Unix-Sysadmin
Contributor
Contributor

Installation of ESX 3.5 via USB

Hi,

we used to install our ESX Servers via USB for some time now (3.0, 3.01, 3.02) with the Guide that Paul Lalonde (spelling?) posted some time ago. But somehow it doesn´t work with the 3.5. It boots up normally until the partitioning screen and there an Anaconda error message shows up and the installation terminates.

Any ideas why? Did anyone got it working?

Thanks for replys.

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9 Replies
Schorschi
Expert
Expert

Post the screen print or error?

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Unix-Sysadmin
Contributor
Contributor

Hi,

to get to this message, I booted from the Virtual Flash (KS-File is also there) and used the ISO on the USB-Stick. It works fine until I choose a partitioning (In this case I tried the recommended scheme). After I accept this, I get the following.

Posted what the second terminal says when the installation terminates.

Message was edited by: Unix-Sysadmin

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Schorschi
Expert
Expert

Yup. I hit the same issue, I opened a case with VMware, about 6/2007, and VMware worked on this with us, VMware determined this is a bug in anaconda, in that the USB device is lost by anaconda and recognized (wrongly) to be the media to receive the OS. This is because anaconda is confused when it sees read/write media as the source for the OEM files load. Per VMware they understood the issue but had/have no plans to fix the problem. At the time, I did not have the cycles to fix anaconda code, and still do not, but I would like to see this work! It is on the list of things someday I wish to resolve.

ExCon
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

No idea if this would work or not, but have you tried a USB stick that has a write-protect switch on it?

Schorschi
Expert
Expert

LOL! Actually I don't recall specifically. I think not, since we write back to the floppy when used some debug/trace logging, so we needed the USB read/write. We wanted to have OEM files, all our customized stuff, and the floppy files (ks.cfg, etc.) all on the USB device. We have since moved on to a pre-provisioning solution (BladeLogic) and so all types of media based versus PXE based builds for all OS platforms will be retired, so I just can not justify any additional tweak of this going forward. But I still play with ideas at home once in a while, so this is on the list to figure out, just sure when. As 3i matures, that also nails this type of thing too.

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Unix-Sysadmin
Contributor
Contributor

Hi,

thanks for the answers. Setting the stick to read-only didnt work either. But we´ll "fix" this problem by going with booting the 3i from the USB. Its been working with our testnodes quite nicely.

Thanks again for trying.

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Unix-Sysadmin
Contributor
Contributor

I mark this queastion as answered even though it isnt because the release of ESX 3i enables us to boot the ESX from the USB so an installation is not needed anymore.

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jeholo
Contributor
Contributor

I have the same problem and get the same error messages.

Have anybody found a solution to this ?

3i is not an option for me as I need to install.

As I want to do multiple installs at the same time is USB a better solution than PXE (bottleneck).

Jan Erik Holo

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wilson94t
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Bottleneck?

We built an ISO that does an NFS mount to pull down the bits. install takes about 10 minutes. How much of a bottleneck do you have? using the ISO or PXE methods one can deal with all the ESX servers remotely and not have to "walk up" for a USB key install.

If you're using remote USB, then this vs remote ISO or PXE probably does notmake any differnece since it is all network based anyhow.

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