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I'm confused about the hard drive requirements to use VMWare ESXi 4.1

I conducted an experiment on an old desktop PC with a SATA hard drive and it couldn't find it.

I'm now ready to go to production but I'm unsure whether a SATA hard drive will be ok. If not should I use a SSD.

Note: I'm not using RAID

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SATA drives do work because I've done that before. I don't know what the problem is but I do know that it's not that. – bahamat Aug 13 '12 at 23:36
SATA drives will work but only if the SATA controller is supported. – Zoredache Aug 13 '12 at 23:40
I am curious, though. Is there any reason you're not using VMWare ESXi 5 at this point? – ewwhite Aug 13 '12 at 23:47
i have raid 0 setup on my vmware setup, works great – t q Aug 14 '12 at 0:46
up vote 6 down vote accepted

This is going to depend mostly on your motherboard/SATA controller's support under VMWare. It's less about SATA and more about how the drives are presented to the OS. VMWare prefers server-class hardware, as only a certain number of storage drivers can be included in the small ESXi image.

You can take a look at this user-compiled "whitebox" hardware compatibility list for VMWare to get a feeling as to whether your setup will work.

Also see: VMWare ESX installation on sata disk

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Long story short, yes it will work. I've had many production servers running vmware 4.0, 4.1 and 5.0 on SATA drives. Ofcourse, having enterprise class drives are better for performance, etc. but it will not have any problems with a normal SATA drive.

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