VMware Cloud Community
KHempkins
Contributor
Contributor

Upgrade from ESX 4.0 to ESXi 4.1 On standalone host.

Hi,

We have a stand-alone host at a Branch Office with local storage only (internal raid) running 4.0, connected to Vcenter 4.1-u1. I understand that there is no upgrade-path from esx to esxi and i need to boot on iso and reinstall. So' I ve disconnected it from Vcenter and shut down all my vm's and reboot the host to an iso.

When I launch the install, and select the only storage available, it warns me about data on the disk, and everything will be erased ... Does the installation of ESXi erase my vmfs? I need to keep the vm's on the machine, as there is no other server/storage available to evacuate the vm's.

Does (re-)install of ESXi 4.1 erase my vmfs and vm's from the box ??

Regards

K.H.

0 Kudos
7 Replies
a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

Stop the installation immediately.

It will erase all data on the installation disk!

André

0 Kudos
KHempkins
Contributor
Contributor

Hi André,

Thanks for a quick reply.

I've allready stopped the upgrade for now so no worries Smiley Happy

But ....how do I do this "upgrade"? Do I need to move all vm's off the physical host? Copying all the vmdk's to an external machine (1,5 tb) is not something I would like to do - if it can be avoided!

K.H.

0 Kudos
a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

How is the local disk/RAID set configured? Do you have only one disk/logical volume with the OS and VMFS on it?

Does the server have an option to boot from USB or SD (preferably internal)? In this case you may be able to install ESXi on the USB/SD device (1 GB is enough). Since only the installation disk - which is the USB/SD device in this case - is erased, your VMFS volume on the HDD's will be preserved.

André

KHempkins
Contributor
Contributor

One Raid-set with one volume. But wil ESXi-install erase all partitions on the disk, not only the linux-partition with the esx os on? I just find it hard to grasp that I cannot select the partitions I want to use and what to keep? This is the disk-layout:

[root@NO04ESXa ~]# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sdb: 1197.7 GB, 1197759004672 bytes
64 heads, 32 sectors/track, 1142272 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 = 1048576 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *           1         100      102384   83  Linux
/dev/sdb2             101        5100     5120000   83  Linux
/dev/sdb3            5101     1139628  1161756672   fb  VMware VMFS
/dev/sdb4         1139629     1142272     2707456    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sdb5         1139629     1140172      557040   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sdb6         1140173     1142172     2047984   83  Linux
/dev/sdb7         1142173     1142272      102384   fc  VMware VMKCORE

K.H.

0 Kudos
a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

I just find it hard to grasp that I cannot select the partitions I want to use and what to keep?

You are not alone, a lot of people would like to see the ESXi installation preserve VMFS volumes/partitions. However, it just doesn't which is most likely due to the partition layout ESXi uses. It will definitely wipe the complete installation disk (or logical volume) you select for the installation.

André

KHempkins
Contributor
Contributor

Well ....good to know !

I'm having a hard time understanding that VmWare could do this. We are in the process of upgrading our hosts, and we have a few stand-alone hosts. In the datacenter we can off course just move the vm's to other hosts, but in a stand-alone environment we actually have to copy all vmdk's to another box and re-install everything ....well done ...how are we supposed to move to ESXi i wonder..

But thank's a lot for your help André, I'll just have to upgrade to ESX 4.1 for now, and worry about the ESXi-stuff later then.

Way to go VmWare Smiley Sad

K.H.

0 Kudos
Sreejesh_D
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

looks like we can achieve this using scripted install of ESXi. there is an option "overwritevmfs" in kickstart file to overwrite the VMFS volume.

Hope the VMFS will be preserved if we wont mention this option with autopart.

the details on scripted installtion is available in section "Install ESXi 4.1 Using the Scripted Mode" in ESXi Installable setup guide.

https://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_esxi_i_vc_setup_guide.pdf

0 Kudos