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 Dell Dimension 8400 (requires "nocheckCPUIDLimit" flag) 
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Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:24 pm
Posts: 1
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Post Dell Dimension 8400 (requires "nocheckCPUIDLimit" flag)
I was able to boot ESXi 4.0 on a Dell Dimension 8400 workstation:
  • Intel Pentium 4 CPU running at 3.0 GHz (processor ID 0F43)
  • 800 MHz front-side bus
  • 2 MB L2 Cache
  • Hyperthreading (HT) capable
  • Intel 64 (EM64T) supported
  • Execute disable (XD) supported
  • Dell BIOS version A09 (07-JULY-2006)
  • Intel Application Accelerator RAID (SATA) in RAID autodetect/AHCI mode
  • Broadcom NetXtreme 5750 gigabit Ethernet card
  • 2.5 GB DDR2 SDRAM installed (2 512-MB sticks plus 2 1-GB sticks).
  • This system does not support hardware virtualization.

I was pretty pleased to discover that this workstation, which my wife bought as a replacement for the old Windows 98 family computer, was 64-bit and HT capable. The onboard RAID controller appears to be working - the installer correctly detects the attached storage. I only have one hard drive installed in this machine, so I don't know the extent of RAID support under ESXi. The onboard NIC also appears to be working (at least according to esxcfg-info). ESXi reports that CPUID is limited via a BIOS setting, which I cannot locate in the current BIOS version (A09). I had to add the "nocheckCPUIDLimit" flag to the boot options in order to get ESXi running.


Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:12 am
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:25 pm
Posts: 35
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Post Re: Dell Dimension 8400 (requires "nocheckCPUIDLimit" flag)
I can confirm that this box works with ESXi 3.5 u4 as well. NIC works, both SATA hard drives were detected (I too have not tested the raid portion).

I also had to add the nocheckCPUIDLimit flag in the install boot option, then use a Linux LiveCD to access /media/Hypervisor1 and vim the boot.cfg to automatically enable (disable?) the check.

upgrading it to ESXi 4 now - will post back the results of whether or not I need to re-enable the nocheckCPUIDLimit flag.

EDIT: Worked like a charm, and I didn't have to mess with any boot options.


Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:38 pm
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Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:57 pm
Posts: 7
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Post Re: Dell Dimension 8400 (requires "nocheckCPUIDLimit" flag)
I have an 8400 and am trying to run ESX4i on it.

I booted 3.5 just fine after entering the ignore CPUID directive.

When I boot 4.0 I get the Booting: MBI= error message, which apparently indicates unsupported hardware.

Any ideas what I am doing wrong? The only devices connected are:

ATI Radeon
SATA drive
CD drive
2GB RAM

Any help would be appreciated.


Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:39 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
Posts: 3880
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Post Re: Dell Dimension 8400 (requires "nocheckCPUIDLimit" flag)
Does the MB have an onboard video card which could be using system memory?


Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:07 pm
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Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:57 pm
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Post Re: Dell Dimension 8400 (requires "nocheckCPUIDLimit" flag)
No onboard video, it is a PEG card.


Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:54 am
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:25 pm
Posts: 35
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Post Re: Dell Dimension 8400 (requires "nocheckCPUIDLimit" flag)
did you upgrade from 3.5 to 4, or do a clean install of 4? I did the upgrade route, FWIW, which worked flawlessly as noted above.

I didn't use a PCI-E video card though, I used an older PCI card (Radeon 9200).


Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:32 am
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Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:57 pm
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Post Re: Dell Dimension 8400 (requires "nocheckCPUIDLimit" flag)
No, it is a fresh install.

Actually, the video card is AGP not PCI-E.


Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:44 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Dell Dimension 8400 (requires "nocheckCPUIDLimit" flag)
When you get to the install error are you able to get to the vmkernel log (ALT+F12) or console (ALT+F1).


Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:28 pm
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Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:57 pm
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Post Re: Dell Dimension 8400 (requires "nocheckCPUIDLimit" flag)
Neither of those keys work.


Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:09 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Dell Dimension 8400 (requires "nocheckCPUIDLimit" flag)
Are you trying to install ESXi or boot from a USB flash drive?


Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:17 pm
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