Okay so after building an ESXi 5.1 rig a little while ago (Blog Post Here) it’s now time to upgrade to VMware ESXi 5.5 – this for the first time in a while (for me at least) broke stuff!

After initial upgrade from the 5.1u1 platform my SSD datastore disappeared! I didn’t have any settings I was immediately interested in so thought I’d just try a fresh install – this brought a second issue as no NICs where found upon attempted install.

Thankfully having a hunt around google a few people had already commented on the issue experienced, so the fix was pretty simple as to the missing NIC. It turns out VMware have dropped support for the Realtek NICs, often found in a Whitebox environment, so until I get around to screenshots and steps myself head over HERE for the run down.

Alternatively another nice way of building the custom ISO which I probably prefer can be found HERE.

This is why I put Upgrading in brackets! If you upgrade an existing box the NIC drivers will remain so you should be good to go. If you fresh install then you’ll need the custom ISO or to at least inject the appropriate VIB. My side issue as to the Datastore disappearing was down to the ASMedia SATA controller no longer being supported either. The quick fix was to move the drive off this controller and on to the Intel controller, long term though I’d like to find the appropriate driver to add back in but haven’t had a chance to hunt!


  1. 08/10/2013 at 11:43 AM Przemek

    Hi Webbo,
    I`ve read you previous post and want to ask about Asmedia controller. What was the reason to use that? Is it much faster than builtin Z77?

    • 07/02/2014 at 8:29 AM Leon Straathof

      Don’t know Webbo’s reason but no it is actually a lot slower since the builtin Z77 (panther) is sata3 and the ASM1062 is sata2, I wonder if you could still use Directpath I/O configuration on a device that is not supported. If you can I could use that to give my virtual nas it’s own controller as ESX5.5 cannot use it anyway.

  2. 07/02/2014 at 8:25 AM Leon Straathof

    Hi, for adding the realtek driver I recommend looking here it has a link to a conviniant tool and a matrix of all driver package changes. http://www.bussink.ch/?p=1228 Problem with the ASM 1062 sata controller is down to the changes in the sata-ahci driver package vib. It worked with the driver in the 3.0-15vmw.510.2.23.1483097 vib file it does not with the 3.0-17vmw.550.0.0.1331820 vib file. I don’t know if you can extract a single driver from the vib file if you can find how I would be interested. You could downgrade the vib file meaning also your panther ahci controller would be running with older drivers on your 5.5 installation.

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