Migrating ESX 4.1U1 hosts to ESXi 4.1U1

Since vmware is now moving to ESXi exclusively, thereby dropping the CLI in the ESX version, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. Installing ESXi 4.1U1 on my two HP ML150 G6 hosts was easier said than done however. I don’t know if it’s compatibility, but both hosts would not take the ESXi 4.1U1 installer like how my little one won’t take her bottle!

Here are the steps in chronological order that I followed to eventually get ESXi 4.1U1 installed in my cluster.

  1. Download ESXi 4.1U1 image
  2. ‘Burn ISO’ to USB via UNetbootin
  3. Vmotion all machines off of target host and enter host into maintenance mode.
  4. Reboot host and select USB as boot device.
  5. ESXi installer proceeds up to before installation and then throws
  6. Installation operation failed!
    The installation operation has encountered a fatal error:
    Unable to find system image to install.  This is due to the image not being mounted correctly or the CD-ROM not being supported.

  7. Retried above steps with many different versions of ISO with same result.
  8. Switched SATA setting in BIOS from AHCI to IDE to RAID with same result.
  9. Finally found this link that suggested installing ESXi4.0 and upgrading to 4.1U1.
  10. Repeated steps 1 & 2 with ESXi4.0 image and sucessfully installed. Used VMWare Update Manager to Upgrade and Patch to latest build.

Phew! What a night!

And I totally forgot to implement jumbo frames!

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