Tuesday, July 07, 2009

VMware ESXi 4 vs Windows 7

What an afternoon.

I've been trying to create an image of Windows XP on VMware ESXi 3 but have been stumped with its inability to serve the virtual hard drive to the installation. After several tries via a hosted .ISO, the installation CD on the host and on the guest - I figured it was a bug! So left it at that and have been eeking out a working P2V image from my HP DC7700p for a few months.

Earlier today I ran across an update suggestion and decided to delve a bit more, then realized that VMware ESXi 4 had already been released. Did I mention that the initial VI client license was running out on the ESXi 3? Given the good things said about vSphere (Virtual Infrastructure v4.0 client), I said to myself, "why not?".

So update I tried, from the arcane extracing the update .ZIP to finding that the update utility was on the same page. Alas, neither solutions worked for me on my Windows 7 64-bit RC. Stumped.

Having all of this huge HP xw8400 out anyway, why not risk an overwrite? After all, I'd made sure through some premonition to segregate my VM images and tools on a separate datastore than the main drive - the worse thing that could happen is a rollback or trying to figure out how to add the old images back into inventory. Flash, bang, wham! After burning the full ESXi 4 .ISO ont a CD and instaleld, the whole thing just worked. Of course, later on I figured why my original VI client couldn't login was that the root password has been reset.

So OK, the backend system is updated but the complete upgrade experience eluded me. So time to figure out installing the vSphere client which prompty kicked me out with:

Error Parsing the server "192.168.x.y" "clients.xml" file. Login will continue.
Contact your system administrator.

The type initializer for "VirtualInfrastrcture.Utils.HttpWebRequestProxy" threw an exception.

I had no idea what the problem was and never messed with that file. Rolling back to the VI client somehow no longer worked as installing vSphere installed some other goup into the system. :-(

Google to the rescue. Yes, I did try Yahoo and Bing as well but ....

Kudos to ftubio for suggesting a fix. Basically it appears that the .NET System.dll file now installed in my Windows 7 RC was incompatible. I was able to grab the specific file v2.0.50727 build from my sons MSI U100 that had Windows Home pre-installed and followed the instructions.

Voila ... VpxClient.exe (vSphere) now works.

And the best part? I now have a fresh VM image of Windows XP 32-bit running on my VMware ESXi 4 server. :-))

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