VMware host with B140i software RAID controller rescue

Have an HP ML110 Gen9 that recently got it's VMware root password lost during a remote session password change.

Knowing the official password reset process is to reinstall VMware, I went local to the server, pulled out it's existing USB drive with the VMware host and put in a new blank one to install to. I matched the EXSI build version with the custom HPE image and was presented with two individual drives, not the single RAID that was somehow working.

I say somehow, because this machine, the ML110 Gen9 only has the B140i software RAID controller that VMware can't see.

But somehow this system had a VMware host that DID see it.

I've tried the most recent version of EXSI, the original matched build version, and gone back to 6.0 and as per the documentation VMware behaves as advertised and will not see the software RAID controller

I am completely confused as to how this host got setup with the B140i RAID controller, but now I can't get my client back operational.

Any ideas on how I might fool VMware back into seeing that RAID?
Justin MurphyMSPAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Software RAID has never been supported. There is no driver for the B140i.

(unless someone had added a driver!)

ESXI will detect two different hard drives, as you have observed.

What is the current issue?

The disks should still have a VMFS partition on one or more disks.

(fyi there is a process to reset the password! - not supported but works!)

Do you still have the USB flash drive with the original installation, to proceed and reset the password ?
Justin MurphyMSPAuthor Commented:
Hi Andrew,

Thank you for your reply. I'm coming to this server well after it had been established and functional, and the strange thing about this is that somehow this server got set up with the RAID on that controller and was working fine.

Unfortunately the situation is now that a backup server has been put into place and the VM was moved to this server.

Not realizing that the setup was "magical" the RAID was wiped with the intent of a clean install of everything, hoping to migrate back from the backup server the following weekend.

I'm starting to feel that I may have to eat the cost of a hardware controller due to this.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You do not have the original USB flash drive that ESXi was installed onto ?

see here


it needs the driver for RAID!

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Justin MurphyMSPAuthor Commented:
Andrew, thank you very much. Once you got that link it didn't take much time to get back!
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No problems, and odd one that HPE have produced a "driver" for ESXi for Software RAID!
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