ESXi 5.1 Update 2 installation assistance

I'm attempting to install ESXi 5.1 update 2 on a HP Proliant DL360 Gen9 server.

System:  2 Intel Xeon CPU E5-2640 v3 @ 2.6GHz and 128GB memory in UEFI mode
--server verified for compatibility here:

-HP ESXi customized image vsphere 5.1 U2 Nov 2014 downloaded from here:

Install media:
-Created bootable usb using Rufus2.4

-there are no network cables or external storage attached to the server
-using SAS Raid 1 mirror
-MicroSD flash card not installed

1. Turned on server and setup raid using built in HP tools
2. Restarted server and selected usb boot device
3. Screen Loading VMware ESXi launches and hangs

***Problem #1:  Loading VMware ESXi hangs at Relocating modules and starting up the kernel.  Looked up fix, hit shift+O and edited boot option to ignoreHeadless=TRUE.  It appears to me that this is behavior of a server NOT on the VMware HCL, but I verified that.

4. Finally get to the black/yellow VMware screen where the progress bar increments all the way across

***Problem #2:  Just as the progress bar is about to complete the screen flashes with 1 line of red writing (I couldn't get the text), then i'm brought back to the black/yellow screen.  In the upper black portion has the server hardware information.  In the bottom yellow portion has "download tools to manage this host from and a DHCP lookup failed warning.  My options are <F2> Customize system/view logs and <F12> shut down/restart.  This is as far as I get.  It's my understanding that I don't need the network connected to complete the install of ESXi and it would surprise me if a DHCP error prevented installation.

Question:  any idea what is happening here and what I need to do to get this installation done?

Screenshots:  Attached are screenshots of the logs and warning

SS1: DHCP warning
SS2: syslog
SS3: vmkernel
SS4: config
SS5: mgmt. agent (hostd)
SS6: virtual center agent (vpxa)
SS7: VMware esxi observation log (vobd)
SS8: VMware esxi observation log (vobd)
Ryan MignosaSystems EngineerAsked:
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Phil DavidsonCommented:
I would check the boot order in BIOS -> System Configuration.  Can you test with a Legacy Boot device and not UEFI?

In the Intelligent Provisioning of HP (at boot up press F10 or F11), make sure that the RAID1 is bootable.  Sometimes when a server is booted to a NIC the RAID is not a bootable option.  The Intelligent Provisioning settings override BIOS settings for boot order.

If you are trying to do a network boot, maybe something is wrong with the listener or relevant network equipment.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Are you wanting to install ESXi OS using a RAID 1 mirror ?

Why not install on a USB or SD card installed in the server ?

The ESXi OS Installer, should prompt to install?

It would appear that ESXi OS is actually running.

see here

Part 2: HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client

I would try re-installing from the actual ISO, not a Rufus USB installation.
Ryan MignosaSystems EngineerAuthor Commented:

I have not tried using legacy boot or changing the boot order.  


Yes, I was trying to install to the raid 1 mirror and yes I do have a 8gb SD card I could install.
My reasoning for installing to the mirror is the server will not be part of a cluster and I wanted some redundancy.  Furthermore I was a little concerned with the longevity of flash.

I agree with you it does appear that esxi is running, but from the usb itself.  As soon as I remove it the server won't boot.  I just couldn't figure out why I was never prompted for options like:

-where I want to install
-keyboard layout

I'm not sure how I created a runnable version of VMware on my usb instead of an installer.
I'll take a look at that or just try to install from ISO using iLO.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We've been running ESXi embedded in flash since 2004, with no issues! ESXi was designed to be installed as embedded, and Servers include SD cards and USB flash drives slots fo this purpose!

It says purchasing spinning rust for your ESXi OS, and leave spinning rust for VMs, and a datastore.

Maybe you have already installed the ISO to a USB flash drive, and just inserted it!

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ESXi image you downloaded predates your server by one month
Use 5.1U3 image and make sure you have BIOS H89 or better as HCL indicates.
Ryan MignosaSystems EngineerAuthor Commented:
On Friday I finally took Phil's suggestion and booted to legacy bios instead of uefi.  Using the same usb bootable install of esxi 5.1 update 2 I was able to get to the esxi installation screen.  It appears that the firmware version doesn't allow uefi to work with VMware.  Furthermore I didn't have to edit the boot order for VMware.

Since this server is a stand alone dev server and installing the SPP has failed so far I'm going to move forward with Phil's suggestion to use legacy bios and Andrew's suggestion to use embedded SD card.

Thank you for the input.  All of it was helpful.
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