Cr0n_J0b
Contributor
Contributor

booting from USB Stick (lexar Firefly)

Hi everyone.

I'm trying to boot a server using a USB stick. I've read some threads on how to prepare the stick and it seems to work ok, but when it boots up I get the following error:

Cannot get bank 1 paramaters.

Warning: Bank 1 partition type invalid. Ignoring.

Cannot get bank 2 paramaters.

Warning: Bank 2 partition type invalid. Ignoring.

Panic: No useable banks found.

I'm not sure what this error refers to or how I might get around it.

Any thoughts?

0 Kudos
35 Replies
Kahonu
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Please be more specific re: "boot a server".

0 Kudos
Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

Are you using ESXi?

0 Kudos
Cr0n_J0b
Contributor
Contributor

I have loaded the hypervisor kernel on a USB stick as per a discussion here:

http://communities.vmware.com/message/825686

The idea would be to load the hypervisor from the USB stick and then begin building virtuals on the host. it seems that this is possible for some systems, but I'm not sure what the issue is with my system.

so, I'm booting from the USB stick. I'm tyring to load VMware 3.5 hypervisor. and I'm getting an error.

0 Kudos
Cr0n_J0b
Contributor
Contributor

I pulled the files from

VMware-VMVisor-InstallerCD-3.5.0-85xxx.i386.iso

I believe this is ESXi 3.5

0 Kudos
Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

I've moved your post to the ESXi forum. I would guess that the copy of .dd image file didn't copy to the USB drive properly. What app did you use to extract it and copy it?

0 Kudos
hanz_cc
Contributor
Contributor

I was able to get this to work using the physdiskwrite utility to write the dd image to the flash device, and the 7zip utility to extract the dd image file from the ISO (do not try to write the ISO to the Flash Stick). Also one other issue could be the flash device you are using may have multiple devices, like a emulated CD-ROM or floppy for software installation. The USB stick I'm using is pretty old (read: basic) and you may need the same thing. Also you could look into some of the Transcend products, as they are perfect for this type of application, having the USB or IDE flash device plugged directly into the motherboard. Hope that helps.

-hans

0 Kudos
Cr0n_J0b
Contributor
Contributor

Well, I tried the Physwrite software and it looks like the image is identical to the other one. The system boots through the BIOS, but when it comes to starting the hypervisor it borks with the Bank 1, Bank 2 thing. I'm wongering what the bank paramaters are.

basically it says, can't get Bank 1 partition type error

The other thing I noticed is that the USB stick only has 3 files one it. It's labled hypervisor, and the files only seem to take up 170KB. I'm guessing that the 700KB image file I'm using should have more to it right?

Can someone post the files that are created on their USB stick so I can compare?

0 Kudos
hanz_cc
Contributor
Contributor

What you see is correct, the dd image is putting partitions down on the flash media, and you'll see them if you go into disk management. The first partition is the only one that will show up on windows, as the others are linux formatted partitions. Do you have an older USB thumb drive you can test it on? I'm still thinking that Firefly drive has multiple devices on it.

0 Kudos
Cr0n_J0b
Contributor
Contributor

I will go out and buy some thumb drives to try today. You might be right about this particular one...or it might just be faulty or not compatible for some reason. I guess that's what the "bank 1 Partition" is referring to. Probably the second or third partition on the disk. I need at least a 1GB size drive right? I'll hunt around. I have a USB harddrive that I can try...not sure how that will work, but I can try it.

0 Kudos
hanz_cc
Contributor
Contributor

What hardware are you trying to boot via USB? I wouldn't suggest using a USB hard drive, if anything I would suggest just plugging in a normal drive into the system, and boot from the CD-Rom that you extracted the dd file from. Do the installation and make sure your system will work regardless of the boot method.

0 Kudos
Cr0n_J0b
Contributor
Contributor

Well the hard drive didn't work and the server doesn't have a CD ROM device. I'm getting a DVD to USB adapter, but that won't be here for a while. I guess I'll keep trying with different sticks.

0 Kudos
Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

You'll need at least a 1 GB stick. The marketing material states that the code is 32 MB, but you actually need more space than that. When you copy it to a USB stick (or install to hard drive) you end up with several partitions the first been a small boot partition and the 2nd and 3rd are about 47 MB each and contain the hypervisor boot banks (with contain the 32 MB of ESXi code). With a fresh install, only one boot bank is used. When you install a firmware upgrade, the complete 32 MB of ESXi code is written to the alternate boot bank, and the host will then boot from that partition. The old primary boot partition becames the alternate boot bank. That way you can revert to the old version very quickly if you have problems. If your USB stick was under 750 MB, you probably having a problem with insufficient space to hold all the partitions.

0 Kudos
Cr0n_J0b
Contributor
Contributor

well, I've tried now with 2 different 1GB usb sticks. One was from Lexar and the other was a sandisk Cruiser. Both give the same results, in that the system is telling me that it can't access banks 1 and 2. Not sure what else I can look at here. Should I try to get a third stick? and if so what brand?

0 Kudos
amirs
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Cr0n,

Generally speaking, any 1 gig key that does not use any encryption technology or U3 technology should work. Preferrably, the USB key should be wear-leveled to extend its life.

Note that VMware does not support embedded solutions that do not eminate from server vendors. Aside from the management features that OEM inject into the VMware ESXi base image, there is considerable USB qualification efforts that take place to ensure ruggedness and that, effectively, the USB key outlasts the server.

0 Kudos
Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

How have you made you with this? When you write the image to usb drive, what partitions do you see on it with disk manager / fdisk?

0 Kudos
Cr0n_J0b
Contributor
Contributor

I have tried 3 differnt sticks now from different companies. The first, Lexar, got the Bank 1, Bank 2 errors. The second was a 1GB drive from a generic company (forgot who, maybe Kingston). That one also got the errors. I then tried a 2GB drive, just black screened...with no boot messages at all. All were written and tested using the steps from the original post and WinImage as the application from an XP system. I have also tested each case using Physwrite. The USB Stick seems to be formatted right. There is the boot partition with 3 files, then (2) 47MB partitions and a 110MB partion...I think those are the right sizes they were showing...they were all the same across the sticks, so I'm assuming that they are all written correctly. I'm thinking now that it might be a function of the stick itself, and I will try to get a couple more sticks to test this out with. Anyone who has done this, I would love to know what media you used to get this to work.

than

0 Kudos
ocremel
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

The errors you are getting means that something is going wrong with your imaging.

When the ESXi bootloader starts, it will look into both boot banks to decide which one to boot from. In your case it looks like it finds that the boot banks are no good.

It's hard to tell what is going wrong with your imaging process. Did you try a read back and a verify ?

0 Kudos
admin
Immortal
Immortal

If you attach your USB flash drives to a Linux box what does fdisk say the partition types are?

0 Kudos
dilpreet
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hacks of taking the installable image and putting it on a USB key will not be supported. Please either install the iso on a disk or buy an embedded system from one of the OEM vendors which sell ESXi.

0 Kudos