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x86 / x64 Question

Posted on 2009-05-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Currently we would like to add a new VM Server 2008 x64 to our esx servers. When I go to setup the os I am only given the options of x86 (which isn't supported for exchange 2007). I need to be able to install an x64 VM.

Currently VT is enabled.
Running 'uname -a' gives: Linux esx1 2.4.21-37.0.2.ELvmnix #1 Mon Sep 25 22:18:34 PDT 2006 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
Both are ESX Server, 3.0.1, 35804
Both ESX Servers are on PowerEdge 1955 blades

Let me know what needs to be done to get x64 going.
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Question by:sgcity
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by:maredzki
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sqcity,
please check if you have the proper flags set in this file: /proc/cpuinfo (http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1003945).

Marek
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by:vmwarun - Arun
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Check Page 41 of this Guest OS Compatibility Guide - http://www.vmware.com/pdf/GuestOS_guide.pdf

VMware ESX Server (32-Bit Windows Server 2008)
Datacenter  ESX 3.5 U2, ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4
Enterprise  ESX 3.5 U2, ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4
Standard  ESX 3.5 U2, ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4
Web Server 2008  ESX 3.5 U2, ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4

Additional Support
SMP  full support on ESX 3.5 U2, ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4

VMware ESX Server (64-Bit Windows Server 2008)
Datacenter  ESX 3.5 U2, ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4
Enterprise  ESX 3.5 U2, ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4
Standard  ESX 3.5 U2, ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4
Web Server 2008  ESX 3.5 U2, ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4
Small Business Server 2008  ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4
Small Business Server 2008 Standard  ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4
Small Business Server 2008 Premium  ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4
Essential Business Server 2008  ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4
Essential Business Server 2008 Standard  ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4
Essential Business Server 2008 Premium  ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4
Additional Support
SMP  full support on ESX 3.5 U2, ESX 3.5 U3, 3.5 U4
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by:sgcity
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Marek, Thanks for the link.

I saw that page before which gave me the idea of manually enabling VT through the bios (which i did).

The vmx flag never got set set in /proc/cpuinfo
(It's read-only and I'm assuming esx updates it when it realizes VT is enabled?)

How do I fix it?

(I'm also aware of the esx 3.5 and server 2008 compatibility implementations, though we don't go back on maintenance for a couple of months so no upgrades for the time being).
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by:maredzki
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sqcity,
actually, you are correct, each time the ESX boots up it recreates this file. In my scenario, VT was enabled on all of my servers and the vmx flag never got set. VMware said it is a know bug and to test this they suggested just installing 64 bit OS. Never had an issue, but if your environment does not support 64bit, the VM wont start. Have you tried that already?

Marek
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by:vmwarun - Arun
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Another problem which we faced was the inability of the Windows Server 2008 VM to fetch IP in ESX 3.0.1 because of an issue in BroadCom NIC Drivers.

Only when we upgraded the ESX version to 3.5.0, the VM vNIC Issue got resolved.
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by:sgcity
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I'll try with server 2003 x64. Since when I tried server 2008 it wouldn't give me the option of x64...

I'm assuming my environment does support x64 because I got a strange error when setting up the VM and setting the Type to Other x64 (or any other x64) and it wouldn't let me start or vmotion that image. Since I enabled VT, I haven't gotten any errors and can boot the image but haven't gotten far since the 2008 x86 only options popped up.

I'm starting to wonder if I need to just wait for our esx servers to be updated to 3.5... I'll also go get the latest Bios update from dell.

I'll get back as soon as I test this out.
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maredzki earned 350 total points
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Yeah, upgrading the environment to 3.5 is definitely beneficial :)

Marek
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Author Closing Comment

by:sgcity
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It worked, using a mixed x64/x86 disc didn't work, but forcing it to only have x64 options was the solution after enabling VT...

Thanks.
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