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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Installation of ESXi 4.1 via bootable USB stick

Hi everyone, i'm trying to install ESXi 4.1 from a USB stick and has run into a little snag.

What i do is the following:

  1. Format USB stick in Windows 7 x64 with FAT32 (or FAT16, same problem)

  2. "burn the image (VMware-VMvisor-Installer-4.1.0-260247.x86_64.iso) to the USB stick using Unetbootin

  3. Edit syslinux.cfg to make menus

  4. create ks.cfg to automate installation

  5. create file .mtoolsrc containing the line "mtools_skip_check=1" on the USB stick

The USB boots fine, unpacks the binaries and start the installation (yellow screen with driver installation) and then suddenly it show message "Total number of sectors not a multiple of sectors per track" and the installation can't go any further.

Now as i understand this is a Linux problem and not a spesific problem to Vmware and so we google, and the solution seems simpe enough. Create a file called .mtoolsrc which contains the line "mtools_skip_check=1" or format the stick on a linux machine (still using FAT32 or FAT16).

I don't have a linux machine so i wanted to try the first one and here come the question (finally):

Where do i put the file ?

Some say it should even be called mtools.conf and be under /etc/ or /root/etc and so on ... But this is a USB stick without any subfolders on a windows machine and i have tried to create all the subfolders stated and but both the . version and the .conf version of the file there and of course i have put the files on the root of the USB stick aswell and nothing seems to work.

Do i maybe have to set a enviroment variable anywhere to say where the file is ? Could i just use mtools_skip_check=1 as a variable in isolinux.cfg or syslinux.cfg ?

Any help would be creatly appreciated. Thank you and see you at Vmworld in Denmark Smiley Happy

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9 Replies
admin
Immortal
Immortal

What does your partition table for the USB stick look like? It's a little wonky, but you actually need a partition table with one partition on it for this to work.

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Stream2back
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I'm not sure what you mean. I've downloaded a virtual appliance with linux so that i can format the stick in linux. I've tried to create ONE partition with both FAT16 and FAT32 on both the linux machine and windows machine. I have also tried several different USB sticks but the the error remains.

The size of the partition was 512 MB

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

Can you post the 'fdisk -l' output for the disk? Also, did you run syslinux on it to install syslinux to the MBR, or did you only copy the syslinux config files?

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

It's booting fine, it's later in the installation that it stops. I use Unetbootin to make it bootable after format.

Fdisk -l

Device Boot Start End Blocks ID System

/Dev/SDB1 * 1 7813 500000 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)

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DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

http://vm-help.com/esx40i/ESXi_USB_install.php

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Followed the guide. Still same error.

Remember that i'm trying to install 4.1 not 4.0 that the guide was for.

In addition to this the installation (to the point where it stops) was about ten times slower ....

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Stream2back
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Vmware support provided me with a workaround:

When the error messag appear i do:

ALT + F1

Log in (root + no password)

echo "mtools_skip_check=1" >> .mtoolsrc

ALT + F2 to return to original Console window

Press Enter or wait to continue

The question now is how / where to i enter this command to automate the process ? in the ks.cfg file or in the syslinux.cfg ?

Seems like this guy tried to explain it, but i did not understand what he meant.

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sumavisor
Contributor
Contributor

I guess I didn't do a good job of explaining where to put the mod.tgz in the post mentioned above ( http://benincosa.org/blog/?p=202 ). I guess I didn't think many people would run into this problem so I didn't go into much detail.

However if you check out Ivo's site here: http://www.ivobeerens.nl/?p=699 he gives you a mod.tgz that you can include and some more detailed instructions of how to create it.

Hopefully that helps!

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Varazir
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks, see if I can add this to my script

http://code.google.com/p/mkesxiaio/

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