No Network Adapters were detected in ESXi V5.5

  I am install ESXi V5.5 on a ThinkServer T140 box and I keep getting the error message "No network adapters were detected" on built-in NIC on MoBo, two different PCI Network Cards (Intel and 3Com).
  Since I have not run into this situation ever, I just don't know what to do next.
  The only option on the screen is REBOOT. It does not give me the option to load the driver like Windows OS does.

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Paul SolovyovskyConnect With a Mentor Senior IT AdvisorCommented:
You will need to refer to the VMware HCL and verify that these network cards are on the compatibility list
sgleeAuthor Commented:
I just tried to install ESXi V5.0 on the same machine and got the same result. So it is not specific to V5.5.
sgleeAuthor Commented:
In the future I will have to double-check to see if the computer is compatible with VMWare.
I simply did not know this because every server that I have installed so far were DELL, HP, and INTEL.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
I've had even similar issues with Dell and HP, after upgrading to 5.5 I had to get drivers updated manually, specifically for the 10GB nics but a lot of these are version specific.  You may want to review the community boards to see if there is a driver that will work.
sgleeAuthor Commented:
If I can find the NIC driver for VMware from manufacturer website, how can I load that during the installation of ESXi ?
Another option would be to disable the on MB NICs and use standard run of the mill Intel NIC.
See link to select...
Santosh GuptaCommented:
hello Sglee,

first check the compatibility of NIC with ESXi , if it is compatible with ESXi then download appropriate driver (.vib) for NIC and combine it with ESXi using "Rufus" or "ESXi customizer" and after that use that customize file for installation.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You will either

1. need to supply a driver for your nic (if available) and customise the installer.
2. purchase a compatible NIC  e.g. e1000 intel
3. use the OEM version from the Vendor , e.g. Dell.

Check the VMware Hardware Compatability Lists HCL here

The VMware Hardware Compatibility List is the detailed lists showing actual vendor devices that are either physically tested or are similar to the devices tested by VMware or VMware partners. Items on the list are tested with VMware products and are known to operate correctly.Devices which are not on the list may function, but will not be supported by VMware.

from the Lenovo site here

it does not suggest ESXi 5.1 or ESXi 5.5 is a supported OS for the TS140

This may be overcome by the points listed above.

A known Intel NIC to work with ESXi is the Intel Gigabit CT Desktop Adapter

We use these all the time, in unsupported white box hardware.

Whitebox HCL

The Whitebox Hardware Compatability Lists is a list put together by the community that have had success with whitebox servers, e.g. unbranded or homebrew, DIY servers, which have been found to work with VMware Products.

VMware Communities

This list is maintained and put together by members of the VMware community forum, that have had success in building whitebox servers.
sgleeAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the information above. I guess I have been lucky in my previous ESX installations with respect to Server/RAID controller purchases.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's always worth checking the HCL, or you'll end up down the Whitebox route.
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