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Friday, November 9, 2012

Install ESXi 5 on lenovo X61- Add Intel 82577LM driver , MEMORY_SIZE ERROR

This is the project to create a lab environment contains 2 node ESXi 5.0 host cluster and a software iSCSI machine.

My hardware is all identical Lenovo X61, 2GB RAM, Intel 82577LM.
This process was a real pain, I had to climb up and down two big hills.
The first obstacle was adding NIC driver to the installation image, the next was MEMORY_SIZE ERROR.
During the installation, the system check runs and if computer doesn’t have more than 1.97 GB, the installation will terminate.

I spent a lot of time searching and finally I was able to install ESXi on my laptop computer.
The below is what I’ve done.

<Add the NIC driver to the iso>
Download ESXi-Customizer ( and driver for NIC at
Create a customized iso image for ESXi 5.0, following ESXi-Customizer instruction on the its website.
<Create a bootable flash drive>
First format USB using commands below.

diskpart (make sure you run diskpart as administrator)
list disk (list the disk in your system including the USB)
select disk USB number
create partition primary
format fs=fat32 quick

download linux live USB creater.
Follow the instruction and create a bootable USB

<Install ESXi>
Thank to Simon, I was able to get away from  the system check to terminate installation.

*Before installation, you have to enable Intel VT from BIOS
Boot from the bootable USB created in the previous step.

At the “Welcome to the VMware ESXi 5.0.0 Installation” screen, press Alt+F1.
At localhost login prompt, enter root
At Password prompt, enter nothing. Just hit Enter

Type # cd /usr/lib/vmware/weasel/util
Delete upgrade_precheck.pyc
rm upgrade_precheck.pyc


chmod 755

Edit the line “MEM_MIN_SIZE = (2 * 1024 – 32) * SIZE_MiB” to MEM_MIN_SIZE = (2 * 1024 – 64) * SIZE_MiB
Find the above text string using “/” command and a search string1024 and “n”
If the string is found, press any or “a”, “i” or “o” key to switch the mode.
Modify the text
Type “:wq” to save and exit vi

ps -c | more and find the PID for install
In my case I killed sh resides in bin/vmware/install
kill the process found in the previous step.
Kill <pid>
Automatically go back to Welcome screen.
Continue to follow the installation