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Vmware Esxi 4.1 can run properly on Adaptec 3405

Posted on 2010-09-12
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I tried to install and run vmware Esxi 4.1 (latest download from vmware). The hardware are Acer Server AT350 with latest BIOS P02, Xeon E5504, 8Gb RAM, with Adaptec 3405 card connection to 3x 1Tb SATA Hdd (total space is 1.82Tb with Raid 5). I am running a lot of trouble now. 1) Esxi 4.1 detects the card and found hard disk, installation went smoothly. However, after reboot, esxi 4.1 loaded in half way and failed. there is no error message. use esxi 4.0, It has same symtpom, the error message is can't access boot partion after installation. 2) I then download and installed Esx 4.1, during installation, it found adaptec card and hdd, it failed in the point of creating partition. 2) I connected a 8Gb usb hdd and set as first bootable hdd, Esxi installed and runs correctly. However, in vSphere client, if you tried to create storage that connected on Adaptec 3405, it returns error "Call "HostDatastoreSystem.CreateDatastore" for object "ha-datastoresystem" on ESXi "192.168.18.25" failed.". 3) I connected a test 200Gb sata hdd on server onboard sata port, installed esx 4.1 and esxi 4.1 on the 200gb, then, attached 1,82Tb hdd connected Adaptec 3405 as storage in vSphere client without problem. 4) reserve back to USB 8Gb first bootable hdd, after esxi 4.1 starts, it can see 1.82Tb as storage because it was configed in step 3. however, if you tried to remove it, it returns error "Call "HostDatastoreSystem.RemoveDatastore" for object "ha-datastoresystem" on ESXi "192.168.18.25" failed." 5)further test was done, connect 3 or 4 sata hdd using onboard, nothing connected to Adaptec 3405, it noticed, esxi 4.1 installation and start no problem. However, if two sata hdds connects to same storage adatper that one is first bootable hdd contains esxi 4.1, the other hard disk can't be mount as storage, the error message is same as step 2 "Call "HostDatastoreSystem.CreateDatastore" for object "ha-datastoresystem" on ESXi "192.168.18.25" failed.  Any idea what wrong I am doing or Adaptec 3405 card issue? Both server and adaptor are on Vmware HCL list for 4.1
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Question by:newstartech
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by:coolsport00
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Will this host be in production or test? Will you have critical VMs running on it or no? First, according to VMware's HCL (http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php), the Adaptec 3405 is supported by 4.1 (as you already noted):
http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?action=search&deviceCategory=io&productId=1&advancedORbasic=advanced&maxDisplayRows=50&key=&datePosted=-1&partnerId%5B%5D=4&manufacturer%5B%5D=-1&vid=&did=&svid=&ssid=&rorre=0

My suggestion for you is to power down your host & disconnect your RAID; then, connect a 2GB or larger USB stick and install ESXi4.1 on that. Then, reboot and see if you can log on ok. If you can, power down the host and reconnect your RAID. What I would then do is add your RAID storage as your datastore, separated from your hypervisor install. That is just good practice....to separate your hypervisor install from your datastore storage.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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by:newstartech
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Thanks for your feedback. Currently the server is still in test bench. your suggestion was done on my step 2 diagnose. Esxi 4.1 installation and running ok with usb 8gb stick. however, when you try to add storage from Raid (adaptec 3405), it returns error. "Call "HostDatastoreSystem.CreateDatastore" for object "ha-datastoresystem" on ESXi "192.168.18.25" failed.". Seperately, for testing purpose, I installed Windows 2008 64bit server on the server that using Adaptec 3405 raid card. It looks Ok. Then, I borrowed an LSI 8708EM2 raid card, everything works fine. While adaptec support told me that Adaptec 3405 card works fine. At this point, I can only assume that there are compatible issue between Acer Server AT350 F1+Adaptec 3405+Vmware 4.x.
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by:coolsport00
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Ah...I see; sorry I overlooked that part :(

I would agree with you, as well; even though VMware's HCL says it can run that RAID card, and Adaptec tells you it can as well, with all that you've taken away to troubleshoot, the only thing that remains the problem is the card. So, either the card is bad, or it's not supported. Do you have another to test with?

~coolsport00
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finally I get ride of the problem by replace Adaptec 3405 card to LSI 8708EM2 raid card. I repeated all my tests and can't failed the system as more
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by:coolsport00
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Glad to hear! :)

~coolsport00
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