New VMware ESX whitebox

A couple of weeks ago my desktop PC died, so my girlfriend could not read there e-mail. I decide to turn my OLD VMware ESX test server into a Microsoft Vista workstation and buy a new whitebox. After searching the internet and comparing components, I found the following configuration:

  • – CoolerMaster Centurion 590 mini tower
  • – CoolerMaster Real Power 520W modular Power supply
  • – Asus P5BP-E/4L (with 4 onboard NICS)
  • – Intel Core 2 Quad 6600 Processor Boxed
  • – Kingston 8GB 800MHz DDR2 memory
  • – Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB

I had already a LSI Megaraid SATA-4 RAID controller. The whitebox is very quiet. It’s installed with VMware ESX 3i. It performs very good with a couple of VMs.  I will benchmark it soon.

ESX 3.5 Update 2 and ESXi 3.5 Update 2 issue with product license to expire

 You got the following error when powering on a VM:

Unable to Power On virtual machine with “A General System error occurred: Internal error”

An issue has been uncovered with ESX 3.5 Update 2 and ESXi 3.5 Update 2 that causes the product license to expire on August 12. VMware is alerting customers and partners of this issue. VMware regrets the inconvenience caused to customers. Updated product bits with correct licensing will be made available for download as soon as possible.


The work-around: turn off NTP (if you’re using it), and then manually set the date of all ESX 3.5u2 hosts back to 10th of August. This can be done either through the VI Client (Host -> Configuration -> Time Configuration) or by typing date -s “08/10/2008” at the Service Console command line on the ESX hosts.


This seems to affect initial VM power-on (including from suspended state) and VMotion.

On the VMTN forum there is a thread post about this problem, check it here


VMware has created a KB article:

Unable to Power On virtual machine with “A General System error occurred: Internal error”


Enable SSH for VMware ESX 3i

There is a hack to enable SSH for VMware ESX 3i. After reading the VMTN forum. Here is the procedure to enable SSH

– Boot ESXi  and wait till the till"loaded

– Press ALT-F1, you see the console screen

– Type unsupported and press ENTER

– Enter the root password

– Enter the following command vi /etc/inetd.conf

– Search for the #SSH row

– Remove the # from the SSH row

– Save the config by entering :wq!

– Type ps | grep inetd on the console

– Send a hangup signal by using the following command kill -s HUP <PID>

Open now your favorite SSH client (for example Putty) and SSH to the VMware 3i server.