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 ASUS M4N78 (trying built-in SATA) 
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:22 am
Posts: 21
Location: Portugal
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Post ASUS M4N78 (trying built-in SATA)
Hi everyone,

After reading all the posts related to ASUS with nVidia chipsets here and there, I think I gathered (almost) all the information needed to successfully do what I want.

I'm trying to install ESXi 4.0 in a SATA disk attached to the built-in SATA controller of my motherboard.

I'm using the linux bash script, kindly provided by member Varazir, to create a USB boot flash disk, and already tried various oem.tgz files reported to work with MCP78 chipset, none with success. :-( (so far)

Until now the only thing I could achieve was to be able to detect an IDE HD attached to the IDE channel (of course).
But, my goal is to install to a SATA HD instead.

This are some listings of my hardware after booting ESXi installation:

Common to all listings (not BIOS setting dependent)

IDE and Ethernet
Code:
lspci -v
...
00:06.00 IDE interface Mass Storage controller: nVidia Corporation
      Class 0101: 10de:0759
...
00:10.00 Ethernet controller Network controller: nVidia COrporation nVidia nForce Network Controller [vmnic0]
      Class 0200: 10de:0760
...

SATA chipset (BIOS setting dependent)

BIOS in SATA mode:
Code:
lspci -v:
...
00:09.00 IDE interface Mass Storage controller: nVidia Corporation
      Class 0101: 10de:0ad0
...

hwinfo -p
...
00:09.00 10de:0ad0 1043:82f2 10/ 10/0x71 A V
...

BIOS in AHCI mode:
Code:
lspci -v:
...
00:09.00 nVidia Corporation MCP78 SATA Controller [vmhba0]
      Class 0106: 10de:0ad4
...

hwinfo -p
00:09.00 10de:0ad4 1043:82f2 5/   5/0x71 A V         vmhba0
...

As far as I learned here in vm-help.com, the only way I can get this sata controller to work is in AHCI mode. Done. After this I need to:

In pci.ids file add:

0ad4 MCP78 SATA Controller

(I think this file only "translates" the pci id to whatever text is configured)

And to simple.map, add:

10de:0ad4 1043:82f2 storage ahci.o

(I think this is where de "magic" is made. i.e. where a driver is mapped to the device with the specified pci id)

I must say that with both those lines I cannot get SATA disk to be detected. I'm almost positive shure that no driver (module) is loaded for SATA storage controller with that configuration. (hwinfo -p does not show any module loaded for that hardware)

Here is where I need some guidance:

- I need to know what drivers I can try to load for that controller;
- The correct syntax of simple.map file. This is because I already saw files with the trailed .o (ahci.o) and other without it.
- Is there anything else I must do? Can I try to manually load the module after boot so I don't need to rebbot after each adjustment?

Sorry, I know it's a massive post, but I think its contents are all usefull to try to get some help.

Thanks for any help.

Luís


Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:01 am
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:22 am
Posts: 21
Location: Portugal
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Post Re: ASUS M4N78 (trying built-in SATA)
Ok, while instructing myself a bit more around here, I've reached a page http://vm-help.com/esx40i/Hardware_support.php with the list of supported hardware by ESXi 4.0. (I had already been there...)

Reading that page I conclude that my SATA controller (10de:0ad4) is not listed, read not supported :-(.
Even so, I will try to make it work with sata_nv.o which is the driver used by other nVidia SATA chipsets.

I'll try that later and give here some feedback.

Regards

Luis


Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:34 am
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:22 am
Posts: 21
Location: Portugal
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Post Re: ASUS M4N78 (trying built-in SATA)
Ok, some progress here:

I was able to make the installation load de module sata_nv when booting ESXi installation.

BUT..., But...even so, it does not show me the 500GB disk I have attached to SATA port so I can install ESXi there.

(BIOS in SATA mode where lspci -l shows 10de:0ad0)

Any help debugging this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Luis


Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:33 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
Posts: 3880
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Post Re: ASUS M4N78 (trying built-in SATA)
Hello Luis, thanks for all the detail you've included. Have you tried this with AHCI with the sata_nv driver?

You mention using an oem.tgz file. Was this one created for ESXi 4.0 or 3.5?

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Dave Mishchenko
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Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:20 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
Posts: 3880
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Post Re: ASUS M4N78 (trying built-in SATA)
Also, is the module listed when you run lspci - p? If not, then the driver isn't loading correctly and you'll want to look through /var/log/messages


Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:21 pm
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:22 am
Posts: 21
Location: Portugal
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Post Re: ASUS M4N78 (trying built-in SATA)
Hi Dave thank you very much for replying.

Well, I am using a oem.tgz file but unfortunately it may be also a problem. :?:
I think it is for v4.0 but I'm not sure.
Can you point me a link or a method for me to download/extract this file form ESXi v4 installation?

I will try to load sata_nv module with BIOS in AHCI mode.
I would like to be able to load the modules directly from command line. This way I wouldn't need to reboot after each change...

Where are the modules in v 4? I saw somewhere here a command like
Code:
vmkload_mod /mod/module_name

to load the modules from the command line after booting.
But this does not work in v4 because the path for modules is not the same. The command specifies the path for v3.5.

Yes, the driver is shown as loaded when i do
Code:
lspci -p

00:09.00 10de:0ad0 1043:82f2 5/  5/0x71 A V sata_nv     vmhba1


It shows SATA as vmhba1 because vmhba0 is an IDE HD.

As I said I will try to load sata_nv with BIOS in AHCI.
I'll post the results here.


Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:57 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
Posts: 3880
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Post Re: ASUS M4N78 (trying built-in SATA)
The drivers are now in /usr/lib/vmware/vmkmod/

If the module is listed for lspci -p, then it would have seem to have loaded Ok. You can take a look at /var/log/messages for any errors about the drives.


Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:45 pm
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Post Re: ASUS M4N78 (trying built-in SATA)
See also the note about using the sticky bit instead of oem.tgz on this thread - viewtopic.php?f=14&t=318


Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:26 pm
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:22 am
Posts: 21
Location: Portugal
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Post Re: ASUS M4N78 (trying built-in SATA)
Hi,

Already tried to load sata_nv in both SATA and AHCI BIOS modes.
In both of them I can see that the module is loaded and a vmhbaX is assigned. Even so, ESXi does not "see" the SATA HD I have installed.

In both cases I took a look to /var/log/messages and did not saw anything "strange" in sata_nv module loading process.

In this case where the module is loaded and a vmhbaX is assigned what could be wrong? The driver itself? What can I do to test a little further? Is seems to me that it just needs a click to make it work ...

I think I already read here in the forum someone that was able to get ESXi 3.5 working with a motherboard similar to mine (M3N78). In this case if I can install the 3.5, is there any possibility to upgrade it to v4.0 keeping it working?

I just checked if there were any Linux drivers for this motherboard (ASUS site), but the package available for Linux just has sound and network drivers.

Thanks

Luís


Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:33 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:20 am
Posts: 9
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Post Re: ASUS M4N78 (trying built-in SATA)
looks like i'm in the same boat you are, Luis. The weird thing that I see is that in the lspci -p list, i see the vmhba0 but i don't see the module name listed like i do with other hardware. I'm also not able to see the controller in the VI client.


Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:57 pm
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