How to Run VMWare ESXi on PowerEdge T105

edit: PowerEdge T105 is now on HCL.

How to Run VMWare ESXi 4.0 on PowerEdge T105, you ask? Simple Answer. Flash Drive. The process goes thusly.

  • Get your ESXi Image ready to go. You can download it from the VMWare website.
  • Get your trusty 1GB+ Empty Flash Drive and stick it into one of the USB Ports on the Server
  • Next, Burn the ISO to a disk and stick it in your drive.
  • Press F11 at the BIOS to select your Boot device.
  • Boot from the DVD-ROM Drive.
  • When prompted where to install VMWare ESXi choose the Flash Drive that should show up in the list.
  • When prompted to reboot, remove the installation media. On reboot enter the BIOS.
  • Switch the Hard Drive Boot Priority to put the USB drive to the top.
  • Boot VMWare ESXi as normal.

Voilà! You’re ready to rock. The PowerEdge T105 is not on the HCL so you’re unfortunately unable to run it natively because of the onboard SATA controller. You could also find a compatible SATA controller and put the drives on that, but realistically the USB Drive is not that big of a hassel for most small environments. It also means you can boot VMWare even in the event of a HDD Failure. I’ve heard that many people will actually put the flash drive inside the case that so it is not at risk of being knocked around.