Saturday, September 6, 2014

Intel NUC D54250WYKH - How to Boot from USB


Sooo getting sick of doing this dance every time with ESX.

I'm building up a Intel NUC as an ESX server to run a couple of guests (phone system and a Remote Access VPN Server) and OMG I can't believe how much of a PITA this whole process still is.

This little sucker doesn't have any external storage devices so USB is the order of the day.

Downloaded RUFUS (USB Installer Creation Utility) and imaged the USB Memory Stick with the latest ESXi image setting boot type as MBR.

And of course it wouldn't boot.

Ok - checked UEFI and MBR options in NUC BIOS to make sure I was only booting off legacy.
Still no dice.

Queue rage.

Ok - so obviously something is missing in the ESX image that the NUC needs to boot from USB.

It turns out that  you need to inject some goodness into the image using the good old ESX Customizer.

And no - nothing specific in terms of drivers.
Just something it does as part of it's re-build must fix whatever is broken in the latest stock ESX ISO image.

Anyway, to be able to actually use the customizer, you need to throw a driver of some description at it.

As it turns out, the NUC D54250WYKH NIC and SATA drivers are missing from the standard ESX build.

Of f#$%ing course they are.

Now this is toss - I can put up with having to slipstream drivers for a whitebox but this is an off the shelf device which is what VMWare is supposed to support out of the box.

So - grab yourself the following drivers:

NIC Driver
SATA Driver

Slipstream those suckers using the customizer, flash your USB stick using RUFUS and then you can FINALLY begin to install ESX.

Note - when slipstreaming, you'll first have to add one driver to your original ESX image.
Then, re-launch the customiser, point it at your image file with integrated driver from previous run (i.e. not the original esx image) and add your second driver.


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