2 port on your test box.
Picked up this puppy on eBay for $379: