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ESXi scripted installation fails if you specify a network device (2014856)

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Details

During ESXi scripted installation, if you specify a network device either by using netdevice=<device> or BOOTIF command, the installation might fail with a Connection timed out error message.


Solution

This issue is resolved in vSphere 5.0 Update 1. You can download the latest update from the vSphere Download Center.
 
While performing a PXE booted scripted installation of ESXi on a machine with multiple NICs, you must use a NIC other than the first, or default card to perform the network based installation.
 
To specify the desired NIC you must use the netdevice boot parameter. However, when you perform a PXE booted installation the bootloader automatically adds a BOOTIF parameter specifying the MAC address of the NIC which was used for PXE boot up. Because the BOOTIF parameter is appended to the rest of the boot parameters it overrides the NIC that you specified through the netdevice parameter. To prevent the bootloader from appending the BOOTIF parameter you should specify the nobootif=1 option at the end of the boot.cfg file.
 
Note: The nobootif=1 MUST NOT be used as a kernel option but only at the end of the boot.cfg file.

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