Update: This will also work for 5.1 and 5.5.
Note, this is a WhiteBox setup so not all parts are officially supported by VMWare. Specs below…
- i7 2600K
- Gigabyte P67A-UD4 B3
- 8GB DDR3-1866hz 9-9-9
- 1TB Samsung F3 drives
- Intel Gigabit Network card
Now, the issue here is that after a clean install of VMWare Sphere 5, boot-up would take at least 5-9 min to complete from a clean power-on. Compared to an upgrade from VMWare Sphere 4.1U1 which will load all the necessary drivers right away after a restart/power-on. It seems like its not detecting the HDD at all at first glance but soon found its way. Further tests, experiments and research yielded that this is a side-effect on how VMWare handled their installation process in VMWare Sphere 5 compared to 4.1U1. In 4.1U1, it uses the MBR for the boot process by default, while in 5.0 it uses GPT. You can fixed this if you force the installer to use MBR during the installation phase.
A developer from VMWare confirmed this and posted a way to fix this. You can find the thread here.
To quote him…
By default ESXi 5.0 uses GPT based partitions tables and not MBR like it did previously. This allows you to have disks which are greater than 2TB in size, but some systems are incompatible with it (possibly including yours) or need to have the correct BIOS setting.
You can try changing your BIOS to see if it’s compatible with EFI or will work in “legacy/compatibility mode”. Alternatively you can reinstall and use the “formatwithmbr” setting at the boot prompt which will cause the partitions to be set up the way they were in ESX 4.x. Just add it in the same way you would to tell the machine to do a scripted install.
To make things short, as written by wdbarker….
the boot prompt appears after you hit Shift-O during the boot process. You will see runweasel already in the boot prompt. Right arrow to the end, add a space and formatwithmbr and press enter. The prompt will look like: runweasel formatwithmbr
So, there you go. Hope this helps.
This was in collaboration with a friend of mine (Earlz) for setting up the box and helping me debug.