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VMware ESXi 5.5.0 on Lenovo TS140 fix for buit in network card


infotime
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If you're trying to install VMware ESXi 5.5.0 on a Lenovo TS140 you'll get stopped by an error about no network adapters.  It looks like this:


 

The built-in NIC is not supported out of the box.  But you can customize the ISO by injecting the correct driver.  I bounced around a bit last night trying to solve this and went through 4 different CDs and wrong drivers.  Finally found the right one tonight.  Here's what I used:

 

VMware ESXi 5.5 Update 1 downloaded from VMware

File name: VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.5.0.update01-1623387.x86_64.iso about 300MB

 

ESXi Customerizer 2.7.2


 

Ethernet driver packaged in a .vib file.

File name: net-e1000e-2.3.2.x86_64.vib


 

I found it in a thread on vmwarecommunities.com.  All you need is the file from the attachment in the original post.  You can ignore all the other files and instructions because their dealing with hardware that doesn't exist in the TS140, like a RAID controller and they're talking about turning off UEFI and injecting an option for "formatwithmbr".  

 

So, I put all that together with the ESXi Customer and burned a disc.  It works so far!

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  • 3 months later...

If the CPU does, then it does.  That means you need to buy the Xeon E3-based machine for VT-d, the Pentium/Celeron version don't support VT-d.

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  • 3 months later...

I'm considering purchasing a TS140 for running ESXi 5.5 - is this still the current status?  I would be adding a 2-port NIC as well; will I be able to install without worrying about the onboard NIC (not making a custom ISO) and add support for the onboard NIC after?  Would I still need to download a driver from the VMWare forum linked above, or will there be a way to update ESXi officially from a running instance?

 

I'm not a fan of grabbing a driver off of a forum and building a custom ISO with a third party tool.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you use ESXi 6 then it all works out of the box. There is however a 4GB min memory limit so if you only have 4GB installed then it fails because the onboard graphics takes a bit. It is an easy fix, you just drop into a shell in the install process, edit a python file and carry on. Plenty of guides out there as to how to do it.

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