Windows 10: Any Esxi users here -- Info on Hardware Passthru for Windows VMs

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  1.    08 Apr 2016 #11

    I always FW update on install, but rarely after that unless its a Windows box...
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  2.    10 Apr 2016 #12

    Hi there
    Windows XP VM created fine on Esxi -- I thought I'd try the XP one first as it's the simplest.

    USB2 working fine which is all I need for the XP VM - the hardware drivers loaded from the VM machine just fine.
    Your tip on the iLO was great -- got 60 days free -- I'll probably have another solution (RDP for example --I have mega fast broadband - even wireless so I can't see any delay / poor performance using RDP and I can then send this to a large monitor in a window.

    Still have an issue with the graphics -- the problem is that the sound is integrated with the graphics card -- not sure if XP can handle HD audio via HDMI from the remote device. A get around would be to load up W2k3 server as a VM and then have XP under vmware on the W2K3 server. Overhead is small since the Esxi is tiny - first level vm's are running about 95% native and on SSD's so run really fast anyway.

    CPU upgrade went fine -- was actually easier opening the server than I thought - even the Dog got interested !!!!

    The one piece of equipment you are stuck with is the PSU which at Max I think delivers 150 Watts so with the graphics card I can't really put a CPU in there which uses more than 45 Watts - I hate running gear at 90 - 100%. There's really no way of changing that easily - if at all.

    I've got 2 SSD's now and 3X 4 TB HDD's. One SSD I just stuck to the place where the DVD would go and connected it with a converter (Mini-Molex-->SATA) power cable and the other into Ist Bay.

    Set RAID 0 - single disks SSD1, SSD2, HDD1 and array for the remaining two HDD's.

    Still booting from SD card -- VM's will be on the SSD's, Backup and data files on the single HDD1 and multi-media stuff on the 2 HDD array (8TB).

    SSD's are 1 X 256GB Samsung and 1 X Kingston 960GB ultra (6gb/s).

    Great prices on SSD's now -- a 120GB can be had for as little as 35 EUR now --absolutely ZERO excuse for people not to use them.

    I'm waiting for large capacity SSD's to drop to sensible prices so I can remove all my HDD's on running systems and just leave spinners for offline archive / running backups weekly.

    I never thought at my age I'd be taking computers apart, cannabalising old machines and jury rigging a server !! - don't believe it when the papers always seem to say older people can't understand technology or the Internet. Actually it's quite fun.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    10 Apr 2016 #13

    Good work, can I ask what i5 you used? I'm still running celeron, glad it all worked out for you! I think the issue with audio over HDMI is an XP issue rather than VMware.

    iLO is for management only so when you lose IP connectivity when ESXI crashes (it happens!) you can recover it without holding down the power button
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    11 Apr 2016 #14

    Hi there

    CPU :
    i5 : i5-3470t -- note it doesn't support ECC but doesn't seem to be a problem on my box -- If you do it try before re-assembling (I.e re-boot for a few mins to get the POST screen / BIOS etc before fixing everything properly --you've updated your Firmware so I can't guarantee if the CPU will work in your box. Note the 150W limit on the PSU so your CPU shouldn't be much over 35W --45W is OK or 60W at a pinch but more than that you'll get problems

    The recommended "unofficial" (?!) upgrades are for the XEON but these are hard to find now and discontinued anyway.

    Note the i7 version does NOT work but the i5 works fine. The i7 would be overkill on this box in any case.

    (The W2K3 VM 32 bit version had no problem with sound and all the drivers from my XP box worked fine on it -- so I found some really old literature on running W2K3 SERVER as a desktop OS -- and it's fine so I'll ditch the XP system. W2K3 actually was a great OS in its day). The original system (I got years ago when on an Ms course came with 4 Client licenses too (still valid)!!!.

    All the VINYL studio stuff works fine on the W2K3 machine. Even runs old Minidisc recorders !!

    An advantage with W2K3 server is that it had a LOT longer life span than XP so a lot more drivers around that work.

    How to convert your Windows Server 2003... to a Workstation!

    Using a Server as a desktop OS does need a few changes as there are settings etc on the OS which make it a bit hard and inconvenient to use as a desktop / workstation OS unless it's adapted a bit. !!

    Working now on getting W10 and CENTOS VM's up and running - these will run on SSD's too.

    Boot time for the Esxi itself even from SD card is minimal -- the Server start up takes a while but that's standard on these boxes - Physical servers do a lot more start up analysis than normal desktops / consumer grade equipment.

    Last edited by jimbo45; 11 Apr 2016 at 05:35.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    13 Apr 2016 #15

    Sounds like similar specs to the Shuttle XPC I will be using. It's an i5-2400, 32 GB of memory, and a 128 Crucial SSD for the OS drive. I have a 1 TB WD Red NAS drive (2.5" edition) that will hold the VMS. I may eventually replace it with a larger spinner, just to increase the amount of VMs I can store, but only if I need the space.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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