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I inherited a HP Microserver Gen8 with ESXi 5.5 - will this work for XPEnology ?


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I inherited a HP Gen8 Microserver. It has a E3-1220L Xeon CPU and 8Gb of RAM. It has no extra disc controller, 2 x 1TB discs are setup as RAID1. ESXi 5.5 Boots from a Micro SD card.

There is a serial and a license number shown for ESXi on console.

It s a HPE customized image ESXi 5.5.0 Update 3 version 550. released December 2016 based on build 3568722.

Datastore for ESXi is that 1TB RAID1 disk.


I tried so far unsuccessfully creating a VM with latest loader and DSM 6.2. Nothing found in network. I did a few tries following many of the descriptions found. I see that SATA controller should be selected but I can only choose from IDE or SCSI when setting up a VM. I can get to the point where the loader is selected (most of the time I am unable to see this, the first message on screen is the „Jun“ message....) but not much further..have not tried serial console so far...


What is your suggestion for me ?

Setup bare metal or continue trying with ESXi 5.5.

Will DSM 6.2 work with that (old) Version at all?

I read about free ESXi 6.x some people are using...

It is not easy to understand ESXi product structure / licensing...


Would like to add 2 more disk for another RAID 1 for critical data storage via DSM and add further external storage via USB.

Could that work at all?


Sorry for many question, need som directions from those more experienced.


Kind regards from Vienna,



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[mention=43049]oe1wrs[/mention] it would also be worth checking out the tutorials & FAQ's before proceeding further.

I am pretty sure I could do a bare metal install as the FAQ is quite detailed and does not leave much questions.
However the ESXi brings many new aspects and there are quite many install instructions but not really one for DSM 6.2 and ESXi 5.5....

The question remains if I could make work DSM 6.2 with what I have....

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Unless you are planning to use ESXi for running other VMs, I would test and setup with the DSM 6.1 loader, 6.2 loader is still 'beta' and missing many of the community add-ons and support that 6.1 has.

There are not many forum members running ESXi 5.5 so as @bearcat says, update to ESXi 6 using the bespoke image, I would use a test USB to boot, rather than attempting to update the SD, until you are sure that 6 works. 


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On 9/1/2018 at 7:25 PM, oe1wrs said:

How do I find out if I am entitled to upgrade from 5.5 to newer version ?


What sort of licence are you currently using? 

Most "home-users" can use the free version :-) but you will have to register at VMWare to get your personal free license key.




I'm running a virtual DSM 6.1 on ESXI 5.5, and it works very well.

Getting the 6.2 on the other hand, seems to be "problematic" on my config.

Unless I find better time to play around with it, I'l either keep my working combo or try to update the ESXi further down the road.


If you don't really need the added layer of ESXI, to run other virtuel maschines, you should keep it simple,

and run baremetal DSM 6.1 untill "everyone" agrees it's safe and stable to use 6.2.

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Thanks for explanation. As I have inherited the Gen 8 I am new to ESXi and all I can say regarding license is that apparently there is a valid one (code displayed) but seems I need to further dig into this and set this up again using the „free“ one on another Micro SD card or USB stick leaving the 5.5 intact...to have a ESXi 6.x which seems to get along DSM 6,2 much better...
Yes seems 6.1 is more easy to get going as of now...
Kind regards

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this is what the status page shows here, appreciate if you can let me know what it is...

Produkt: VMware vSphere 5 Hypervisor Lizenziert für 1 physische CPUs (unbegrenzte Anzahl Kerne pro CPU) (licensed for 1 physical CPU, unlimited cores)
Lizenzschlüssel: H5xxx-42xxx-48xxx-00xxx-3Hxxx
Läuft ab: Nie - expires: never

    Bis zu 8-Wege-Virtual SMP - up to 8-way virtual SMP


thank you very much,


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@oe1wrs it looks to me as you are using the free version, installed from the HP custom image.

You can safely register a free account over at VMWare, and get yourself a new free license for 6.5, and install the custom HP image for preGen9.

If you have a spare USB key or SD card, you can install on that, just in case you somehow want to reverse the install.


But before you go there, I have 1 question:

Do you need/want to "play around with ESXi", or would you be better off running DSM baremetal?

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This is a reasonable question, ESXi is certainly an opportunity to learn and to use the server hardware for additional functions...
What I do not yet understand: the Gen8 server has an onboard SATA controller with 5 ports, currently there are 2 disks in RAID1 configuration (I suppose configured through some HP tool) which form one drive that is the ESXi datastore.
If I add 2 more disks for another RAID1 can this be passed through to DSM or will DSM need to do its own RAID1 ?
Furthermore if I add more storage through USB3 will that be accessible from DSM?
I read many people use an additional HP controller card in the spare slot of the HP. What advantage does that have? I read that some controller need to be flashed differently to allow a pass through mode or something like that. Do I need that (which exact controller is recommended) or will I be better off using the onboard controller (one advantage of the card is it allows hot plugging)?
Sorry so man questions but the many threads I have read so far were not fully conclusive.

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first upgrade to the esxi 6.5u2

update bios and ilo4


ms g8 have built in raid controller you can acces configuration during server start. (raid 0,1,5)

in bios you can set to use raid or sata



you can passthrough raid controller (with all disks) and usb controller to dsm (usb 2 or usb3)


when you add another raid controller you can use more than 5 hdds


onboard usb3 passthrough to DSM - when you plug usb drive to usb3 DSM  recognize usb drive as it was pluged directly to dsm

onboard raid passthrough to DSM - dsm is managing directly hdds and you dont need vmdk disks attached to dsm (except the synoboot.vmdk loader)

additional raid controler is for esxi datastores


Edited by luchuma
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