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No Network Adapters were detected in ESXi V5.5

Posted on 2014-04-05
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Last Modified: 2014-04-10
Hi,
  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.

Thanks.
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Question by:sglee
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11 Comments
 
LVL 42

Accepted Solution

by:
paulsolov earned 868 total points
ID: 39980732
You will need to refer to the VMware HCL and verify that these network cards are on the compatibility list
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39980733
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.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39980740
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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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 39980745
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.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39980760
If I can find the NIC driver for VMware from manufacturer website, how can I load that during the installation of ESXi ?
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LVL 42

Assisted Solution

by:paulsolov
paulsolov earned 868 total points
ID: 39980764
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:insidetech
ID: 39980944
Another option would be to disable the on MB NICs and use standard run of the mill Intel NIC.
See link to select...

www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=io
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Santosh Gupta
ID: 39980972
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.
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LVL 122

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 432 total points
ID: 39981092
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.

http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl

from the Lenovo site here

http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?DocID=DS036916

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

http://www.servethehome.com/intel-gigabit-ct-desktop-adapter-linux-esxi-windows-hyperv-solaris-open-indiana/

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.

http://www.vm-help.com//esx40i/esx40_whitebox_HCL.php

VMware Communities

This list is maintained and put together by members of the VMware community forum, that have had success in building whitebox servers.

http://communities.vmware.com/cshwsw.jspa
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39981261
Thanks for the information above. I guess I have been lucky in my previous ESX installations with respect to Server/RAID controller purchases.
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LVL 122
ID: 39981273
It's always worth checking the HCL, or you'll end up down the Whitebox route.
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