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Laithan
Contributor
Contributor

Extending ESXi partition on a USB SDCARD diskless 6.5

Hi all,

 Long time lurker but finally had the need to get some help as I cannot figure this out for the life of me. I am hoping that someone can help. (Thanks to all in advance). I have an ESXi 6.5 running from a USB SDCARD. The card is a 32GB sandisk in a SDCARD -> USB adapter. It has been running just fine for years. There is a ton of free space on the SDCARD. Just as an FYI, I have successfully made an image of this SDCARD using both DD and USBImageTool so I have a backup. 

 I had been installing all of the latest patches/updates as they came out however the past several updates I have not been able to install. The error I get is that it cannot be LIVE installed. [StatelessError] The transaction is not supported: VIB VMware_bootbank_cpu-microcode_6.5.0-3.134.16576879 cannot be live installed. I don't have any VMs running, I have restared ESXi before I try to install and maintenance mode doesn't help either. I get the same error as shown here:  https://communities.vmware.com/t5/ESXi-Discussions/Failing-while-doing-Esx-6-5-patch-update-via-cli/...

My OS partition size is also around 2GB just like in this article. The consensus appears to be that I don't have enough space on the SDCARD to perform the update. I also noticed that when I unregister some VMs, upon a reboot they come back again. The server and the VMs all run fine but I just cannot update it anymore and certain changes do not survive a restart.

I went on a journey to figure out a way to extend the ESXi system partitions. I tried using Debian Linux to do this. I have tried Gparted but it doesn't recognize the partitions. I tried more than one version and 2 of the partitions are never recognized (unknown). I figured I would get creative and even try using a disk clone tool (Acronis). I even tried restoring an image thinking I would have the option to re-size it upon restore but that didn't work either. 

I have literally tried for months (I don't give up easy) and I just cannot seem to extend this partition.. It sounds like it would be easy but has proven to be incredibly difficult (for me anyway). I didn't want to reinstall ESXi from scratch because of all the drivers and configurations I have made over time. I realize that I could do that but I'm looking for a solution to this probelm. It would just be so much easier nicer if I could somehow fix this one. πŸ™‚  It is time to ask the experts.

I honestly don't know how to even check the space available so I am assuming this is the problem. I also don't know how to run some kind of disk check either. 

Thank you so much

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12 Replies
Laithan
Contributor
Contributor

Just bumping this since the thread was accidentally marked as spam and due to the holidays. I hope everyone had a nice time (as good as we can anyway). Thank you

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Laithan
Contributor
Contributor

I just found out that I am unable to take snapshots either, I assume because of this same disk space issue  😞

I am hoping someone could chime as to if extenting the system partition(s) is something that is possible and how it would be done.

Thank you

 

State Failed - A general system error occurred:

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Laithan
Contributor
Contributor

Happy New Year all.

I am assuming this is not impossible... but perhaps it is. I really don't want to have to start from scratch although I know that is an option.. I would prefer to be able to fix this problem. Part of it is the challenge and to be able to know how to do this in the future.

Is there really no way to resize an ESXi system partition?

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Laithan
Contributor
Contributor

Hi all. I guess this boils down to 2 scenarios:

(1) It is impossible to resize an ESXi system partition

(2) I am a n00b and just getting laughed at because I don't know what I am doing

lol... go ahead, fire away if I'm behind door #2 

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Laithan
Contributor
Contributor

Is anyone able to reply to this thread? Can I get a "mic check" real quick? πŸ˜Ž

Thanks!

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scott28tt
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

@Laithan 

Replying as a moderator.

 


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Anonymous
Not applicable

@Laithan 

Replying as a regular user.

 

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Laithan
Contributor
Contributor

Thank you for confirming this. I guess nobody has had any advice or suggestions for me. 

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continuum
Immortal
Immortal

Hi

you will not like my reply .... but as you already guessed yourself expanding ESXi-system partitions is not trivial at all.
It will be much easier to just get a larger boot-device and reinstall from scratch.
I tried to expand the bootbank partitions myself and realized that the results were not worth the effort and declared defeat

 

Ulli

 


________________________________________________
Do you need support with a VMFS recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
I do not support Workstation 16 at this time ...

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daphnissov
Immortal
Immortal

Same reply you won't like: You should be trying to do this. Need to reinstall with a larger device. Backup and restore the ESXi config and any VMs needed (if applicable).

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Laithan
Contributor
Contributor

Thank you both for the feedback, I appreciate it. The SDCARD is actually 32GB so I have plenty of space available I just did not specify enough space during the initial install. 

I wasn't aware that there was a way to backup/restore the config.. That would be beneficial for me and likely save me some steps. I will have to search for a good article on this. Any recommendations?

Also, I do have some local storage holding some VMs in addition to the NFS share. What can I expect when reinstalling with the local disks present? I thought I heard that they might be wiped out. Should I disconnect all local storage during the install? I am pretty sure that another install of ESXi should be able to see and import any VMs but are there any "gotchas" or "tricks" I should be aware of?

Thanks very much.. learning..

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Laithan
Contributor
Contributor

This was easy to find so I figured I would leave this here if it might help someone in the future. I will have to test this first on my test system. 

https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2042141

 

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