vmware esxi 5.1 nic not found

Hi Experts,

I have this small desktop to make it as a test server

DELL OptiPlex 990
Service Tag: 8MTM92S

and would like to install VMWare esxi 5.1, during installation the esxi does not detect the nic, any solution for this?


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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
That's because ESXi is not certified for use on the DELL OptiPlex 990. ESXi is designed for server usage, and has a small subset of certified hardware, you will need a supported network interface and storage controller to complete the installation, and also CPU processor. Not all computers pass this requirement.

You will need to try and find a supported NIC. We use these network interfaces.

Purchase this Network Interface it's supported by ESXi 5.1.

Intel® Gigabit CT Desktop Adapter

Intel and Broadcom network interfaces are supported.

Also confirmed here in this link


Check the VMware HCL (Hardware Compatability Lists) here




Whitebox HCL

Ultimate Whitebox

VMware Communities
moitzAuthor Commented:
Hi hanccocka,

   Thanks for your informative reply, actually this is not a production server, just want to have a test homebased server for study, before I successfully install the vmware 5.0 for this one but now I'm having hard time to do it again.

    Again Thanks
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would recommend, a Windows OS, and use VMware Player or Workstation to host and install ESXi 5.1 into.

also see here

vSphere 5.0 AutoLab by Alastair Cooke

I would also recommend looking at vSphere 5.0 AutoLabby fellow vExpert - Alastair Cooke
What is the AutoLab?

The AutoLab is a quick easy way to build a vSphere environment for  testing and learning using a single desktop or laptop PC and VMware  Workstation, Fusion or ESXi. The whole lab runs in VMs on that one PC,  even ESXi runs in a VM and can then run it’s own VMs.

 Take a look over at ProfessionalVMware for details of how to get started with building your own vSphere 5 AutoLab.

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moitzAuthor Commented:
thanks so much
I run several Optiplex 9010 with ESXi 5.1, the trick to getting it running was to use the ESXi customizer from http://www.v-front.de/ to add in the e1000 driver. That same custom install worked for 9020...I believe 990 uses the same driver.
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