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Cannot use 6TB drive in ESXi through RAID


Borna
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Hi folks,

 

I'm facing some difficulties when running ESXi 6 on my Gen8. It's a basic setup - gen8 with the celeron CPU, 10 GB of memory and 2 HDD attached, a 100 GB HDD in the ODD and a 6TB in one of the bays.

I'm trying to move my current bare-metal setup (a NAS OS) to ESXi (latest HP ISO + the latest patch from VMware) using the old 88 hpvsa driver.

However I'm facing the following issues:

 

1. the 6 TB doesn't seem to be read properly in RDM mode (whether physical or virtual). The drive is mapped in b120i as RAID0 however when trying to boot the VM, the OS does not recognize the partitions and thinks the HDD is empty.

On bare-metal, I can put the HDD in "SATA Legacy", "AHCI" or "RAID0" mode and it boots without any issues; not so in ESXi.

 

2. Disabling the controller and moving to "AHCI" makes ESXi freeze when trying to load the controller. Changing to "Legacy SATA" however fixes the problem - that is ESXi runs fine and the OS boots up just fine.

I've tried ESXi 5.5 Update 2 (the ISO from Nov 2014) which exibited issue 1 however 2 was not a problem; the VM properly started.

 

I've spent days trying to figure out what is wrong and try the various combinations but it seems using a large HDD with the RAID controller under ESXi simply is not an option.

Any advices on what I can do to troubleshoot and potentially fix this.

 

It looks like the drivers from HP simply don't work properly (hence the slowdown in the hpvsa driver) and I'm forced to use the "legacy" mode and have a loud fan.

 

P.S. I'm a ESXi newbie so I might be missing some obvious things...

P.P.S. This forum is great! Thank you so much for this valuable resource.

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I hade made a Volume 3TB (RAID1) via HP Utility, after that you may google the RDM commands to make this Volume RDM.

 

After that you must enable it on Windows OS at Disk management Application. Volume sould be NTFS or GPT to work.

 

Check google for RDM you may find many articles.

 

PS: Do not forget to downgrade HPVSA drivers.

 

BR

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Funnily enough, I have the same question. If I setup the B120i with an SSD for a datastore in ESXi and leave the 4 x 3TB drives unprovisioned, I am unable to add the 3TB drives using RDM. There is a problem with the block size if I use the SSD datastore as a point to add the 3TB drives / create the VMDK. Anything over 2TB needs a different type of datastore, and I cannot find how to create a blank / virtual datastore to put them in.

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@Dvampoul Not sure your post applies here; I'm using ESXi not Windows

 

@jpearn It looks like ESXi basically has no support for Advanced Format (AF) drives. That plus the size I think it's what makes ESXi AHCI driver unstable and the RAID configuration to not recognize the existing partition (basically 512e). Despite this standard being available since 2009 and in pretty much all drives over 4TB (and in plenty in range of 2TB-4TB).

And btw, ESXi 6.0 was released in 2015.

 

Right now I'm contemplating either running the current setup in bare-metal as before or potentially try out Hyper-V which does support 512e and 4Kn drives.

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Funnily enough, I have the same question. If I setup the B120i with an SSD for a datastore in ESXi and leave the 4 x 3TB drives unprovisioned, I am unable to add the 3TB drives using RDM. There is a problem with the block size if I use the SSD datastore as a point to add the 3TB drives / create the VMDK. Anything over 2TB needs a different type of datastore, and I cannot find how to create a blank / virtual datastore to put them in.

 

Hi, Of course i am speaking for ESXi6. I just want to to tell you that after succesfully RDM any volume (for sharing between VMs) when a VM (Win OS) need to identify-recognise shared RDM drive you must enable it on Windows OS at Disk management Application. Volume sould be NTFS or GPT to work.

 

@ Borna -> I suppose that you has not find out the correct drive on RDM Process (naa634xxxxxxxxxxxxx). SInce i am not a ESXi expert i tried it 2-3 times before make that correctly as RDM   :)

 

@ Jpearn -> My configuration is as bellow:

 

1)1x240GB SSD @ ODD Sata Port (DataStore)

2)1x3TB WD RED (RAID1) as RDM so all HOSTS VM's can be able to "see" this 3TB Volume.

3)1x3TB WD RED (RAID1) as RDM so all HOSTS VM's can be able to "see" this 3TB Volume.

4)1x1TB Hitachi HDD 7200rpm (DataStore for VM-Swap files)

5)1x640GB Seagate HDD 7200rpm (DataStore)

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@ Borna -> I suppose that you has not find out the correct drive on RDM Process (naa634xxxxxxxxxxxxx). SInce i am not a ESXi expert i tried it 2-3 times before make that correctly as RDM   :)

That's not really an issue on my side since I only have this drive outside the data storage. Either way, ESXi simply doesn't pick the correct partition layout.

Somebody suggested using a SATA controller but that doesn't seem to be an option with RDM.

Thanks!

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  • 2 years later...

Hello,

 

Mayday mayday!!! I made a mistake that probably lost my RAID1 volume (3TB) with all my backup....

 

Is there any ESXi expert to know how to convert VMFK drive to GPT and make it again RDM ?

 

My configuration was as bellow:

 

1)1x240GB SSD @ ODD Sata Port (DataStore)

2)1x3TB WD RED (RAID1) as RDM so all HOSTS VM's can be able to "see" this 3TB Volume.

3)1x3TB WD RED (RAID1) as RDM so all HOSTS VM's can be able to "see" this 3TB Volume.

4)1x1TB Hitachi HDD 7200rpm (DataStore for VM-Swap files)

5)1x3TB WD RED (RAID0) (DataStore)

 

I had a 3TB (RAID1) Volume as RDM (2 & 3) for saving all my data (photos,movies videos e.t.c).

 

Due to change from ESXi 6.5 to ESXi 6.0 (issues with storage) somehow drive naa.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx that was RDM appeared as available disk and i add it as a storage (VMFK5) on new ESXi installation.

 

Are my data lost? is there any possiblity to change it to GPT and make it again RDM whithout loosing my files?

 

Please if anyone is RDM and ESXi export contact me via PM or email @ Dimitris.Vampoulis@Gmail.com.

 

Thanks you in advance for help!

 

Kind Regards,

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