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VMware install

etechit asked
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I am a newbie to VMware and I'm trying to learn more about it.  I have downloaded ESXi 3.5 and am trying to install it on my HP 6700 laptop.  It get's to a point and then says it can't find a hard drive to install on.  I have searched HCL's for VMware and they are extremely confusing talking about iSCSI and SANs.  All I want to do is run this off SATA!  I don't see why a driver would be involved as the BIOS treats a SATA drive as IDE.  I don't need a F6 drive to install XP or Vista on this laptop.
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HI There

You may need to go into your BIOS and change the Hard Drive to Legacy mode (i think that is it) or the opposite option to what it is if there are 2.
this link may help you  determine if your laptop will support ESXi

Hope that helps

As far I know, ESX doesn't support installing on a SATA drive. It supports either SCSI or IDE. I got a confirmation that the upcoming release ESX ver 4.0 supports SATA.
VMware ESXi is a Virtualized server side environment, which supports different Array controllers, SAN's and RAID setups. I believe you might also be able to run it off a system with an IDE drive.

The probable reason that your Laptop HD is not being recognized is most likely because the HD Controller is a SATA which the ESXi environment may not be understanding and i do not know of any way to treat it as an IDE.

If you can identify some other system that you could use for this purpose, that's what i would suggest. if you are looking to have an experience with VM's you might also want to use VMware Server, available on their website, where you will need a Host OS, Windows XP / vista and run the VM Guests in that environment.


I don't think it's a bad way to start till the time you have some resources and experience to setup an ESXi environment.
If you are installing ESX for test purpose, i suggest installing it inside VMware workstation 6.5. Check the below link steps



If I install to IDE or SCSI could I then setup the Virtual Environments on SATA RAID?

As long as the ESX(i) setup recognizes the SATA RAID structure, yes you can.

So are you referring to pointing to a system with a SATA RAID?


Yes I would like to run SATA raid.  I prefer Promise RAID cards.  I could take an 8 port card, the EX8650, and setup a 2 drive RAID1 for ESXI, and then a 4 drive RAID10, or a 6 drive RAID5, or (2) 3 drive RAID5 for VMs.
The problem is that your laptop doesn't have a supported controller.  ESXi doesn't officially support Promise cards, but I run a promise tx4 in my desktop and esxi sees that just fine.  SATA is supported as that is what my disks are.  Also, I would be surprised if your laptop had a supported nic as a few intels and broadcoms and nvidias are the only ones supported.  Even if this would work you would still need another system to connect to it and install vms.  ESXi is just the hypervisor.  You still need another machine to download the client on top of.

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I'm not planning on running this on my laptop permanently, just for starting out and playing.  I have a server with an Intel 3210 board and quad core Xeon 3330 that I intend to use.  The server has an 8 port Promise RAID card and I was wondering how to structure it.  From what I can see now, ESXi is free, but is a pain as far as a hardware standpoint.  It appears to be much easier to install server 2003 on what ever hardware I chose, then buy and install ESX on the server.
I think i found an answer suitable for you...

Today i was working on using a USB Key to run ESXi which most of the hardware manufacturers do, so you might be well off by installing ESXi on a USB key and using it to boot to the console from any system. i tried it on my Dell and it works great. Flexibility is key here, pull it out use it anywhere.

See this link for instructions on how to set it.


This is the same thing used on Enterprise servers where Dell and HP boxes have an internal USB port on the servers to plug in and run it from this USB Stick. so this can be setup to point different storage systems. have not tried that yet.

Hope this helps...

Any luck with this?
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