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Error loading ESX3.5 on IBM

Posted on 2009-04-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I am trying to load VMWare ESXi 3.5 on an IBM 306m and am getting the following error:Installation Fails

ESX Server 3i 3.5.0 image

System Information:
Manufacturer:  IBM
Model: IBM eServer 306m -[8849AC1]-
Service Tag: KQNN775
BIOS Rev: IBM BIOS Version 1.45-[PAE145AUS-1.45]-

Controller is AIC9405, SAS/SATA adp94xx

We have downloaded and tried the ESXi 3.5 installable with IBM customization, but no luck.
Has anyone else tried loading on this type of platform, or have any suggestions on how to perhaps use this hardware?
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Question by:kitadams
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Author Comment

by:kitadams
ID: 24116546
I see from http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=1003720&sliceId=1 VMware ESX Server 3.5, Patch ESX350-200803213-UG: Driver Versioning Method Changes that the adp94xx is supported.  But how do I get the patch into the original build to get it to be seen for the build?
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Author Comment

by:kitadams
ID: 24117662
Continued path for trial:
we have created a bootable USB ESXi drive and are pushing all the downloads to it, in hopes that the patch above will recognise the drives.  Not an optimal solution, if it works, but workable if necessary.
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 24120840
Have you checked VMWare's HCL to see if your hardware is supported?

Your sas/sata controllers may not be supported.
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Expert Comment

by:za_mkh
ID: 24121527
You can just download the latest ESXi Update 4 CD which just came out last week and run that on your ESXi server to upgrade it? It should include the update that you talking about...  http://www.vmware.com/download/esxi/
 
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Author Comment

by:kitadams
ID: 24122785
Tried that early Friday to no success.  Downloaded to USB and found a site that suggested getting the specific adaptec driver definition, in our case 9005:043f and add it into two areas of the load.  Have made the changes, and now have everything up and running via USB.  On Monday, i will attempt making the same changes via regular hard drive.
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Expert Comment

by:za_mkh
ID: 24123964
Cool ... good  luck!
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Accepted Solution

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kitadams earned 0 total points
ID: 24131257
Modifying oem.tgz when using the install CD

If you're using the installable CD image to install ESXi, you will have to modify oem.tgz in two places. First you will find oem.tgz in the root of the install CD. This copy of the file is used when ESXi boots from the CD to perform the installation to CD. Should you want to add additional drivers or modify simple.map/pci.ids to recognize additional hardware, then you would first need to modify this file. Otherwise the install process will not be able to recognize the hardware you wish to add support for. The second copy in on a disk dump image within the file install.tgz. For update 2 that file can be found at this path within the install.tgz file - install.tgz/install.tar/usr/lib/vmware/installer/VMware-VMvisor-big-3.5.0_Update_2-103909.i386.dd.bz2/VMware-VMvisor-big-3.5.0_Update_2-103909.i386.dd. This copy of oem.tgz would be used when ESXi boots after the install. You would need to modify this copy for ESXi to boot using it after the installation has been completed.

While it is possible to modify oem.tgz in the dd image, you may find it easier to change the file after it has been installed to your system. This would make your install process look like this should you need to add hardware support:
1) Modify oem.tgz on the install CD
2) Boot the CD and install ESXi
3) After the install is complete, reboot the host with a bootable Linux CD
4) Modify oem.tgz on the Hypervisor1 partition
5) Reboot your host and ESXi will boot using the modified oem.tgz file

Update: if you're running Linux and want to automate the above process, check out the scripts here provided by Varazir. He has provided scripts for embedding oem.tgz into an install CD as well as to create a bootable flash drive with oem.tgz added. If you don't want to deal with buring a CD you can also install ESXi from a USB flash drive.

Modifyng oem.tgz when booting from a USB flash drive

When you boot ESXi from a USB flash drive you will have copied the install dd image from install.tgz and you only have to modify oem.tgz on the Hypervisor1 (/bootbank) partition. You can either do this prior to booting ESXi or after. In the below example, ESXi will have been booted and you will then access the console. If you plan to modify oem.tgz to add hardware support, you'll have had to gathered the PCI ids for the hardware.

Instructions to modify oem.tgz if you're booting from a USB flash drive to add support for an unrecognized device.
This example assumes that you have deterimed the PCI ids for the hardware you want to add to the ESXi PCI database files and that you have been able to access the console of ESXi.

1) cd /tmp/
2) mkdir -p oem/etc/vmware
3) mkdir -p oem/usr/share/hwdata
4) cd oem/etc/vmware
5) cp /etc/vmware/simple.map simple.map
6) vi simple.map
--- add the necessary PCI data for your devices
7) close vi - press ESC and enter :wq
8) cd /tmp/oem/usr/share/hwdata
9) cp /usr/share/hwdata/pci.ids pci.ids
10) vi pci.ids
-- add the necessary description for your devices (this will be displayed in the console and VI Client)
11) close vi - press ESC and enter :wq
12) cd /tmp/oem
13) chown -R 201:201 ./etc
14) chown -R 201:201 ./usr
15) chmod -R 755 ./etc
16) chmod -R 755 ./usr
17) chmod 644 ./etc/vmware/simple.map
18) chmod 644 ./usr/share/hwdata/pci.ids
19) tar -cvzf oem.tgz etc usr
20) cp oem.tgz /bootbank/oem.tgz
21) cd /bootbank/
22) chmod 755 oem.tgz
23) reboot the host


Closing this ticket....
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Expert Comment

by:za_mkh
ID: 24132147
Thanks for sharing your solution. Sure it will help lots of other people out there!
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