I have a Dell PowerEdge 1900 that boots to VMWare ESXi 4.1 from a USB pen drive. The only real problem I ran across was that it got stuck on loading the megaraid_sas driver on startup. This was fixed by setting kernel options to disable ACPI and power management.
The first solution:
Press SHIFT+O after the system starts booting. You should get a prompt to “Enter advanced options”. Type “noACPI nopowerManagement” and press enter, then enter again to continue booting.
This worked for me and as long as the power stayed on, everything was good. However, I need my servers to come up automatically without operator intervention.
The permanent solution(s):
Method 1: Use the vSphere Client to make changes to the kernel options
In vSphere Client, connect to your server and click on the “Configuration” tab.
Under “Software”, click on “Advanced Settings”.
A new window will open, click on “VMkernel”.
Uncheck the boxes next to both “VMkernel.Boot.ACPI” and “VMkernel.Boot.powerManagement”.
Method 2: Modify /bootbank/boot.cfg
Get to the file system
Option 1: Use a Linux Live CD to access the file system
Option 2: Once ESXi is up and running, connect to the server using SSH.
Add “ACPI=FALSE powerManagement=FALSE” to the “kernalopt=” line in “/bootbank/boot.cfg”
My boot.cfg file ended up looking like this:
kernel=b.z kernelopt=ACPI=FALSE powerManagement=FALSE modules=k.z --- s.z --- c.z --- oem.tgz --- license.tgz --- m.z build=4.1.0-260247 updated=1 bootstate=0
This is something to look out for after installing VMWare ESXi updates, you might have to do it again.