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unable to find a supported device to write the VMware ESXi 4.0.0 image to

Posted on 2009-06-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I am trying to install VMware ESXi on home server for testing.   Here is my current server hardware (XFX GeForce 8200 Motherboard, Athlon 64 x2 4800+ Processor, 6G memory, Seagate Barracuda 1TB SATA drive, Intel PRO/ 1000 GT PCI card).
I got the following message in the middle of the installation "unable to find a supported device to write the VMware ESXi 4.0.0 image to".   Any idea what is the problem, is it SATA drive? is there is any way around it?  
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Question by:AMR20
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by:rindi
ID: 24731787
Check the Hardware Compatibility List for ESXi. It doesn't support all disk controllers.
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by:davismisbehavis
ID: 24732699
Sata drives are a known nightmare,  if your controller isn't on the HCL you may have issues.  Sometimes however the problem only occurs at install time,  i.e. writing down the ESX hypervisor.

One way round this is to use ESXi from a USB key,  this usually works and once started it may recognise your SATA drive and you can format all of it as a VMFS datastore.  Check out the article I wrote about how to install ESX 4i on a USB Key.

http://www.virtualpro.co.uk/2009/05/24/vsphere-esx4i-on-a-usb-key-pen-drive/

Hope that helps
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by:giovannicoa
ID: 24734685
Hi,

what are the purpose of installing ESXi on that hardware ?
You need to choose a proper hardware from the compatibility list available on vmware sites.
You can choose to use VMware instead to test your virtual machine, this version can run on every hardware supported from Linux and Windows.
You can easily convert the tested virtual machines with VMware Converter.

Hope this can help you,
Giovanni Coa
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Author Comment

by:AMR20
ID: 24735622
Thanks Davis, I was able to run the ESXi 4.0 installation from USB Key as you suggested without any error messages.   However, I End up in Console screen with two function keys <F2> Customize System   <F12> Shut Down / Restart.   Also, a message in the top of the screen Download tools to manage this host from: http://192.1.1.13/.    What is the next step to finalize the installation and format the drive?      
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Author Comment

by:AMR20
ID: 24735635
Giovanni, I am trying to use the home server to load ESXi so I can run different operating system (Windows, Linux, etc.) for development testing propose.
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by:davismisbehavis
ID: 24735652
Use F2 to setup your networking, sounds like it's picked up an ip address already though. You need to download the virtual infrastructure client, then use this to connect to the host you've just created. Use host as ip address, root as username and whatever root password you created when customising. Once in the vi client, navigate to the settings tab for the host, then storage and then select add storage. It should see the drive and then let you format it.
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by:AMR20
ID: 24736014
When you mention to "download the virtual infrastructure client", I am assuming VMware vSphere Client and Host Utility? Also, is this utility will run on another PC in the same network to access the host remotely to finish the installation, right?
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by:giovannicoa
ID: 24736395
Hi,

you cannot run vSphere Client directly from a ESX console.
You need to use another PC and connecting across the network to your ESX server.

Ok, so you need a development environment, are you developing for ESX platform ? Please let me known why you have choosen to use ESXi.

Thank you,
Giovanni Coa
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by:AMR20
ID: 24737387
Hi Giovanni,
No, I am not developing for ESX platform but need to test my application in different Windows operating system (desktop or server based OS).   Also, I want to run Linux as well.   As you can tell :>) I am very new to VM; I choose ESXi so I can run multiple operating system and I am not sure if this is the right way to do it or not.    Please, advise.     Thanks for your help.
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by:davismisbehavis
ID: 24737398
That's the one, yep you can use it from another pc to manage esx hosts.
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by:giovannicoa
ID: 24740444
Hi,

If you want to develop to multiple system without the complexity of ESX server I suggest you to use VMware workstation or Server instead of ESXi

Workstastion and Server run on top of Windows or Linux as your choice, like a normal application and don't need specific hardware devices. They run on top of all hardware supported from Linux and Windows let you more flexibility and lower hardware cost.

For example you can use IDE or SATA hard disk instead of SCSI. VMware Workstastion support newest Guest Operating System before ESX.

Let me also mention VirtualBox and SLES with Xen.

Hope this can help you,
Giovanni Coa
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by:davismisbehavis
ID: 24740847
Gio, ESXi is a perfect test bed. It's free for starters, You'll get higher VM density as well and you can take advantage of features such as thin provisioning. As for disk support, you can use Sata disks it's all about the disk controller your using. VMware workstation is perfect for a single developer to use but what if you support a team of them and need a low cost development and test environment. ESX 4i is awesome!
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by:giovannicoa
ID: 24743189
Hi Davis,

I strongly agree with you if you are talking about a team development, but I undestand from the comments that is not the case.

You are right, thin provisioning is a great feature, but introduced recently with ESX 4 and VMware Workstation have it from a longer time. Also cloning and copy a virtual machines is simpler in vmware workstation because in the VI3.5 (I've not tested in vSphere) you need to have Virtual Center or use the bash commands. Last but not least, they can change or upgrade hardware without issue.

I don't want to make anyone confused, I'm aware that ESXi is free and is the base of the TOP TECHNOLOGIES for the VMware Infrastructure because run on bare metal, support resource management, etc, I don' think him cannot use ESXi as development environment.

My only intent is to understand if they need them or vmware workstastion or similar is a better choice because simpler to use.

My personal opinion is that if I can maintain the environment simpler I'll do that, ESX add some complexity and don't add features without Virtual Center or more than starter pack, sure not free of charge :-).

Davis, thank you for your comment and hope my comments can be appreciated.
Hope this can help you,
Giovanni Coa


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by:davismisbehavis
davismisbehavis earned 250 total points
ID: 24743312
I'd forgot about the snapshot capability in workstation. I also see your point about the added complexity. Appreciate the response Gio
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by:giovannicoa
giovannicoa earned 250 total points
ID: 24811345
Any news ?
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AMR20 earned 0 total points
ID: 24839344
Davis & Giovanni, thank you very much for sharing this information and appreciate your effort.    I would like to let you know that I installed VMware Server 2 on top of a host Windows Server 2003 to achieve what I was looking for.    Again thanks for your help and I will share the points between the two of you.
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Author Comment

by:AMR20
ID: 24839356
Davis & Giovanni, thank you very much for sharing this information and appreciate your effort.    I would like to let you know that I installed VMware Server 2 on top of a host Windows Server 2003 to achieve what I was looking for.    Again thanks for your help and I will share the points between the two of you.
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