Install VMware ESX 4.0 on a Supermicro X8DTN+ server with JMicron PCI-e-to-SATAII controller

While trying to install ESX 4.0 Update 2 the old fashioned way (with a DVD) on a new Supermicro X8DTN+ based server a was confronted with the lack of a JMicron driver for the PCI-e-to-SATAII controller that my DVD-ROM drive was attached to. How annoying.

Instead of wasting my time searching for an ESX driver (disc), I opted to install ESX through USB. I downloaded UNetbootin and wrote the ESX ISO to a 2GB SanDisk Cruzer Blade USB stick.

After the image was written, I still had to adjust the setup to ask me for the installation media. If you don’t, the installer will assume you use a DVD-ROM drive to install. I opened syslinux.cfg on the root of the USB drive and added ‘askmedia’ to the end of every install command.

I plugged the USB drive into the server and started the install. It seemed to hang at the point when the storage-drivers module was loaded, but after a few minutes the install continued. During the installation I got the option of choosing my installation media. Everything went smooth from there.


About Yuri de Jager
Technology Addict

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