prostar
Contributor
Contributor

Problems booting ESXi 3.5 (Asus M2NPV-VM & Adaptec 2410SA)

After a lot of research, I got my own ESXi whitebox which currently has the following configuration:

- Asus M2NPV-VM with Athlon X2 4200+

- 1 Gb of RAM

- Adaptec 2410SA SATA Raid Controller

- Samsung SpinPoint F1 1TB hard drive (connected to the 2410SA)

- (Please note that as soon as the systems is booting I'll upgrade to 4 Gb of RAM and add another drive to get a RAID-1 configuration)

I have tried installing ESXi U3 and everything goes alright until the reboot after installation (2410SA is detected, hard drive is seen, onboard NIC is recognized as vmnic0, ESXi is installed). I've spend a few hours on configuring the 2410SA as a boot device, but I'm pretty confident that is done correctly (BIOS extension is installed and the drive is configured as boot device, both on the 2410SA as in the BIOS of my PC). After the normal BIOS messages the screen just goes blank and nothing happens any more.

Anybody who can help me getting this issue solved? I already tried to:

- Have a look at the drive after the installation on another systems and all partitions (HyperVisor0-4) are there ... so the installation of ESXi to the hard drive seems to be ok.

- Could it be my hard drive which is SATA2 (where the 2410SA controller is only SATA1? Anybody aware of known issues between the 2410SA and my drive?

- Could it be my onboard NIC is not correctly recognized (although this is not the issue if you ask me since the lockup happens at the very beginning, even before ESXi has done anything)

Any help is appreciated ...

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5 Replies
Jackobli
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hello and welcome to the VMware ESXi community forum.

Don't know that controller... Is there just one array (size of 1 TB) or did you split it up?

Do you own a smaller disk just for a test? Perhaps the boot loader has problems with the size of the array?

All BIOS (system and controller) are up to date?

prostar
Contributor
Contributor

Hey,

Yesterday evening I did change my configuration a bit (but all at once, so I'm not sure which element brought te solution):

- Used another identical motherboard but now with 4 GB of memory and installed the latest BIOS (the one installed was the BIOS before that, so pretty recent)

- Installed 4 GB of memory

- Used another SATA disk which is 250GB of size

- Now tried to install 3.5i-U4

And ... now it works ... I mean I was able to install and now also boot the hypervisor ... time will tell if the installation is stable. I'll let you know in time if the configuration works ...

Thanks to all who responded.

ProStar

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prostar
Contributor
Contributor

Hi,

The controller is a 4-port SATA controller support hardware RAID 0/1/5 and recognized by ESXi without any modifications by the aacraid driver.

In my first tests I had just one drive connected to the controller so there was just one array 1TB in size (using the single disk that was installed).

Even without reading your comment I also tried another disk (see other posts) of 250 GB, but I don't know if that did the trick or not.

Both the BIOS on the motherboard and from the controller had the second last BIOS, but I also upgrade the motherboard BIOS to the latest version.

Thanks.

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Jackobli
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

So it could be a combination of all three parts.

If you got only a blinking cursor, the CPU cannot start the bootloader.

This could be due to an old BIOS, that cannot see such big disks... or due to the controller BIOS, that cannot make visible the array to INT13 of system BIOS... or it could be a problem of the bootloader of ESXi (IMHO kind of grub).

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

You might want to connect the 1 TB drive now and see if you can create a datastore on it. It might be an issue with the drive.

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