Can't edit virtual machines once you upgrade to VMware 5.5 ESX and a virtual machine version 10

If you recently upgraded to VMware 5.5 you will notice this warning if you try to edit your virtual machines.
“You cannot use the vSphere Client to edit the settings of virtual machines of version 10 or higher.  Use the vSphere Web Client to edit the settings of this virtual machine.”
Unfortunately the vSphere Web Client is not free.  So while you could download this you would be running in trial mode.  The simplest fix for this issues is to follow the following steps.

  1. Power down your VM.
  2. Right click on your VM and “remove from inventory”.
  3. Browse to the datastore and download the VMX file associated with the machine.
  4. Open notepad and edit the VMX file.  Look for virtualHW.version = “10″
  5. Edit the 10 and simply change it to a 9.  Save the file
  6. Upload it back to your VMware server.
  7. Browse to your datastore and click on “Add VM to inventory”.
  8. Power your system back on.


Foresight Technologies

Foresight Technologies located in Phoenix and Tempe Arizona currently utilizes N2 Network Solutions for 24/7 maintenance and monitoring.  N2 has also done site to site VPN solutions for Foresight using Cisco ASA 5505 firewalls.  Their server infrastructure, implemented by N2, is composed of Vmware ESX servers with multiple virtual machines.

Virtual machine seems everything takes 100% processor

There is a problem that exists where if you assign too much of the physical memory to a VM it will seem like every process you start bogs down the processor.  Anything from word to SQL server.  If you experience this problem try decreasing the ram to half of what you have and see if that makes a difference.

Moving a virtual machine from one datastore to another

First thing you need to do obviously is make sure ESX can see both of your datastores.
Power off the virtual machine that you wish to copy.
SSH into the server using putty or like product.
go to /vmfs/volumes and go into the volume in which you want to move your data:
cd /vmfs/volumes/Datastore2
mkdir <Name of VM directory>
cd /
Now switch back to source datastore
cd /vmfs/volumes/Datastore1
cp *.* /vmfs/volumes/Datastore2/<Name of newly created VM directory>
Depending on the size of your datastore this obviously can take a very long time.
Now you have to register the new virtual machine
Go into virtual infrastructure, Click on the left the name of your ESX server, Go to the configuration tab.
From here go down to storage on the right hand column, double click the datastore in which you moved the VM. 
Browse until you get to the folder that you moved.  Find the vmx file right click on it and select add to inventory. 
Congratulations you are finished.

Finally got ESXi up and running on my Intel i7 based processor system

So I was finally able to get ESXi up and running. You can see from my previous posts I’ve tried hacking my system I have finally given up after investing probably 30 hours of trying.
What I finally did was purchase this SAS controller from Amazon:
SuperMicro Uio Card Lsi 1068E Sas Controller Card
I also purchased an Intel pro/100 network adapter from Fry’s electronics which appears to be compatible using the e100 driver
I do have an Intel Pro/1000 pci x1 adapter in the mail. Once it arrives I can hopefully increase my bandwidth to 1GB opposed to the 100MB I’m running currently.
I’m still debating whether or not I want to convert my home machine into a permanent ESXi server. It would mean I would have to pull one of my old PC’s out of the closet as a workstation….ugh.

ESXi cannot import an existing Virtual machine with Vcenter converter

While trying to convert an existing virtual machine with Vcenter Vmware Converter. I received an error that it had failed. So I browsed over to the log file to see what the cause was.
C:Documents and Settings%username%Local SettingsTempvmware-tempvmware-client-0.log
After editing the file at the end I see the following:
[2009-02-20 17:38:49.843 ‘P2V’ 1752 error] [task,295] Task failed: P2VError UNKNOWN_METHOD_FAULT(sysimage.fault.InvalidTargetProductVersion)
I realized it’s been awhile since I’ve tried to use this utility so I’m going to download the latest version to circumvent this issue.

Booting to ESXi 3.5 from a USB flash drive

The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure you find at least a 1gb flash drive.
Next use a program like Winrar or Peazip to get into your vmware install iso.
First open the iso file with Winrar. It is not associated by default so you will have to right click on it and do open with Winrar.
Next you will want to open a file named Install.TGZ then the file in that Install.TAR then usrlibvmwareinstallerVMware-VMvisor-big-3.5.0_Update_3-123629.i386.bz2VMware-VMvisor-big-3.5.0_Update_3-123629.i386.dd
Once you get this file extracted you need to download a program called Winimage.
Once WinImage is installed open it and go to Disk>restore virtual hard disk image on physical drive> From here select your thumb drive to write to it. Find the .dd file that you extracted in the previous step. Once you write this you should be all set. A VERY important note you need to go into your BIOS and select “USB Mass Storage Emulation Type” – “All Fixed Disc if you do not do this you will receive an error when trying to boot to the thumb drive.
lspci -vvnn > lspci.log
Now that we have the ESXi image on our thumb drive if we have an unsupported system there is one more step we need to go through. We need to edit 2 files for our storage controller and network card to be compatible.
)cd /tmp/
2) mkdir -p oem/etc/vmware
3) mkdir -p oem/usr/share/hwdata
4) cd oem/etc/vmware
5) cp /etc/vmware/
6) vi
add the necessary PCI data for your devices
7) close vi – press ESC and enter :wq
8) cd /tmp/oem/usr/share/hwdata
9) cp /usr/share/hwdata/pci.ids pci.ids
10) vi pci.ids
add the necessary description for your devices (this will be displayed in the console and VI Client)
11) close vi – press ESC and enter :wq
12) cd /tmp/oem
13) chown -R 201:201 ./etc
14) chown -R 201:201 ./usr
15) chmod -R 755 ./etc
16) chmod -R 755 ./usr
17) chmod 644 ./etc/vmware/
18) chmod 644 ./usr/share/hwdata/pci.ids
19) tar -cvzf oem.tgz etc usr
20) cp oem.tgz /bootbank/oem.tgz
21) cd /bootbank/
22) chmod 755 oem.tgz
23) reboot the host

