I have a test ESXi 3.5 system at home that I was neglecting. Luckily it had no VMs on it or I'd be upset right now.
It's a pretty lame machine - an HP business desktop with 3 gigs of RAM (dc7600) and 2 internal SATA hdds. It's a P4, its slow, but it runs ESXi enough to play.
I used Infrastructure Update to update from the original ESXi installable (back when the free version was first released), to U3 and it worked fine, but after rebooting I got an error that ESX does not have any persistent storage. I tried hitting refresh on the storage adapters and storage pages, but no dice.
Adding new storage worked with the 2nd internal hard drive in the box, and it reformatted the drive. I couldn't add part of the internal drive that actually had ESXi installed though. When trying to add that volume it wanted to replace everything.
So I decided to try to replicate this so I grabbed my old CD and installed ESXi again from scratch and created my volumes.
I then updated to ESXi 3.5 U3 and bam, lost all my volumes again.
Any idea what is going on?
I had the same problem with an HP Server ML320G5...
The "volume" didn't mount... the onboard SATA Controller was a ICHR7.... I suspect some issue with this controller..
So far, I had no solution
This seems similar to issues with WinXP when SATA drives started coming out. The standard drivers in WinXP on the CD weren't picking up the controllers. One trick was to go into the BIOS of the MB and set the SATA mode to "Legacy" or "Compatible" so that it appeared to the OS as standard IDE controllers.
I had a problem on a Dell Optiplex GX620:
The GX620 has an ICH7 chipset.
Look at this post for changes to /etc/vmware/simple.map
And look at this one for my fix.
Co-Author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center
(ISBN:1420070274) from Auerbach
Here I solved a slightly different way. After setting the above configs in Advanced Configuration, I had to edit the /etc/vmware/hosts/vmInventory.xml file... Since the "datastore ID" was changed.
But everything OK now.