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I have a PC with Gigabyte H77 motherboard with Intel I5-3550 CPU 8 GB RAM 1600MHz and a 500GB Harddisk (7200RPM) - WD Sata III disk

I wish to install esx on it and run some virtual machines on it. not alot, something like 2-3 VMs.

My hardisk is Sata, is it possible to install ESX Server on it ?

I am not worried about loading issues. When i try loading the installation it writes it cannot detect my disk (since its not SCSI disk).

How can i bypass this ? or find a solution.


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

ESX(i) runs and installs fine on a sata disk - You can even use a USB stick for the OS itself.
The problem is more in general the hardware you are using.

Check out the HCL to see what hardware VMware has tested, and confirmed working. Running the software on other hardware will only give you problems.

If you want to run virtualization on that machine, you are better off installing either a Windows or Linux OS, and installing VMware Workstation on top of that.

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thanks for quick answer. I wish to install ESX. my HW is not in their lists. How can i make the esx installation recognize my hard drive ? i have VMPlayer and used VirtualBox, but i heard installing ESX server and using client from another computer is better solution. so the load will be on the strong PC. – ilansch Aug 5 '12 at 14:29
You can maybe find some drivers to load into the installation to recognize your sata controller on the motherboard. You could also buy a RAID controller that is on the HCL. But all of this is just temporary solutions, that I wouldn't recommend, as ESX pretty much requires the hardware that it has been tested with. – Frederik Nielsen Aug 5 '12 at 14:38
I can confirm that ESX works just fine with SATA disks, but it's the disk controller that's the deciding factor: in our case we use a Dell server with a RAID controller that supports both SAS and SATA disks. – Colin 't Hart Sep 20 '12 at 8:13

VMWare prefers server-class hardware, as only a limited number of storage drivers can be included in the small-footprint ESXi image. You will find that the hardware compatibility list is narrower than a Linux distribution, for example.

The best way to gain system compatibility is to use supported RAID and network adapters. However, a good resource for non-standard builds are the forums and HCL available at

Some users have been able to modify the ESXi install with drivers for their specific motherboards/peripherals.

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Running ESX on hardware not listed in the HCL is possible: users have made lists of hardware which works (as opposed to supported). They call this "whitebox" hardware. Googling for "ESX whitebox" may help you.

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