Archive for January, 2010

‘Slipstreaming’ drivers in the ESX4(i) install ISO

OK, here’s the deal, I downloaded the last ESX4 iso (with update 1-208167) and installed ESX on a brand new Dell R710.
The onboard Broadcom was detected and installed, but to my surprise the 2 INTEL QUAD port cards were not found and therefore not installed.

After some searching I found this iso, named:
It’s possible to use this iso during the manual installation, the intaller will ask you if you want to load additional drivers.  Tried that, and it worked, it found the quad port nics.

So why slipstream ?
Well, I needed to create an unattended installation for a customer and it’s not really unattended if you need to go swapping iso’s during the install phase.

Ok, let’s roll:
The files we will be working with are:

PACKAGES.XML  (in the root)
packageData.pkl (in the VMWARE\RPMS folder)
TRANS.TBL (in the VMWARE\RPMS folder)

Extract these  files from the ISO to a folder.
Oh yeah, before you go launching your favorite ISO software, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT use PowerISO.
PowerISO changes the MD5 checksum of the ISO, making it useless.
I found out the hard way. Instead I recommend MagicISO.

let’s start with putting the newer driver in the \VMWARE\RPMS folder.
Extract the vmware-esx….ISO file you downloaded from VMware.
Goto the .rpm folder and insert the vmware-esx…..x86_64.rpm to the \VMWARE\RPMS folder of the ESX iso.


You can delete the other (older)  vmware-esx-drivers-net-igb file as we will no longer need it.

Next, we need to change the TRANS.TBL file, so that it contains the new file.
Use a text editor such as Notepad++ to change any of the files in this tutorial.
do NOT use windows notepad, wordpad, word or whatever texteditor incapable of handling unix formatted files.

In this case, you will find an entry In the Trans.tbl file on line 280 called:
If you find the line, scroll to the right, and you will see the name of the old rpm.
Only change the right part of this line to the name of the new rpm.


Save and close the file.
Next, edit the packages.xml file in the root of the extracted iso.
Goto line 91 and change the old entry to the new one:


Save and close.
Next up, packageData.pkl in the \VMWARE\RPMS folder
Goto line 2245 (yes, it’s a long file J also, you can search for “igb” and it will bring you right there)
And as you already guessed, change the entry there.


Save and close.
Now, update your ESX iso file with the edited files and new rpm.
After installation with the new ISO, it “should” detect the intel quad port cards.

Hope this helps you out, the same way it did for me 🙂