Need help with ESXI install on Server 2008 R2

I have a testing machine that has server 2008 R2 on it. I downloaded ESXI4.0 to disk then booted to disc, selected a disc from the raid array and then I am met with Disk read error first time then I receive boot loader missing. Am I to install ESXI first then the OS? I had Server 2008 installed with a 4 disc raid 4 set. What am I doing incorrectly here? please advise.

Thank you

manelson05Asked:
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coolsport00Commented:
Yes, ESXi is the OS you need to install...it's its own OS. You can then create a W2K8 R2 VM *on* ESXi4 if you'd like.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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coolsport00Commented:
Also, make sure the physical hardware you're installing ESXi4 on is supported by checking VMware's Compatibility Guide (http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php); this also means checking the RAID controller. Your CPU also needs to be 64-bit capable.

~coolsport00
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coolsport00Commented:
You can reference the ESX/i Install Guide as reference, as well:
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40_u1/vsp_40_u1_esx_vc_installation_guide.pdf

~coolsport00
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OlevoCommented:
I'm bit lost here, please clarify what are you trying to do. You have Windows 2008 R2 installed already and now you are trying to install ESXi 4.0 server on it?!  Are you trying to install ESXi as a virtual machine in your Hyper-V (one of the server roles of Windows 2008 server) server? I would probably do other way around. As you know ESXi is a standalone hypervisor which doesn't require OS to be installed on the hardware first. All you have to do is to boot from the ESXi boot disk and follow easy steps to install the ESXi server. It should take no more than 10-15 minutes. Keep in mind that you will loose everything from that disk (in your case it would be Windows 2008) during ESXi install. Now, assuming ESXi was installed successfully you can connect to your new ESXi server through your web browser, download and install vSphere client on your laptop or workstation. You will be using vSphere to create and manage your virtual machine in your ESXi server.
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manelson05Author Commented:
Coolsport00,

I have confirmed my hardware is supported. I configured raid controller for RAID 10, once ESXi gets to the HDD install selection I see 2 drives with space and 2 without I am assuming my mirror and stripe.
Every time I select one of the disks to install on and then reboot I get the error " read write failure", No OS found.

Should I configure raid once ESXI has been installed?
All the disks are brand new and the machine is only a year or so old, cpu is Xeon dual core.

Any thoughts?


Thanks


mark
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coolsport00Commented:
So...do you have a single RAID? I'm not picturing what you're seeing...can you take a screenshot somehow and post? If I recall...I got that same error when I installed ESXi, & I didn't have a RAID...just 2 separate disks. What I ended up doing was disconnecting the disk I didn't want to install the OS on. I think another time I just installed it on both disks and it booted, then when I added my datastore it overwrote the install anyway. yeah...try the install without the RAID to see if that works...let me know.

~coolsport00
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manelson05Author Commented:
I have taken raid 10 down and left only Raid 0. I reboot and boot from ESX disc I downloaded form VMware, I then am asked which disk to install from disk 0 and 1 are the raid 0 set they show "empty with no next to it"
The otehr 2 disk 2 and 3 show up as empty yes.

I select disc 0 to install to, I am prompted to reboot and remove disk, I do this and upon reboot I receive the error read write error no operating system found.

Should I try to re-download ESX free version again?
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manelson05Author Commented:
non system disk error press any key to try again?

This worked perfectly at work but now I am home and I cant even get ESX to boot up?
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coolsport00Commented:
OK...let's do this...just have 1 disk connected and install it on that. When done...recreate your RAID. I think it may wipe out your OS install, but let's try it anyway just to see.

~coolsport00
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manelson05Author Commented:
I unplugged 3 of the 4 hdd, ESXi installed.
I called our sys admin at work and asked him a few questions, he told me we have VMware server running not ESXi but will be moving to ESXi.

I understand that ESXi is the foundation or hypervisor that supports independent OS's.
My question is how do I now begin to install a few OS's, I am a DBA by trade and looking to get Server 08 R2 and SQL 08 Enterprise running, can anyone give me a hand with this.

Thank you

Mark

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manelson05Author Commented:
Doesnt ESXI4.0 run on a physical server? I downloaded the 4.0 to disc and installed on the workstation.
I was not sure how the ESXi GO would work with a workstation with no OS?

Once ESXi is installed as base OS and root password is set, how do you go about installing Server 2008 or other OS?
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coolsport00Commented:
You install other OSs by creating a virtual machine. I recommend looking at the Basic Admin Guide "manelson05":
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40/vsp_40_admin_guide.pdf, beginning on pg. 115 ('Creating Virtual Machines'). This will provide you the information needed to learn about ESXi.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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coolsport00Commented:
I also have a recommendation as far as allocating your disks. For your ESXi OS, I would mirror that (RAID1). You have 1 disk with ESXi installed now, so what I would do is connect 1 more disk and create a mirrored array (RAID1). After that is done, connect all your other disks and create a RAID5 (RAID10 in my opinion is overkill and you lose storage space). BTW...how many total disks do you have?

