VirtualAlexS
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Newbie question

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Hi there

I'm considering moving over my ESX3i, but gradually!

Currently I use a Windows XP machine with a removable hard disk to store Norton Ghost 9 images for backup.

I want to boot via removable media and gradually move things across to a virtual environment, using Norton Ghost 9 images. Once it is all done I will then wipe the machine and install the software on the hard drive... abandoning the booable removable media. The advantage of this process means I will still have an up and running machine at most times during this process, and I can do this convertion in babysteps.

So I'm wondering if the following is possible:

1) Can I run the bootloader from a CD and then use a free partition for the storage of the .ISO images? Does it need to create it's only network filing system or will NTFS do? Any issues with running this software read only on a CD? How would I go about creating this bootable CD?

2) Same question but with a USB memory stick, how much memory would I require here? 256Mb or more?

3) Can I use Norton Ghost 9 files as virtual images? How would I go about that?

4) Would VMWare recognise my external Maxtor USB 2 hard drive for images?

Many thanks...

Alex

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nick_couchman
Immortal
Immortal

ESXi won't fit on a floppy - you'll need at USB stick that's at least 1GB - 2GB is better. No, the installer won't give you an option for this - check out the following site for instructions:

http://www.vm-help.com

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Texiwill
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Hello,

Welcome to the Forums.I have moved your thread to the ESXi forum.

You should look into using VMware Converter to convert physical to virtual instead of the options you listed... However, here are some answers....

1) Can I run the bootloader from a CD and then use a free partition for the storage of the .ISO images? Does it need to create it's only network filing system or will NTFS do? Any issues with running this software read only on a CD? How would I go about creating this bootable CD?

For VMs to read the isos they need to be stored on a Datastore which is either a VMFS or NFS presented by a NAS.

2) Same question but with a USB memory stick, how much memory would I require here? 256Mb or more?

USB is not supported within a VM, so that will not work.

3) Can I use Norton Ghost 9 files as virtual images? How would I go about that?

This will work, you create the VM then use Ghost 9 to restore the image over the network. You will have to fix up the HAL however.

4) Would VMWare recognise my external Maxtor USB 2 hard drive for images?

No.


Best regards,
Edward L. Haletky
VMware Communities User Moderator
====
Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education.
Blue Gears and SearchVMware Pro Blogs -- Top Virtualization Security Links -- Virtualization Security Round Table Podcast

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIII: 2009-2021,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill
VirtualAlexS
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Contributor

Thanks for the helpful tips.

So just to be clear, I cannot bootstrap from a CD? Reason why I want to do this is I want to keep the hard drives MBR for the moment until I ready to go for it completely as there are some custom hacks here.

NB I've just written the install CD (provided as download), one assumes though I can't use this CD to access the virtual stuff, this is just for installation?... I will allocate a partition or two for the VM stuff to start off with.

Is there any documentation on booting from CD?

Thanks...

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VirtualAlexS
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Anyone?

Many thanks...

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nick_couchman
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You cannot run ESXi from a CD, no. If you're looking to keep your hard drive intact, you'll want to boot off a USB stick, and have another hard drive or storage mechanism for a datastore. It may be possible to use existing, unpartitioned space on a hard drive for a datastore in ESXi without wiping out your existing data, but you'll want to make sure you have a backup of that stuff just in case.

VirtualAlexS
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks!

OK so I will boot of USB key (or even a floppy?).

When I initially install the application by booting off the CDROM image I've downloaded, does it give me options to do this (does it step me though it), or do I need to follow some documentation somewhere?

I've searched everywhere, not much joy... Smiley Sad

Last question I hope..!

Thanks Smiley Happy

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nick_couchman
Immortal
Immortal

ESXi won't fit on a floppy - you'll need at USB stick that's at least 1GB - 2GB is better. No, the installer won't give you an option for this - check out the following site for instructions:

http://www.vm-help.com

View solution in original post

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VirtualAlexS
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Contributor

Excellent thanks....

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