ID #1041

ESXi

Download:

  • esx 4 i setup iso
  • esxi 3.5 setup iso
  • syslinux
  • winimage

 

Description:

 

Known issues:

  • boot fails if not enough RAM is available

WARNING:

running ESXi like this is NOT suitable for production because the ESXi does NOT remember its settings.
While not suitable for production this is exactly what we need for rescue or experimental usage.
The ESXi always comes up unconfigured !
It is fully functional as far as I can test it: running VMs, using iSCSI- or NFS-storage, networking ... everything works once you configured it - but this settings will NOT survive a reboot.
If you need to keep your settings - this way is not for you.
Use a regular ESXi-stick instead




Procedure:


Add syslinux as grub4dos boot-option:

We need 3 files from the ESXi dd-image
VMware-VMvisor-big-171294-x86_64.dd
- you can extract it from the ESXi-setup CD

Mount the image with the small 4 MB boot-partition first.
A convenient tool to do this is WinImage from here
http://www.winimage.com/download.htm


copy all files to the FAT-boot-partition with the exception of the ldlinux.sys to the FAT-boot-partition.
DO NOT OVERWRITE the ldlinux.sys we just installed !


when done - close the image.

 



Populate esxi4-partition

 

  Reopen it with this partition selected:



copy the contents to the fat-partition inside the extended partition



when all is done your boot partition should have this files


and the fat-esxi partition should have this files:




Populate esxi-3.5-partition

repeat extraction of files as mentioned before for ESXi 4.
Tested with version 3.5.0-153875
You do not need to copy the files for the boot-partition again - you only need this files:

binmod.tgz
boot.cfg
cim.tgz
environ.tgz
license.tgz
oem.tgz
vmkernel.gz



 



Troubleshooting:



if you get this error - ldlinux.sys is probably missing - or wrong version




if you get one of this error-messages at early boot something with the esxi-fat16 partition is wrong.

Unable to read boot.cfg from invalid bank.
Failed to read boot.cfg
Config file does not have bootstate marker.
boot.cfg too big.
boot.cfg: bootstate is not set properly
Failed to write boot.cfg
No boot config file found:
Empty boot.cfg found.
boot.cfg: No kernel argument found.
boot.cfg: Update time is invalid.
boot.cfg: Invalid build number
boot.cfg: Invalid boot state.
boot.cfg: Upgrade failed on this partition. Ignoring partition.
Cannot get disk parameters.
Cannot get bank 1 parameters.
Cannot get bank 2 parameters.
No usable banks found.
Bank selection failed.
Reached invalid location!
Fallback not allowed when upgrading.
No valid fallback hypervisor found.
Fallback failed - Current bank invalid
Fallback failed - Invalid bootloader state
Fallback failed - Failed to update boot state


This is a valid boot.cfg for versions 4.0.0-171294

kernel=vmkboot.gz
kernelopt=
modules=vmk.gz --- sys.vgz --- cim.vgz --- oem.tgz --- license.tgz --- mod.tgz
build=4.0.0-171294
updated=1
bootstate=0

this is a valid boot.cfg for version 3.5.0-153875

kernel=vmkernel.gz
kernelopt=
modules=binmod.tgz --- environ.tgz --- cim.tgz --- oem.tgz --- license.tgz
build=3.5.0-153875
updated=1
bootstate=0


For all ESXi-related boot-problems - check boot.cfg first.
Make sure you have
bootstate=0

Tags: boot-options, esx4i, MOA

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