ESXi Install on ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe
Today I rebuilt an old machine for use as an VMware ESXi 5.5 Host.
The machine I was using had a ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe motherboard which had the following challenges.
1) The Marvell Yukon 88E8056 NIC drivers we not present in ESXi 5.5.
2) The SATA drivers for the Marvell 88SE6121 we also not present.
How did I get around this?
I found a powershell script called "ESXi-Customizer-PS" located at (http://www.v-front.de/p/esxi-customizer-ps.html#download) this uses the VMware PowerCLI ImageBuilder snapin to create a custom install.
First of all I used the command "Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted" to allow scripts to run
I then used ".\ESXi-Customizer-PS-v2.4.ps1 -v60 -vft -load net-sky2,net-sky2-1" to build a custom image including the net-sky2 drivers which support the Marvell Yukon 88E8056 NIC.
I then used the RUFUS utility (http://rufus.akeo.ie/) to create a bootable USB stick with my custom ISO and built the machine.
The next issue I hit was that there was no storage found by ESXi (only the USB stick it had booted from). After a bit of research I found that from version 5.5 of ESXi VMware had removed a load of SATA drivers that were not on their compatibility list. I also found that on v-Front (https://vibsdepot.v-front.de/wiki/index.php/Welcome) there was a Drive Map file called "sata-xahci:". So again I rebuilt my custom ISO but this time by running ".\ESXi-Customizer-PS-v2.4.ps1 -v55 -vft -load net-sky2,net-sky2-1,sata-xahci".
This time I was able to boot the ESXi installer and the system found my storage.
I was able to install and configure ESXi for my test lab. Please note these are unsupported drivers and should not be used in a production environment.
PS. Don't forget to set your Powershell Execution Policy back "Set-ExecutionPolicy Restricted" .