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Avoiding Data Loss During a Scripted Installation of ESX Server Using Boot from SAN Mode (1540)


What issues should I be aware of when I'm preparing to perform a scripted installation of ESX Server using boot from SAN mode?


Previously, the installer cleared the partition tables on all disks visible to it. If you installed ESX Server 2.5 in boot from SAN mode, this included any LUNs presented and visible to the server. Further testing determined that clearing partition tables during scripted installations interfered with accessing shared LUNs.

VMware has modified the handling of partition tables so that ESX Server 2.5 automatically clears only the LUNs you specifically designate in the Management Interface.

Note: You should still follow these recommended practices when managing LUNs for a boot from SAN installation:

  • Present the LUN used for the operating system portion of the ESX Server installation (known as the boot LUN)only to the specific server on which you are installing ESX Server. The boot LUN should not be presented to any other server, as boot LUNs must not be shared between multiple servers.
  • Zone off or mask any LUNs other than the boot LUN during the installation. This requires coordination with your SAN administrator, but should be considered first as it provides the proper isolation for a server during the scripted installation.

To read about more restrictions that relate to configuring a server to use boot from SAN mode, see VMware Knowledge Base article 1458 at

For information about scripted installations, see


1540; urlz; bootfromsan; boot-from-san; storage; area; network

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