coderdude
Contributor
Contributor

vSphere ESXi 5.1 (free) Installation Error

I'm attempting to install vSphere ESXi 5.1 (free version) from a USB thumb drive as this computer doesn't have a CD/DVD drive.  I've created a bootable USB drive, copied the ISO to it and configured my BIOS to boot from USB.  Unfortunately, I get the following error:

3>Command line is empty.

<3>Fatal error: 32 (Syntax)

I've even tried using tools to create the USB thinking maybe I did something wrong such as:

http://www.linuxliveusb.com/

I did find the following article:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=200747...

But the only option my BIOS has related to UEFI is under "Boot mode select" and the only options it offers are below and neither of them seem to make a difference.

  • UEFI
  • Legacy + UEFI

Any ideas on how to get this working?

15 Replies
admin
Immortal
Immortal

I would recommend to install workstation and then deploy ESXi

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coderdude
Contributor
Contributor

I don't understand... how will installing workstation (which is not free) help me install ESXi on the "bare metal" of my host?

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

what is the server model used... I would recommend you to contact the hw vendor and ask them to flash the ESXi image on the USB stick...

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coderdude
Contributor
Contributor

It's a custom build:

  • MSI FM2-A75MA-E35
  • AMD A10-5800K APU 3.8Ghz Processor (AD580KWOHJBOX)
  • 16GB DDR3 1866MHz RAM
  • 4 - 3TB SATA 7200
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OscarDavey
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Hello,

Try this USB Image Writer or another Image writers to write your ISO to USB Drive.

Hope will help.

Win32 Disk Imager

Win32 Disk Imager | Free Development software downloads at SourceForge.net

Your Oscar

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slavetothesound
Contributor
Contributor

I have the same Motherboard and CPU combo - my way around that error was to hit F11 during the MSI splash screen to enter the boot menu and manually select the USB drive I wanted to boot from. (NOT the UEFI option, that's the one causing the errors)

I used the info here to create a bootable usb from Windows:
http://www.vm-help.com/esx40i/ESXi_USB_install.php

When running syslinux.exe make sure you use version 3.86 specifically and make sure you are running the command prompt as administrator.

Also I changed isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg and (possibly unnecessarily) isolinux.bin to syslinux.bin

Trying to install at this point you will see the installer freeze halfway through loading. The solution is in the ESXi manual:

In the file syslinux.cfg change the line "Append -c boot.cfg" to "APPEND -c boot.cfg -p 1"

The unfortunate next hurdle is that once the installer loads it is telling me there is no driver for the onboard network adapter for our MSI motherboard, and won't let you install without one. So you'll be stuck here unless there's a driver we can use somewhere.

===========UPDATE==========

My network adapter issue is due to using version 5.5, this issue was apparently not present with 5.1, 5.0

Our MSI motherboard's NIC is a Realtek RTL8111E and though I haven't tried it yet, this looks like a promising workaround: TinkerTry IT @ home | Install ESXi 5.5 with Realtek 8111/8168 NIC

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Paltelkalpesh
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Sometime it can be possible you have corrupted ISO files, make sure you have proper ISO image files and check your hardware compatibility with ESXI 5.1

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slavetothesound
Contributor
Contributor

Adding the old driver to the new ISO got the installer to work, but it couldn't find the DHCP host after installation so I'm not sure it was actually a viable driver. I'm giving up for now.

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oliveacm
Contributor
Contributor


I have the same problem that Coderdude.

I want to install a ESXI 5.1 on a server I monted (motherboard Asus H87I-PLUS) but when a want to boot on the Usb keys, I have two error message :

3>Command line is empty.

<3>Fatal error: 32 (Syntax)

I try with a Esxi Image 5.5 and 5.1 with the program to edit images Rufus, Unetbooting and LinuxLive USB and always fail and it's ok when I boot with a Linux image to try.

For infomation my Secure boot state is Disable and OS Type is Other OS.

I can see on various forums need to add various files to iso... if someone have an idee to help me... 🙂

Thanks

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Kodestuen
Contributor
Contributor

I had the same problem and you need to choose Windows OS in Security when installing.

After installation you must change it back to Other OS.

Quite confusing, much easier back in the days 🙂

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oliveacm
Contributor
Contributor

Bonjour,

Je suis absent du 22 décembre au 7 janvier 2015 inclus avec un accès limité à mes mails.

Bonnes fêtes à tous.

Cordialement.

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edvtie
Contributor
Contributor

hey,i guess you are installing  esxi 5.1 with uefi boot mode .To solve this problem you have to get a esxi 6.0.iso file and extract EFI\boot\BOOTX64.EFI BOOTIA32.EFI ,then put this two files into same path in esxi 5.1.iso . it should be working now.

moskiz
Contributor
Contributor

‌great solution  ! It worked for me ! Thanks a lot ! Smiley Happy

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KleberOC
Contributor
Contributor

Thank you edvtie, I was having the same issue to deploy esxi 5.5 on a dell xps 8700 for lab purposes, your solution worked like a charm.

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sudayagiri
Contributor
Contributor

Fantastic ! It worked for me. Thanks a lot.

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