Fri Feb 11 11:25:04 +07 2022

Installing ESXi 6.x on Dell R740

Dell PowerEdge R740 comes with the RAID controller PERC H750 and the drivers for this controller are not on the .iso installer for VMware ESXi 6.x.

I used the following method to install the hypervisor.

  1. Create the virtual disk on the RAID controller;
  2. Download the proper driver from VMware Compatibility Guide;
  3. Connect a spare disk via USB or use an USB key, this will be used to do a temporary installation.
    Note: it is very important that the temporary disk or the USB key are smaller than the RAID volume created at step 1;
  4. Install ESXi on the temporary disk or the USB key;
  5. Install the driver for the RAID controller; it should be done with a command like:
    esxcli software vib install -d
  6. Boot the newly installed ESXi from the temporary disk or USB key; you should be able to go to the storage and see the RAID/PERC H750 volume;
    Note: it is very important that you create a different temporary install for each server (steps 4 and 5); if you clone one single image to several ESXi servers, you will have some UUID conflicts later;
  7. Reboot the system with a live Linux;
  8. Copy the system from the temporary disk or USB key to the RAID virtual disk, use a command like:
    dd if=/dev/sdx of=/dev/sdy
  9. Remove the temporary disk or USB and reboot into the newly installed ESXi.

Other solution would be to install PowerCLI to prepare a new installation media that include the RAID driver.

Posted by Olivier | Permanent link | File under: administration, vmware