Anyway, once you have the other RAID configured, you can add that as storage (a 'datastore') in your ESXi. To manage your ESXi host, you will need to download and install the vSphere Client, then connect to the host with the root password. To download the Client, use a web browser and the following URL: http://yourESXihostIP. You will see a link that says "Download vSphere Client". After you install the Client, log in to your ESXi host using the IP or hostname of the host and root username and password. From there, you can create your virtual machines using the Admin Guide. If you have problems or need assistance with that, close this question out (and hopefully assign points), and open another question as asking multiple questions in a single post is prohibited.

Hope that helps "manelson05".
~coolsport00
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manelson05Author Commented:
I have 4 disks on HP workstation with dual core xeon for testing use.
If I download Vsphere client to manage is this a free or must I pay?
I am setting this up at home for Database testing and I need a platform I am work from for several months.
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manelson05Author Commented:
I was trying to use Vmware GO to manage but I kept getting xml errors with the client.
I am looking for a free platform to virtualize on, I guess if need be I can setup on VMware server, was hoping to setup on ESXi since we will be gogin this way in a few months.
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coolsport00Commented:
ESXi and the vSphere Client are both free.
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manelson05Author Commented:
I only can find a vSphere trial?
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manelson05Author Commented:
Coolsport, got it!

I will award points and be posting for more details alter after I research. I guess leanrign the Vm product line is helpful. Thanks for your help!

I only have 4 disks should I just do raid 5 then?



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coolsport00Commented:
Awesome!

Yep..just RAID5 them and when you log into ESXi, go to the Config tab -> Storage link. Click to 'Add Storage' and when you go through the wizard, your volume will show up, and you'll have a "datastore" to place however many VMs on you want, or are able to. I recommend, if you haven't already, getting a lot of RAM...12GB or more, if you're server/ESXi host can handle it.

Best of luck!
~coolsport00
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manelson05Author Commented:
I am goign to convert all 4 disks to raid V then.
I have 8gb ram, I am looking to run SQL server on here to start one instance.

Thanks for all the help, have a nice easter!

mark
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coolsport00Commented:
You too Mark...thanks!
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manelson05Author Commented:
I am not able to extend the raid set at all.
I have tried a single disk and raid 5 each time I create a raid set it formats all data.
When I try to then reinstall ESX i get teh disk error message.
If I run on One disk the other 3 disks are pretty much useless I can get any redundancy, any ideas?

Raid controller is Intel storage matrix controller.
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manelson05Author Commented:
I am going to have to buy a raid controller, I dont think the onboard SCSI is goign to work.
I am looking at this.

http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=1522310

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manelson05Author Commented:
I can setup drives as Raid 5 set  I then am prompted to install ESXI, within ESXi I see the drive to install on
HDA0, 1, 2 and 3. HDA0 and 1 show that they are not empty and HDA2 and 3 show empty, regardless of which drive I select ESXI installs and then upon disk removal and reboot I get disk read write error. I am also not able.

Do I need new hardware?
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coolsport00Commented:
You might; check your hardware against the Compatibility Guide (see link in my earlier post). It's really hard to troubleshoot why you're getting the error you are through this venue without seeing what you're doing unfortunately :(
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manelson05Author Commented:
Very helpful and this proved to be an erichiching and valuable learning lesson for me.
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manelson05Author Commented:
Coolsport00,

Is it possible reliable to run free version of ESXI and sphere client here at work until our cash flow improves enough to upgrade? Would VM GO be able to migrate data and compelte server settings to a new VM on ESXi? This sort of transition would utilize the same IP and netowrk mappings as well wouldnt it?

I have 2 dell 2950 both have dual 2.5 quad cores, 32gb ram each, 6 1 TB sas drives the 2 primary dirves are 15k whiel the others are 10k. I was thinking I would mirror the 15ks, load ESXi on this raid set and this is where teh VM os's would reside, data stores would be the 4TB in a raid 10 so I would then have 2GB, I understand VM has size limitations? how would I best break this out? I am wanting to move production DB with Server R2 and SQL 2008 on one vm, then make a generic file server as another then move our application server over on Server. I need vmotion for failover using the other machine correct? Any ideas you would recommend with what I have to work with?

thank you

mark
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coolsport00Commented:
Hi Mark. You should really ask this in another post. I can answer your question there (multi-posting in the same thread is prohibited on EE).

Thanks! :)

~coolsport00
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