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Installing VMWare ESX 3.5 on a white box system with Intel ICH6R South Bridge & ITE 8212F IDE RAID

Posted on 2008-10-27
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Last Modified: 2008-12-20
Hi,
I'm setting up a sandbox WMWare ESX 3.5 server.  I'm using a white box with an ASUS P5AD2-E Deluxe motherboard.  It has Intel ICH6R RAID support for SATA drives (0, 1, or 0+1).  I have two SATA drive in the system and have successfully configured a RAID0 array using the onboard Intel config utility.  However, when I go to install ESX 3.5 it only sees two phyisical SATA drives (which are identical, by the way), not as a single RAID volume.  Under the ESX intstallation options it really just provides a prompt, which I think would allow me to load othe modules for device support, similar to LINUX.  Might I need to load some other module to support this RAID, or maybe since it's not a true server m/b it's just not supported, ???
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Question by:commongroundwa
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by:philtpaik
ID: 22817356
Hello,

A good resource site for that question is here:

http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/general/cshwsw

Hope that helps.
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by:50centos
ID: 22817833
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paulsolov earned 125 total points
ID: 22818070
This is normal I have the same type of raid controller in my HP DL320 G5 and a ICH9R and it does the same thing even though it supports in windows without any problems.  This is why the DL320 is not on the HCL and I think you may have the same issue.  

A way around this is to setup an old box with a few SATA drives.  Configure it with Linux and use NFS or use openfiler and setup an ISCSI target.  Since Linux and Openfiler will support RAID0 or RAID1 on a cheap SATA Raid card or built in motherboard you can use it as a datastore and the machine you have for cpu/memory.  

Hope this helps

Paul
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Author Comment

by:commongroundwa
ID: 22818112
Hi, thanks for the tips.  I think I'll just run with a single SATA drive and be religious about backing up my VM files to an external source.  This sandbox is to do learning/testing of ESX & ESXi before I try to deploy it on my production Dell PowerEdge 2900.
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by:paulsolov
ID: 22818451
That should work.  Just remember to turn on Virtualization in the BIOS if you'll be doing x64  virtual machines
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