ESXi 4.1 installation fails – Unable to find the system image
Earlier this week I already told you that I’ve build a new ESXi whitebox but I had some problems installing it.
OK, first of all, what was the situation? I wanted to install VMware ESXi 4.1 Update 1 to a USB stick which is VMware certified.I plugged the USB stick into one of the USB ports on the back of my whitebox server and downloaded the ISO-image form the VMware website.
A quick installation and I’m ready to build my new lab environment. WRONG!
The installation fails with the following error:
‘Cannot install VMware ESXi 4.1 “Unable to find the system image to install’
My first idea was that the download had gone wrong, wrong ISO-image, MD5 hash not correct, etc. So, I downloaded the ISO-image again and checked the MD5 hash. Again the installation failed.
The second idea was a faulty DVD player, so I swapped it with the one in my old ESXi server and the installation failed a third time.
Next up, installing VMware ESXi 4.1 Update 1 on my old server which has been working fine for a few years. Wrong again, same error more cursing….
I upgraded my old server to ESXi 4.1 two or three months ago, so I got the old VMware ESXi 4.1 DVD out and tried the installation again. Fifth failure in 20 minutes, now I’m getting p!ssed.
To keep a long story short, I disconnected disks, changed BIOS settings, changed USB sticks and almost gave up hope when I found this article on the VMware Community site.
These people had the same problem and tried most of the steps I mentioned earlier. But the response of RPrins caught my eye. OK, I’ve tried installing another version of ESXi but that was also ESXi 4.1 without Update 1. What if I tried ESXi 4.0 Update 2 instead and YES, after struggling for 1,5 – 2 hours the installation succeeded.
Apparently there is an issue when installing ESXi 4.1 or 4.1 Update 1 on some computers. I know some of you will try to blame my fantastic new ESXi whitebox but there are plenty of people experiencing the same issues on VMware certified, server, A-spec hardware.
The resolution is actually quite simple. Just install VMware ESXi 4.0 and upgrade it to ESXi 4.1 Update 1 using the update zip from ESXi 4.0 which you can download form the VMware download website or the vSphere Host Update Utility that comes with the vSphere client installation.
Thanks Erik! I ran into this very issue earlier this week, and had been working down the same path as you (on my second drive last night). I will give the update util a try…
I had the same problem with HP ProLiant ML350 G6.