1 2 Previous Next 24 Replies Latest reply: Feb 22, 2009 10:46 AM by Stan007 RSS

    Installing ESXi on whiteboxes? Were your sata disks not detected? Try this...

    thingy Novice

      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.

       

       

       

      http://www.grid.org/blog/cameron/development-using-vmware-server-esxi

      +

      http://www.grid.org/blog/cameron/updating-vmware-esxi-disk-dump-file

       

      • 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:

       

       

        • fdisk -l

        • ls /dev/disks

        • esxcfg-vmhbadevs

       

      • 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

      cd /usr/lib/vmware/installer/Core/

      • 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:

      install

       

      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!

       

       

       

       

       

        • 1. Re: Installing ESXi on whiteboxes? Were your sata disks not detected? Try this...
          thingy Novice

           

          The motherboard is an ASUS CrossHair and I've got 2x Maxtor 300GB disks in the system in SATA mode (i.e. unraided).

           

           

          In case anyone wanted to know:

           

          Output of lspci:

           

          00:00.00 Memory controller: nVidia Corporation

          00:00.01 Memory controller: nVidia Corporation

          00:00.02 Memory controller: nVidia Corporation

          00:00.03 Memory controller: nVidia Corporation

          00:00.04 Memory controller: nVidia Corporation

          00:00.05 Memory controller: nVidia Corporation

          00:00.06 Memory controller: nVidia Corporation

          00:00.07 Memory controller: nVidia Corporation

          00:04.00 Bridge: nVidia Corporation

          00:08.00 Memory controller: nVidia Corporation

          00:09.00 Bridge: nVidia Corporation

          00:09.01 Serial bus controller: nVidia Corporation

          00:09.02 Memory controller: nVidia Corporation

          00:10.00 Serial bus controller: nVidia Corporation

          00:10.01 Serial bus controller: nVidia Corporation

          00:12.00 Mass storage controller: nVidia Corporation MCP55 IDE Controller

          00:13.00 Mass storage controller: nVidia Corporation MCP55 SATA Controller

          00:13.01 Mass storage controller: nVidia Corporation MCP55 SATA Controller

          00:13.02 Mass storage controller: nVidia Corporation MCP55 SATA Controller

          00:14.00 Bridge: nVidia Corporation

          00:14.01 : nVidia Corporation

          00:16.00 Bridge: nVidia Corporation nVidia NForce Network Controller

          00:17.00 Bridge: nVidia Corporation nVidia NForce Network Controller

          00:18.00 Bridge: nVidia Corporation

          00:22.00 Bridge: nVidia Corporation

          00:23.00 Bridge: nVidia Corporation

          00:24.00 Bridge: Advanced Micro Devices K8 HyperTransport Technology Configuration

          00:24.01 Bridge: Advanced Micro Devices K8 Address MapK8 NorthBridge

          00:24.02 Bridge: Advanced Micro Devices K8 DRAM Controller

          00:24.03 Bridge: Advanced Micro Devices K8 Miscellaneous Control

          02:07.00 Display controller: nVidia Corporation NV17

          02:11.00 Serial bus controller: Texas Instruments TSB43AB22/A IEEE-1394a-2000 Controller (PHY/Link)

           

          Changes made to the simple.map file are:

           

          -added-

          10de:03e7 0000:0000 storage sata_nv

          10de:03f6 0000:0000 storage sata_nv

          10de:03f7 0000:0000 storage sata_nv

          10de:045c 0000:0000 storage sata_nv

          10de:045d 0000:0000 storage sata_nv

          10de:045e 0000:0000 storage sata_nv

          10de:045f 0000:0000 storage sata_nv

          10de:0555 0000:0000 storage sata_nv

          10de:07f8 0000:0000 storage sata_nv

          -added-

           

          Changes made to the pci.ids file are:

           

          -added-

               037e  MCP55 SATA Controller

               037f  MCP55 SATA Controller

               03e7  MCP61 SATA Controller

               03f6  MCP61 SATA Controller

               03f7  MCP61 SATA Controller

               045c  MCP65 SATA Controller

               045d  MCP65 SATA Controller

               045e  MCP65 SATA Controller

               045f  MCP65 SATA Controller

               0555  MCP67 SATA Controller

               07f8  MCP73 SATA Controller

          -added-

           

           

           

           

           

          • 2. Re: Installing ESXi on whiteboxes? Were your sata disks not detected? Try this...
            nick.couchman Champion

            On some of the SuperMicro machines just switching the BIOS configuration for the SATA controller from "Legacy" to either "Native" or "Enhanced" seems to work, fine, too.

