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Esxi, involving USB passthrough and booting off USB

Posted on 2016-07-29
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Last Modified: 2016-07-29
Stupidly, I passthrough'd all my USB ports in an attempt to copy USB data to some VMs....

I'm also booting off of a USB thumb drive.  The server boots, copies esxi into memory and then disables USB.  The paradigm is that I remove USB passthrough, but obviously it can't write that change to the USB drive at that point.  Crap.  I can't be the only one who's done this and I can't imagine there's not a way to undo this, short of reinstalling.

Can I remove the USB drive, plug it into another machine, and change or delete lines in a conf file or something?

Desperate here.  There's a ton of VLAN info and networking that I don't want to have to re-add, but will if there's no other option.  

Another kicker, once the esx goes into memory and loads, no keyboard.
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Question by:choward16980
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 41734917
placeholder, let me read....

oh dear! you'll not do that again in a hurry!

P.S. it's faster to copy across LAN, than USB it's slow....

what you are going to need to do, is mount the existing ESXi USB flash drive/SD card in another machine.

BUT, have you updated this host ever, and could rollback to previous version, has there been much change since, the upgrade ?

I have an article here, that can help.... and i can then guide you.

HOW TO: Fix An error has occurred adding datastores to an ESXi 5.x host

Use the article, to get a Linux Recovery LiveCD, so we can work in the partitions.

basically, when you need to do is edit the esx,conf file on the active bootbank, and REMOVE the USB passthrough option.

are you familiar with Linux, mounting etc

Step 1. Create mount folders

mkdir /mnt/sdf5
mkdir /mnt/sdf6

Open in new window


then you need to mount the bootbank and altbank (only one is used and active) you will need to check both.

2. Mount folders

mount /dev/sdf6 /mnt/sdf5
mount /dev/sdf6 /mnt/sdf6

Open in new window


then we copy the file, untar it, edit the esx.conf, remove the usb passthrough, tar it back copy tar back done.
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Author Closing Comment

by:choward16980
ID: 41735254
As always sir, thanks!
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LVL 124
ID: 41735260
no problems.
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