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ESXI 4.1 very slow to boot with USB thumb drive

Posted on 2010-09-19
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Hello Experts,
I tried to move ESXI 4.1 from the datastore my server VM is on to a USB flash drive. I plugged a new 2GB drive into an open port on the back of the host (IBM X3650) and proceeded to instal ESXI 4.1 on it. I noticed that it installed very slow and then booted very slow (only about 1/8 the speed of booting ESXI from a hard drive. I know that the throughput to a thumb drive is going to be much slower, but might this slow operation of ESXI when on the thumb drive cause some issues with the server?
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Question by:JohnnyD74
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Expert Comment

by:rvivek_2002
ID: 33711787
On the BIOS settings check the USB speed settling and Legacy device setting.
USB port in Full-Speed mode supports just 12 MBPs ,where as in Hi-speed mode supports 420 MBps.
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 166 total points
ID: 33711791
Once ESXi is up and running, it is in the Server's RAM and won't need to access the thumb drive, so speed should then not be an issue.

Possibly your USB ports are running at USB 1.1 speed? Maybe there is a setting in the BIOS where you can change the mode USB is running at (it may be set to the lower speed for compatibility purposes), or there may be different ports on your server...
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Author Comment

by:JohnnyD74
ID: 33711799
Thanks Guys,
I thought of the 1.1 thing too but did not see in the BIOS a plave to change that. I will check again.
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 334 total points
ID: 33711845
We don't notice speed issues with ESXi on a thumb drive, until you install VMware Tools, since it's on the USB Thumb drive, so we've copied the tools off onto a server share!
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Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 334 total points
ID: 33711846
Yes, it is slower to boot off USB, but how often are you rebooting you ESX hosts! As it's been said above, it operates out of RAM, except VMware Tools issues. (see above).
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Author Comment

by:JohnnyD74
ID: 33711881
Thanks hanccocka,
That is good to know. I am going to go on site and see if the USB setting in bios needs to be changed in order to make it faster...but if not, it's good to know that slow boot won't hamper ESXI's performance.
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