            • 3. Re: Installing ESXi on whiteboxes? Were your sata disks not detected? Try this...
              joonny Novice

               

              Hi thingy,

               

               

               

               

               

              how can I create the simple and pci files  ??

               

               

               

               

               

              thanks.

               

               

              • 4. Re: Installing ESXi on whiteboxes? Were your sata disks not detected? Try this...
                Dave.Mishchenko Guru User Moderators

                You would modify the existing ones - http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/customize_oem_tgz.php.  What are you trying to accomplish?

                • 5. Re: Installing ESXi on whiteboxes? Were your sata disks not detected? Try this...
                  joonny Novice

                   

                  Hi there,

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  I am trying to install esx3i on my pc that I just bought for this.

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  CPU:amd5200+

                   

                   

                  4gb

                   

                   

                  MB: GA-MA78GM-S2H

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Can I install esxi 3 ?

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  regards,

                   

                   

                  • 6. Re: Installing ESXi on whiteboxes? Were your sata disks not detected? Try this...
                    Dave.Mishchenko Guru User Moderators

                    What sort of storage controller and NIC do you have?   Here's a list of what ESXi will recognize (no guarantee that all the compents will work) - http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/Hardware_support.php.   If you have a storage / NIC controller that isn't on the list you will be out of luck but

                     

                    1)  You can install ESXi to an IDE drive (assuming ESXi recognizes the IDE controller) - http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/ESXi_install_to_IDE_drive/ESXi_install_to_IDE_drive.php

                    2)  You could try booting from USB (but you would then need another NFS / iSCSI server for VM storage  - http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/Boot%203i%20from%20USB%20flash%20drive.html

                    3)  You can add a cheap SATA controller / NIC to get ESXi to work on the PC - http://www.vm-help.com/Whitebox_HCL.php

                    • 7. Re: Installing ESXi on whiteboxes? Were your sata disks not detected? Try this...
                      joonny Novice

                       

                      Thing is

                       

                       

                      I have added the compatible Nic(intel one), means only problem is storage controller issue.

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                      My question is,

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                      Can I still install esxi 3.5 on the  "Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H Local SATA not tested (added LSI MegaRaid 150)"with the workaround "thingy"'s step.

                       

                       

                      or the workaround also has limited on "unsupported but working"Mother board ?

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                      thanks.

                       

                       

                      • 8. Re: Installing ESXi on whiteboxes? Were your sata disks not detected? Try this...
                        Dave.Mishchenko Guru User Moderators

                        Are you able to get the PCI ids for the storage controller.  The spec page seems to list an AMD storage controller, in which case I think you'll be out of luck. 

                         

                        The solution given above deals with the situation in which a controller

                        1)  can function in IDE / SATA modes

                        2)  has an entry in the pci id database files for the IDE mode.

                         

                        This doesn't deal with hardware that is not listed and doesn't have a driver for it.

                        • 9. Re: Installing ESXi on whiteboxes? Were your sata disks not detected? Try this...
                          thingy Novice

                           

                          Hi

                           

                           

                          Whilst searching on google for a lspci output of your motherboard, I cam across the following link.

                           

                          lspci output

                           

                          00:00.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices RS780 Host Bridge

                          00:01.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices RS780 PCI to PCI bridge (int gfx)

                          00:0a.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices RS780 PCI to PCI bridge (PCIE port 5)

                          00:11.0 SATA controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 SATA Controller

                          00:12.0 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB OHCI0 Controller

                          00:12.1 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB OHCI1 Controller

                          00:12.2 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB EHCI Controller

                          00:13.0 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB OHCI0 Controller

                          00:13.1 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB OHCI1 Controller

                          00:13.2 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB EHCI Controller

                          00:14.0 SMBus: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 SMBus Controller (rev 3a)

                          00:14.1 IDE interface: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 IDE Controller

                          00:14.2 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 Azalia

                          00:14.3 ISA bridge: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 LPC host controller

                          00:14.4 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 PCI to PCI Bridge

                          00:14.5 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 USB OHCI2 Controller

                          00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices Family 10h HyperTransport Configuration

                          00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices Family 10h Address Map

                          00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices Family 10h DRAM Controller

                          00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices Family 10h Miscellaneous Control

                          00:18.4 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices Family 10h Link Control

                          01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon HD 3200 Graphics

                          01:05.1 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc RS780 Azalia controller

                          02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 02)

                          03:0e.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments TSB43AB23 IEEE-1394a-2000 Controller (PHY/Link)

                           

                           

                           

                           

                           

                          I don't think the ATI sata controller is supported under ESXi but you can test and see if it is.

