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Old 12-31-2011, 11:24 PM   #1
ELItheICEman
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ESXi Woes

I'll try to make this long story short, but no promises.

My intentions are to run ESXi on a new server box to make it easier to emulate whichever OSes I need/want. I've managed to successfully install ESXi 4.1.0, but it doesn't want to cooperate with my two 4TB HDDs. Both show a capacity of 0.00B. I've read ESXi 5.0 might help this, but it just won't install completely. It'll hang after copying the files over from the install disc.

So what I'm asking is if anyone has enough experience with ESXi to recommend a course of action. If I can't get past this roadblock I'll have to ditch ESXi altogether, which wouldn't really be the end of the world I guess.

Hardware specs, in case it may help:
EVGA x58 757 SLI LE
i7 920
4GB DDR3 1600
64GB SSD
2x 4TB HDD
750W Silverstone PSU
PCI Intel Pro 1000T NIC
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:17 AM   #2
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Old ESXi 4.1 wont like more than > 2TB

Partition your 4TB disks into 2x2TB each and then try again with ESXi 4.1
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubar View Post
Old ESXi 4.1 wont like more than > 2TB

Partition your 4TB disks into 2x2TB each and then try again with ESXi 4.1
Correct the new ESXi 5.0 is the only one that will run the larger partition sizes >2TB. You could try using the host upgrade tool rather than a straight up install if you're having issues installing directly.
Just FYI if you're trying to do raid, the onboard raid is considered software raid to Linux and is not supported by ESXi you need a hardware controller to be able to use it in raid.
Otherwise try partitioning them it into 2TB partitions as Scubar said, that should hopefully work.

Last edited by Spartacus; 01-01-2012 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:01 AM   #4
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I'll look into the host upgrade tool. Maybe that'll work.

Not using RAID and already tried partitioning the drives into 2TB partitions. No go.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELItheICEman View Post
I'll look into the host upgrade tool. Maybe that'll work.

Not using RAID and already tried partitioning the drives into 2TB partitions. No go.
What kind of error did you run into initially? Theoretically if 4.1 worked so should 5.0 they didn't implement any additional requirements like they did from 3.5->4 (requires active internet/nic card to install)
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:39 PM   #6
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Also what are you trying to install ESXi 5.0 onto ? Have you tried installing it to a small USB stick ?
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubar View Post
Also what are you trying to install ESXi 5.0 onto ? Have you tried installing it to a small USB stick ?
I would assume he's attempting to install to the SSD which shouldn't pose any issues, assuming it is visible to the install process, but worth a shot to the USB drive you only need a 2GB or so size thumb drive.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:11 PM   #8
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I've installed 4.1 on the SSD just fine, but I can't even get 5.0 to get to the part of installation where I can accept EULA or choose an installation location. The install CD loads all the necessary files and hangs just after that before loading the installer program. Doesn't even give me the opportunity to install to a USB drive.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:16 PM   #9
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What file does it hang on specifically? (it should list it under one of the logs)
The shortcut is alt+f key i think f1,f2,f10, or f11, check them all though and see what it shows.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:35 PM   #10
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The last two lines I see before it hangs are

Loading /imgpayld.tgz
Relocating modules and starting up the kernel...

It just never moves beyond this stage.

Additional Comment:

Currently re-running installation with no hard drives plugged in and no network connection. Doubt it'll help, but might give some hints as to what isn't the problem.

Last edited by ELItheICEman; 01-01-2012 at 01:35 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:47 PM   #11
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If its a CD/DVD try redling and burning again,
from "googling esxi 5.0 install hangs on Loading /imgpayld.tgz" it could have been a bad burn or corrupt dl, you might consider making a bootable USB iso to try to install it that what most of the recommendations are.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:52 PM   #12
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Already did the re-download/re-burn, to no avail. Currently checking out how to put the installer on a USB stick. But from what I've seen so far, it has nothing to do with hard disks attached or network connection.
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:37 PM   #13
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I typically install ESX to a USB Flash drive with no other drives installed in the system. After I get ESX installed, THEN I connect the extra drives. This ensures that the OS is separate from the datastores. It makes it easier if you ever want to move the data disks to another machine, or possibly upgrade esx...

I've run into my share of issues trying to install ESX on various hardware... NIC support is kind of on the light side, I've learned to keep a spare Intel NIC handy for when it won't recognize the onboard.

I also had an issue where I had to disable the sound from the BIOS, otherwise ESX would crash when trying to boot. I have no idea why, it just did. There was also some other BIOS setting one time that caused it to crash, I don't remember what it was off the top of my head but it was something that wasn't really obvious.

Also, sometimes if you've used the drives for various things and they have existing partitions and such, that can cause issues. I like to make sure the drives have been wiped clean, like the WD Diag tool lets you wipe 0's to the first and last X sectors. Likewise Seagate has a tool that does similar. I've also used window's DISKPART to clean a drive. For SSD's I like to use the secure erase feature.


Basic rule of thumb... Start with a MINIMAL hardware setup, make sure everything is at stock settings, disable extra stuff in the BIOS that you won't use, make sure hardware virtualization is turned on.

Why are you wanting to use 4.1 instead of 5.0? I think 5.0 runs much better, but that's just my opinion.
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:50 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info Jason. I've already tried unplugging all storage drives and installing from both USB drive and optical, all to no avail. That pretty much rules out the storage drives as the culprit. I'll keep trying to disable more and removing more, but so far it seems to do the same thing every time.

I'd much rather use 5.0, but that's the one that is giving me trouble with installation. 4.1 is just what I tried first.

Additional Comment:

So the installation works fine on a virtually identical hardware setup. The main difference between the two computers is the motherboard. The ESXi 5.0 installer works flawlessly on my GA-EX58-UD3R but hangs on the EVGA 757 SLI LE. Already tried a BIOS update on the EVGA with no success.

Looks like I'm SOL for now.

Last edited by ELItheICEman; 01-01-2012 at 04:50 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:08 PM   #15
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Have you tried installing it on the other system then moving the SSD to the other one and seeing if it boots up? Sometimes its just the install that doesnt work.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:38 PM   #16
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That'll be my next move. Thanks for the idea. Crossing my fingers.

Additional Comment:

So here's the update. I tried installing ESXi 5.0 by putting the SSD in my main rig and installing on that setup. The installer ran just fine and the computer booted up on ESXi without a hitch. But transplanting that drive in my server rig yielded the same exact problem as before - it hung on loading the kernel.

So my last round of testing involved installing a 4TB drive in my main rig and seeing if ESXi would recognize the capacity properly. Booted up and installed vSphere manager on my spare rig, and everything looks good.

TL: DR - My Gigabyte mobo works with ESXi 5.0, but my EVGA does not. I need to do a mobo swap and all will be well.

Thanks for the help everyone.

Last edited by ELItheICEman; 01-03-2012 at 05:40 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:17 PM   #17
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Verify you don't need a BIOS setting to get it to work properly google it.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:50 PM   #18
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As far as I can remember, both rigs have the same basic BIOS settings. I don't know why they'd be any different really, but I'll double check it before I swap the boards.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:48 PM   #19
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It might not be that the options are different but, that some options are enabled or disabled differently by default that might cause the install to hang.
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