Unable to install VMWare ESXi 5.x on Lenovo RD340 with LSI RAID

Posted on 2014-08-18
Last Modified: 2014-08-22
I'm trying to install VMWare ESXi 5.1 or 5.5 on a new Lenovo RD340 with an LSI RAID controller.

I have gone into the LSI configuration (CTRL+M during boot) and setup the 2 physical drives in a RAID1 configuration with 1 virtual drive and initialized the drive.

When I go to install ESXi  (5.1 or 5.5), the install shows the 2 physical drives and not the single virtual drive from the RAID configuration.

I tried downloading the newest drivers from Lenovo's site and used the ESX customizer to insert the drivers to the install, but that made no difference.

Any help would be greatly appreciated
Question by:Chad_J_Lemmer
    LVL 116

    Accepted Solution

    The storage controller you are using is what we call "fake raid", and because of this, VMware ESXi detects the disks as two disks, and not a standard hardware RAID controller, this occurs, on the low-end storage controllers.

    Your server is on the HCL, I would check the HCL for RAID storage controllers.

    Unless you can find the actual storage drivers which are compatible with ESXi 5.1 or 5.5 you will just need to create a datastore on both disks, with no RAID support, or purchase a supported RAID controller.

    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.

    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.

    Author Closing Comment

    Exactly correct!  I purchased a Lenovo hardware RAID controller and the VMWare 5.5 install correctly detected the virtual drive.  Thank you.

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