                           

                           

                          • 10. Re: Installing ESXi on whiteboxes? Were your sata disks not detected? Try this...
                            joonny Novice

                             

                            Hi thingy,

                             

                             

                             

                             

                             

                            Thanks for the reply.

                             

                             

                             

                             

                             

                            Now, I have following situation.

                             

                             

                            I bought  2systems of : amd 5200+, 4GB, Intel Nic, ma78gm-s2h(mb)

                             

                             

                            However it does require Megaraid card to complete the esx installation.  I thought I could use all the steps you have described, however it did not work.

                             

                             

                            Seems I have to replace m/b or cpu&m/b together because amd m/b list has way less than intel ones.

                             

                             

                            Can you please recommend me what should I do ?  I am in sydney and we do not have all the m/b in the list due to discontinued or small market.

                             

                             

                            I am thinking of replacing the cpu and m/b (actually buying).

                             

                             

                            Any idea ?

                             

                             

                             

                             

                             

                            Thanks again.

                             

                             

                            • 11. Re: Installing ESXi on whiteboxes? Were your sata disks not detected? Try this...
                              Dave.Mishchenko Guru User Moderators

                              However it does require Megaraid card to complete the esx installation.  I thought I could use all the steps you have described, however it did not work.

                               

                              You would need to add either a supported storage controller or on that works.  The megaraid 150 is such an example, but there are other options. 

                               

                              Seems I have to replace m/b or cpu&m/b together because amd m/b list has way less than intel ones.

                               

                              I wouldn't worry about the list having less AMD systems - you'll just need to get a controller that will work.

                              Can you please recommend me what should I do ?  I am in sydney and we do not have all the m/b in the list due to discontinued or small market.

                               

                              Are you going this for production or test?   If it's test you could add an adaptec SCSI card, or something like the Megaraid 150-4.

                              • 12. Re: Installing ESXi on whiteboxes? Were your sata disks not detected? Try this...
                                joonny Novice

                                 

                                its going to be test environment, and the cost of getting the megaraid 150-4 is more than replacing the m/b:

                                 

                                 

                                NEW LSI Logic MegaRAID SATA 150-4 RAID Storage Adapt...!http://pics.ebaystatic.com/aw/pics/s.gif!

                                $240.99

                                Free

                                 

                                 

                                Also Scsi card, means I have to get another 2 sets of scsi drive. 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                • 13. Re: Installing ESXi on whiteboxes? Were your sata disks not detected? Try this...
                                  thingy Novice

                                   

                                  Hi

                                   

                                   

                                  This link shows someone using your current MB with ESXi and so we know that apart from the NIC and storage controller, the mb should be fine for ESXi.

                                   

                                   

                                  You say you have purchased a compatible Intel NIC for the mb and hence the storage controller is the only outstanding issue.

                                   

                                   

                                  1. You could get a simple sata controller card from Techbuy for $80 AU and they state a delivery of 1-3 days for this. The Promise SATA300 TX2plus is known to work fine with ESXi.

                                   

                                   

                                  2. You could get a sata raid controller card but those are more expensive then getting a replacement mb.

                                   

                                   

                                  3. If you are purchasing a replacement MB, concentrate on verifying whether the onboard NICs and storage controllers are compatible. For example, search on google for "lspci motherboard model" and then compare the controller/nic against the hcl list Dave mentioned.

                                   

                                   

                                  -Jinesh

                                   

                                   

                                  • 14. Re: Installing ESXi on whiteboxes? Were your sata disks not detected? Try this...
                                    joonny Novice

                                     

                                    This is great that I can use that SATA controller : Promise SATA300 TX2plus

                                     

                                     

                                    Thanks Thingy, now I have 2 questions left... hehe.

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    1. Would this be only low profile ?  means, I need to find another normal size one for my med size desktop pc case ?

                                     

                                     

                                    2. With this controller, should I still go through all the workaround way to install esxi 3.5 or esx 3.5 ?

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    Thanks again thingy.

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    regards,

                                     

                                     

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