“Could not Format VMFS” – Nested ESX

The Problem!

Was doing some work with UDA and nested ESX & ESXi installs this weekend and ran into an interesting hiccup:


Or on ESXi:


What? Can’t format what? But we’re working with nested ESX, it’s a VMDK, format it! I tried any number of things here: Different controller types, disk sizes, partitioning within the kickstart file, etc. Nothing seemed to work. That is until I fired up Twitter and got a hint on the right direction from @hyperviz0r (http://www.hypervisor.fr/). He indicated that my problem may be related to NFS.

The Answer!

Sure enough, after some searching on the VMware forums, there are others out there with this problem. All of it seemingly related to nested ESX on NFS. I changed the build over to local storage on the ESX host and the install finished. I was also able to test successfully using iSCSI. I don’t have much in the way of explanation however, just that using another storage medium seems to work well.

You should follow me on twitter here. Or, leave a comment on the post!

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