Injecting LSI drivers into ESXi Iso

Posted on 2013-06-16
Last Modified: 2013-06-16
I am following a guide here to slip in a driver but I am stuck on an error. Have I missed a step?

root# mount -o loop vs.iso /mnt/vmwareinstall
root# mkdir vmwarecustom
root# cp -r /mnt/vmwareinstall/* vmwarecustom/
root# bunzip2 -c vmwarecustom/imagedd.bz2 > imagedd
root# vibddi -i imagedd -v esx-drivers/offline-bundle esx-drivers\offline-bundle\LSI_4.32-offline_bundle-340759\vmware-esx-drivers-scsi-megaraid-sas-400.4.32-
Setting up configuration for esxupdate
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Dependency missing: vmtar
Question by:stlhost
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 39251371
Did you do the following
1. make sure you are using unpatched copy of the vmwareinstall and verify the checksum to make sure it wasn't corrupted?
2. same for the vib file, make sure checksum is correct.
3. Are you using the correct/latest copy of the drivers?  Read release notes. Not all drivers work on all LSI megaraids, especially older drivers with newer cards.
4. Is your controller on the HCL for this version of ESX?  If not, get the right controller or use a later version of VMWARE.
Release notes also tell you specific LSI controllers they are tested for and there is almost always info on what BIOS/Firmware must be on the card for it to work.  

Not saying this is the problem, but it absolutely will fail if drivers, controller BIOS, and controller are not compatible with each other. That causes the scripts to start looking for files that are not there, or dependencies that cause them to break because something isn't at right memory offset or fails to load.

There is no tolerance for incompatibility in this process. The scripts are not hardened to give you meaningful answers if the prerequisites/compatibility isn't just perfect.

Low probability you have a checksum, distribution corruption problem, but that can cause this as well so worth checking into.

Author Comment

ID: 39251385
It is an original copy of esxi it hasn't been modified/patched. I downloaded the VIB file this morning, I just extracted the ISO and then the vib file out of that and uploaded it and started to build it. FYI when I try to install ESXi it just gets stuck on megaraid_sas which is what lead me to this.
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 39251413
Is your LSI HBA on the HCL list for that particular version of ESXi?  If not. Forget it.  If so, read the release notes, boot the card to the POST and figure out what BIOS / FIRMWARE Is on the card and then verify compatibility.

You haven't yet established that the hardware is compatible.  Don't shortcut this step.  It is the most likely problem.
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LVL 120
ID: 39251567
which storage controller are you trying to use?

Check the VMware HCL (Hardware Compatability Lists) here

there is already a mega_sas driver in the ESXi installation?

The method you have followed is not supported, and is a very grey area "hacking" the VMware ESXi ISO distribution.

Author Comment

ID: 39251749
LVL 47

Accepted Solution

dlethe earned 500 total points
ID: 39251760
well, there you go.   This card came way after the driver you are trying to install was written, so you won't be able to slip in just the original driver. It won't load.   I don't think there is a hack that you can expect will work to make an updated ISO.

You'll probably just have to do the installation the old fashioned way using another controller and then patch it and go from there.

Author Comment

ID: 39251774
So another words it just wont work no matter even if I tried esx 5
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 39251797
People make the mistake of thinking something works if it talks and there are no errors.  But wait until you get some unrecoverable read/write errors, or a few bus resets due to devices going offline .... then you end up with corrupted data or lockups.  That is what the HCL is for, they beat the configuration up with data integrity, stress testing, and error injection.  Then they often get with the manufacturers who may make a firmware or driver tweak to fix it, if they can.

But in your case, that combination does not show up on the HCL.  So by definition, either it doesn't work because it failed testing, or it isn't on the HCL because nobody knows yet if it really works in all situations..   Either way, it is bad and you should just use something else.
LVL 120
ID: 39251869
What is your storage controller? is it listed on the HCL, if so if drivers are included it should work.

there are drivers already included for

LSI MegaRAID SAS 9260-4i, megaraid_sas version 5.30-1vmw in the original installaler

When you install ESXi does it not detect your storage controller?

Author Comment

ID: 39251878
LSI MegaRAID SAS 9260-4i is the controller. I have tried 5.1 as well it sticks at the same spot Loading megaraid_sas and stops

This is the list for that controller

              ESXi 5.1 U1      megaraid_sas version 5.34-1vmw      N/A      inbox              
              ESXi 5.1      megaraid_sas version 5.34-1vmw      N/A      inbox              
              ESXi 5.0 U2      megaraid_sas version 5.34-1vmw      N/A      inbox              
              ESXi 5.0 U1      megaraid_sas version 5.34-1vmw      N/A      inbox              
              ESXi 5.0      megaraid_sas version 4.32-1vmw      N/A      inbox              
              ESX / ESXi 4.1 U3      megaraid_sas version 5.30-1vmw      N/A      inbox              
              ESX / ESXi 4.1 U3      megaraid_sas version      N/A      async              
              ESX / ESXi 4.1 U2      megaraid_sas version 5.30-1vmw      N/A      inbox              
              ESX / ESXi 4.1 U2      megaraid_sas version      N/A      async              
              ESX / ESXi 4.1 U1      megaraid_sas version      N/A      inbox              
              ESX / ESXi 4.1 U1      megaraid_sas version      N/A      async              
              ESX / ESXi 4.1      megaraid_sas version      N/A      inbox              
              ESX / ESXi 4.1      megaraid_sas version      N/A      async              
              ESX / ESXi 4.0 U4      megaraid_sas version      N/A      async              
              ESX / ESXi 4.0 U3      megaraid_sas version      N/A      async              
              ESX / ESXi 4.0 U2      megaraid_sas version      N/A      async              
              ESX / ESXi 4.0 U1      megaraid_sas version      N/A      async
LVL 120
ID: 39251882
At installation it stops, or after installation, when the server starts?

Is your server on the HCL, or is your server a whitebox?

Author Comment

ID: 39251886
It's a super micro. 64gig ssd drive for the main 3x500gig drives in RAID5
LVL 120
ID: 39251889
Okay, so it's a whitebox.

If you strip out the controller, SSD drive, SATA disks, and install to USB flash drive, and then insert the LSI controller, does it start?

Author Comment

ID: 39251979
Unfortunately I dont have any physical access to the box. I walked away for a while and came back seen it got past that part so I restarted the install again and watched it load this time. It takes 28 mins then it says no network cards detected. I'm going to chalk it up to the incompatible issue and leave it at that.
LVL 120
ID: 39251997
That is the issue with whiteboxes. I was going to suggest a compatible network interface, but question is closed.

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