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

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
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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.


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Chad_J_LemmerAuthor Commented:
Exactly correct!  I purchased a Lenovo hardware RAID controller and the VMWare 5.5 install correctly detected the virtual drive.  Thank you.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.