I am seeing the identical issue on an Intel DQ35J0 motherboard with SATA drives. (ESXi 4.1 worked great on this system.)
did more research, found a solution that works for me.
With ESXi 5, ESX no longer uses MBR for boot, it has gone to GPT-based partitions instead. Which is fine, if your BIOS (and mine) supported it correctly. More details here: http://communities.vmware.com/message/1822854?tstart=0
There are two ways past this:
1) try changing your BIOS to enable UEFI support - then re-install completely. This did not work for me, I got purple screen of death when trying to do the ESXi install. (I chalk this up to problems with UEFI implementation in the BIOS revision on my older motherboard.)
2) Re-install ESXi 5, and during initial install press Shift-O when prompted. Add formatwithmbr to the options, proceed with install.
This second approach worked great for me, hope it helps.
This worked for me too using both a DP35DP and a D965WH (Both Intel boards).
Took me a bit to figure out how to "Add to the options" so here is exactly what to do hope this helps:
Press Shift+ O (not zero) when prompted early in the boot from cd process.
You'll see ">runweasel" in a little prompt area in the lower left of the screen.
Leave this in there, press space, then type in formatwithmbr and then press enter.
Any idea i am getting a error. During initial install I press Shift-O when prompted.I Add formatwithmbr to the options, proceed with install. Soon after this when it start loading
I got this error
Multiboot header is not found
/tboot.b00: Kernal is either invalid or corrupted
Fatal error:36 (Bad Type)
There could be multiple things ,the first thing i will recommend you to do is to clean your hard drive with g parted live iso ,clean every thing you can see & delete all the unknown partitions you see .
Then proceeds with a clean installation after formatting with your recommended disk system , try this before doing any thing else .
Just thought I'd add my 2 cents here.. With ESXi 5.5.0 (Update 1) out, that is what I used for the following:
- I am too using an Intel desktop board and the BIOS is old enough not to have any idea what GPT is.
- This method works on 5.5
- there are 2 points at which you can apply the "formatwithmbr" command": At the initial boot selection screen (blue box with minimal text) - just hit Tab to edit options and add "formatwithmbr" to the small amount of preexisting text and hit enter to start the installation OR at the next pausing state of the installer (shortly after the bootloader) you can do SHIFT+O and type the "formatwithmbr". If you chose the first method, "formatwithmbr" should already be present in the text field next to ">runweasel".
- OR as a temporary fix, if you have already installed the server, you can use the bootable installer disk to launch the ESXi partition even if it is GPT. (which I discovered by accident)