Installing ESXi on whiteboxes where the installer mistakenly(?) detects the sata controllers as IDE interfaces
Use the instructions on this blog for creating a bootable usb stick with the contents of the ESXi installation ISO. These instructions will show you a simple way of updating the pci.ids and simple.map files so that your sata controller is recognised by ESXi.
Boot from the usb stick and once you get to the Welcome to the VMware ESX Server screen, hold down Ctrl + Alt and press F1 to switch to a different console
Login as root with a blank password
If you have followed the instructions in the above blog and your sata disks were detected by vmkernel then check the output of the following commands to confirm this:
All of the above commands should show you some vmhbaXX devices, where one of these will be the usb stick and others will be your sata disks.If these don't show you a vmhbaXX device other than your usb stick, then either the vmkernel didn't recognise your disks(check pci.ids/simple.map files) or your controller is not supported at all
IMPORTANT: ESXi seems to format ALL usable disks installed into the system during the installation and so do not keep any data on the machine you are installing ESXi onto. It should be a totally bare metal machine whose contents can be trashed!
Change directory to the /usr/lib/vmware/installer/Core/ folder
Use the vi editor to modify the TargetFilter.py file
In the IDEFilter() function, change the return line so that it matches what is shown below:
Original line: return interface.GetInterfaceType() == ScsiInterface.SCSI_IFACE_TYPE_IDE
Modified line: return interface.GetInterfaceType() == ScsiInterface.SCSI_IFACE_TYPE_ISCSI
Save the file and run the installer again by typing in:
NOTE: It seems the installer automatically switches the console upon running and so you need to switch back to the first console by holding down CTRL+ALT and pressing F1
You should be able to continue with the install as normal from now on.
Reply to this thread if this worked or not. Also, this is COMPLETELY unsupported by VMware as you are using hardware not in their certified as compatible list!