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 Custom Build for a whitebox nForce 430 
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Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:33 pm
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Post Custom Build for a whitebox nForce 430
I'm embarking on my first build, I have 3.5, 4.0 and 4.1 and would prefer the latest build if possible. The plan was to re-use the windows box in the corner to have a play and maybe save buying a new box for a single task.

So, the spec's

It's an AM2 based AMD X2 x64 3800+
ASUS M2N mothboard (with nForce 430 chipset)
4GB RAM
PATA DVD-RW
SATA HDD's

In all cases the stock ESXi builds error out with what I believe is because the chipset isn't supported out of the box. So I'm now reading and trying to work out how I go about modifying the whole shebang.

I'm open to any suggestions people might have or words of wisdom to help me out.


Last edited by The_Hawk on Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:13 am
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Post Re: Custom Build for a whitebox nForce 630
What sort of error is the installer giving you?

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Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:32 am
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Post Re: Custom Build for a whitebox nForce 630
I get to the "Welcome to VMware ESXi 4.1.0 Installation"

with the Cancel, Repair and Install options, hit enter to continue and it then gets to this point:

"Unable to load module: /usr/lib/vmware/vmkmod/vmfs3: Failure"

I didn't grab the errors off the 4.0 or 3.5 installs but I can if needed.


Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:22 pm
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Post Re: Custom Build for a whitebox nForce 630
It generally means that ESXi couldn't recognize a NIC. What do you have - a Realtek or Marvell? Often the easiest solution is to add an Intel Pro 1000 GT.

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Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:36 pm
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Post Re: Custom Build for a whitebox nForce 430
The onboard NIC is a nForce 430 based unit, but I also have a 3Com 10/100 PCI card in there as a secondary card, I would like to see both working, but at this point either one is fine then after I have the system up and running I don't mind investing in a couple of new cards for better performance. (I just don't want to go out and start spending money if there are other things holding me back).

3com card: http://www.3com.com/products/en_US/deta ... 905B-TX-NM

I tried the adding oem file found here, but that crashes out even earlier in the process, I'm guessing it's an older driver or something?
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=149


Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:51 pm
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Post Re: Custom Build for a whitebox nForce 430
ESXi 4.x dropped support for 10/100 NICs and drivers aren't compatible between 3x and 4x. Could you post the PCI if for the nForce NIC?

http://www.vm-help.com/esx40i/find_PCI_ID.php

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Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:56 pm
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Post Re: Custom Build for a whitebox nForce 430
Dave.Mishchenko wrote:
ESXi 4.x dropped support for 10/100 NICs and drivers aren't compatible between 3x and 4x. Could you post the PCI if for the nForce NIC?

http://www.vm-help.com/esx40i/find_PCI_ID.php


Ahhh.. seems Windows 7 dropped support for that NIC too, but then it is very very old now. (on the upside it was one of the cards that worked in pretty much everything out of the box so was handy for tech support).

Here is the screen shot of the onboard NIC:
Image


In other news it seems I can't make a bootable USB drive to install from either, but that's a whole other problem to be dealt with later. I do have the scripting thing working in a ubuntu VM and it seems to spit out a working ISO (although it crashed which I assume is because of the 3.x driver I tried to roll in). But like I said, lets look at the NIC issue first.

Worst case maybe I have a look at picking up a new NIC on monday... at AU$40 it's not exactly going to break the bank ;)


Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:54 pm
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Post Re: Custom Build for a whitebox nForce 430
The 3.5 driver will cause a PSOD in ESXi 4.x.

It seems that there's an error in the default simple.map file

10de:03f6 0000:0000 storage sata_nv
10de:03f7 0000:0000 storage sata_nv
10de:0448 0000:0000 storage pata_amd

simple.map directs ESXi to load a SATA driver but

Device Id Chip Description Vendor Id Vendor Name
0x03EF Nvidia Networking Card 0x10DE NVIDIA Corporation

it should direct it to load forcedeth.o.

Could you boot the installer again, get to the point where it errors out and try this
1) Access the console - press ALT+F1
2) Login with 'root' - password is blank
3) run esxcfg-nics -l -- the output should show nothing
4) run vmkload_mod forcedeth.o
5) run esxcfg-nics -l -- is a NIC now displayed?

If the NIC shows up in step 5 then all you need to do is create a simple.map that fixes the default one.

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Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:12 pm
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Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:33 pm
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Post Re: Custom Build for a whitebox nForce 430
We might have just found a solution to this problem...

For no apparent reason the machine I was going to use keeps powering down, not sure what it is that is causing the issue... but my patience for trouble shooting what is now 5 year old equipment is pretty low so I might just replace the whole damn thing :P

The plan will be to pick up an i3/i5 CPU, 4-8GB RAM and a couple of those intel NIC's which should minimise problems.


Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:04 pm
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