My battle with installing ESXi 3.5 Update 2

pciids-intelSo I found out Vmware ESXi 3.5 their latest version is free! And it’s only 32mb and it is completely host independent. So I decided to give it a shot. First I downloaded it just to be faced with an error during the install. I’m trying to install it on my Intel DX58SO motherboard with an i7 processor.
Now for my entries
From here I was able to browse the web to determine my Intel SATA controller was not supported by Vmware. In fact I’m under the impression the supported list is very small. Then I discovered there was a community put together hardware compatibility list. These nice people even created custom files for installing ESX. You can download these files so that your install disk supports more controllers. This is the step I’m going to describe because this is what I have to do to install my version.
First you need to get a minimum 512mb USB thumb drive. What we’re going to do is create an image from the CD to this thumb drive so that we can modify the files and then boot to it to install ESXi. Your motherboard must support USB booting.
First thing you need to download Syslinux. The reason we’re downloading this is so we can boot to it to launch the install.
Now format your USB stick using FAT32. Then browse to the directory in which you extracted your Syslinux files and run this command “syslinux.exe . This will make your USB disc bootable and copy over the files necessary for Syslinux to run. Now you will want to copy all the files from the ESXi downloadable iso. You can do this by downloading a program called Winrar or you can burn the ISO using Nero then just simply copy all the files over. Whichever way you want to do it.
Now you will want to download 1.04 or latest version of the community OEM.TGZ file. This file contains all of the drivers for tons of SATA and Network cards. Once you download this file you must rename it OEM.TGZ and replace the one on your USB stick. This will give you the added driver support. If your device is supported you can now boot to your USB stick and install ESXi.
If you made it this far it means your device was not on the list. That is unfortunate. Now that you are back in Windows go into your device manager and find your SATA controller. Here is an example of mine:
You can see fro my image my vendor number is 8086 and my model is 3A26. I actually have two my other one is the same vendor but it’s 3A20. So now I need to boot to my ESX install thumb drive again. Once I get the screen that says push to install I’m going to hit alt+F1. This is going to give me the console in which I can edit the files necessary. The login is going to be root with no password.
Once logged in here are the commands we’re going to run:
1) cd /tmp/
2) mkdir -p oem/etc/vmware
3) mkdir -p oem/usr/share/hwdata
4) cd oem/etc/vmware
5) cp /etc/vmware/
6) vi
— add the necessary PCI data for your devices
7) close vi – press ESC and enter :wq
8) cd /tmp/oem/usr/share/hwdata
9) cp /usr/share/hwdata/pci.ids pci.ids
10) vi pci.ids
— add the necessary description for your devices (this will be displayed in the console and VI Client)
Keep your file organize find your manufacturer first mine is intel in this case
Now for my model number entries:
11) close vi – press ESC and enter :wq
12) cd /tmp/oem
13) chown -R 201:201 ./etc
14) chown -R 201:201 ./usr
15) chmod -R 755 ./etc
16) chmod -R 755 ./usr
17) chmod 644 ./etc/vmware/
18) chmod 644 ./usr/share/hwdata/pci.ids
19) tar -cvzf oem.tgz etc usr
20) mkdir -p /bootbank/
21) cp oem.tgz /bootbank/oem.tgz
22) cd /bootbank/
23) chmod 755 oem.tgz
24) reboot

What is virtualization

There is a lot of buzz going around about Virtualization.
What is Virtualization, and what benefits does it provide?
In this article we will take a look at the technology to see
how it can provide a great deal of flexibility and cost
effectiveness for IT professionals and software developers.
Virtualization technology allows multiple virtual machines
to run on a single host computer. These virtual machines can
run different operating systems, such as Windows, Linux and
UNIX. Each virtual machine has its own set of virtual
hardware resources (e.g., CPU, RAM, Hard Drive, etc)
allowing the operating system to run as if it were installed
on a physical machine.
The benefits of Virtualization technology are far reaching.
Many organizations have moved to the virtual machine
solution to consolidate multiple servers, running side by
side on a single physical machine. Server consolidation
allows IT professionals to fully utilize server resources,
while isolating virtual machines and allowing them to run
different operating systems and applications. Software
developers utilize virtual machine technology to quickly
test applications on different operating systems, without
the hassle of setting up multiple physical machines for
testing or taking the risk of causing problems by testing in
a production environment.
You can run Virtualization software on pretty much any
platform. Once the software is installed it is simple to
create virtual machine instances. Virtual machines are just
a set of files located on the host machine. You configure
your virtual machine settings on the host computer, install
the operating system and you are ready to go. It is a very
common practice to use a master image of a virtual machine.
This master image can be a fully configured machine, with
the operating system and all required applications
installed. You can then rapidly deploy virtual machines by
copying the master image to multiple Virtualization hosts to
provide zero downtime and 100% server availability.
There are a number of Virtualization products available.
VMWare, which is probably the most popular, recently
announced that it will be releasing a free version of its
GSX Server product. This will allow any organization to host
virtual machines on either Windows or Linux hosts. Other
Virtualization products include Microsoft’s Virtual Server and SWsoft’s Virtuozzo, just to name a few.