Completing a clean installation using the ISO image if your installation or upgrade fails of ESX/ESXi
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Completing a clean installation using the ISO image if your installation or upgrade fails of ESX/ESXi


Article ID: 302385


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


If a server has previously had an operating system installed such as Windows or Linux, this data can cause an ESX/ESXi Server installation or upgrade to fail. This document describes the process required to erase all data from your server by rebuilding your Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) configuration, and completing a fresh installation.

  • ESX/ESXi Server host installation fails to complete.
  • Reinstalling ESX/ESXi Server host does not complete.
  • Upgrade of ESX/ESXi Server host does not complete.
  • You have attempted an upgrade using a tarball that failed. You are now unable to complete the installation with the ISO image or tarball.
  • Only the word GRUB is visible on screen after failed upgrade.

exisiting-operating-system install-esx install-esx-fails


VMware ESX 4.0.x
VMware ESX Server 3.0.x
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Installable
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0
VMware ESXi 3.5.x Installable
VMware ESX Server 3.5.x
VMware ESX 4.1.x
VMware ESX Server 2.5.x
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Installable


To perform a fresh installation of ESX/ESXi Server software:

  1. Backup any virtual machines that you want to keep before continuing.
  2. Disconnect any storage area networks (SANs) until the installation of the ESX/ESXi Server system is complete.
  3. Check for a mirrored drive on the server.
  4. If you have RAID 1 configured on the ESX/ESXi Server host, break the RAID 1 configuration.

    : If you are unfamiliar with RAID, please contact your hardware vendor for assistance.

  5. Rebuild the RAID 1 configuration through the options available in the BIOS of your RAID controller.

    : All data on your hard disks is completely erased by this step.

  6. Save the settings of the BIOS.
  7. Download the ESX/ESXi Server ISO image for the version of the ESX/ESXi Server system you want to install at the VMware Download site.
  8. Record the image to CD/DVD-ROM.
  9. Insert the CD/DVD-ROM into your ESX/ESXi Server system.
  10. Reboot your server and boot from the ESX/ESXi Server Installation CD/DVD-ROM to complete the installation.