Friday, March 27, 2009

It Fixed It for Me - VMware ESXi server install.

Here is one that I hope someone finds useful.
I recently was installing VMWare ESXi server on a Dell Optiplex GX280. Upon install I was getting an error about an invalid option in Bios and that I needed to Disable "limit CPUID value" or "Support Legacy NT4 OS" in the BIOS. My Dell system did not have any of those options in the bios so I searched for a way to get this installed. What I needed to do was add a boot option to the install command when you first boot off the cd.

Upon booting off the install cd you can press the TAB key to get to a screen to add extra options
The default options looked like
mboot.c32 vmkernel.gz --- binmod.tgz --- ienviron.tgz --- cim.tgz --- oem.tgz --- license.tgz --- install.tgz
What I had to do was to change the about command to look like

mboot.c32 vmkernel.gz nocheckCPUIDlimit --- binmod.tgz --- ienviron.tgz --- cim.tgz --- oem.tgz --- license.tgz --- install.tgz
This allowed the install to continue without checking the COUID limit. After the install finished upon next reboot it will fail to start up because of the same error. I need to press the TAB key again to get to the boot option and add the "nocheckCPUIDlimit" option back one more time.

Once the server started successfully I was able to browse to the server using the VMWARE Infrastructure Client and set the option so it is a permantent option. This is done on the Advanced Tab then click on Advanced Settings. then expand the Kernel otpion in the widnows that pops us and then click on Boot. There will be an option on the right hand side for "VMKernel.Boot.checkCPUIDLimit" Clear the check box and the server should boot correctly the next time.

There may be other ways to get around this error but "ItFixed it for Me"

For more ItFixed it for Me articles please click here.


Anonymous said...

Exactly what I needed. Thank you very much!!

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
Thank you so much. It works fine till the next reboot. I mean that pressing the TAB key during booting it up doesn't invoke the screen with an advansed boot options.
Any ideas.

Scott Mckeown said...

Did you follow the second part of the directions and do it a second time?
For some reason I needed to do it twice.

Anonymous said...

any luck installing this?
anyone,,im looking for some guide,,
i have the same pc,,and im trying to install centos linux os,,
any help will appreciate!

Krol said...

I tried this on the 3.5 Update 4, and it worked well on my GX280!

A word of caution though, I tried 3.5 Update 4 with the Dell Server Management ISO compilation from VMware's download and it DID NOT WORK. It allows you to hit "TAB" and put the nocheckCPUIDlimit, but when it starts the install (with the black and yellow screen), it immediatly throws the error again, similar to a windows blue screen...except the screen is Pink.

If this happens to you, ditch you 3.5 U4 with Dell Utilities, for the plain 3.4 U4 on Vmware's website.

Bruce said...

Great advice - but I found from a VMWare forum one more step was needed to get around the CPUID error message:

If you were able to get the install to work with the nocheckCPUIDlimit, you will still get the pink screen with the error message. Reboot again, and during the boot, hit shift o, and a screen will appear with advanced options at the bottom. Enter the nocheckCPUIDlimit and press enter, the system will boot to 3i. After boot, connect to the server using the VI client and modify advanced options, boot. There will be an option to force CPUID check. Uncheck that and apply and the server will boot without intervention.