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post #61 of 89 Old 05-27-2013, 06:38 AM
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I just used the server backup to restore my server into an ESXi VM. Pretty easy to get it running and tweaking it is rather harmless. I've probably messed with the networking more than anything.

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post #62 of 89 Old 05-27-2013, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I went ahead and did a clean install. It really didn't take too long to set up the users and shares. Also have win7 up and running. I still have more stuff to install on that VM. Last was PfSence, Took me awhile to figure out what ports to assign to what, but now its running.

I think Ubuntu is next. Just to play with. Maybe a Plex server.

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post #63 of 89 Old 10-17-2013, 06:51 PM
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Looks like a few of you guys have Windows Media Center + ESXi + VT-D passed thru card working correctly so hopefully my problem is an easy one:

Goal: Use Windows 7 with Windows Media Center to both record and playback cable card content on the same VM on ESXi

What I've Got Working:
- Running ESXi 5.5 on a Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R mobo that I had to flash BIOS with beta to get the VT-D enabled.
- Installed Windows 7 64bit, VMware Tools + ATI Radeon 6550 + Catalyst drivers + Enabled the card to pass through
- Passed through onboard USB 3 controller so I can have a mouse and keyboard (required NEC driver from GB site)
- Connected a Silicon Dust HD Homerun Prime + installed drivers + ran Cable Advisor (with hack to bypass error)

So now I have the HDMI on the ATI card showing up on my TV from the VM like native. ATI catalyst drivers are installed and appear to be working..

Problem:
- When I run Windows Media Center and go to Live TV on a channel with NO copy protection I get an error "Display driver error - The video playback device does not support playback of protected content". If I do the minimize/maximize trick then it starts to work. Same with channels WITH copy protection "Copy Free".

- However if I go to a channel WITH copy protection "Copy Once" then I get the same error "Display driver error - The video playback device does not support playback of protected content" but the min/max trick does not work.

any ideas?

fyi I've heard that sometimes it is the non hdcp compliant "SVGA video card" that vmware has enabled in the VM alongside the ATI card that messes up WMC but I see no way to disable this virtual graphics card. If I try to disable it in windows then I can't get the VM to boot with video out.
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post #64 of 89 Old 10-18-2013, 05:25 AM
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I've never tried it, but can you pass through the graphics card?

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post #65 of 89 Old 10-18-2013, 10:25 AM
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Yes, but it may require some fine tuning with the VM configuration if it doesn't work immediately. I tried it once, and it worked on a Mac OS X guest, but not on Windows. People also seem to have better luck with AMD video cards over Nvidia.
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post #66 of 89 Old 10-18-2013, 11:08 AM
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I originally tried my Nvidia card and had no luck. I bought the ATI Radeon 6550, placed it in, installed catalyst driver + vwmare tools and instantly pci passthrough in esxi allowed it to output the VMs display directly to my TV. It's fully accelerated and acts like a desktop..

However I still can't get around this HDCP problem with protected content playing on windows media center for some reason. Any ideas?

"Display driver error - The video playback device does not support playback of protected content"
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post #67 of 89 Old 10-18-2013, 11:20 AM
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Turn off the navigation sounds in WMC settings. See if that works.

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post #68 of 89 Old 10-19-2013, 06:28 PM
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Nope, disabling the sound did not work for WMC. I'm wondering if anyone has gotten HDCP to work through pci pass through?
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post #69 of 89 Old 11-27-2013, 05:35 PM
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I have an issue and I am sure it an easy fix but can't figrue it out.

I am finally using pfsense on my esxi and have eliminated my router, everything is working fine, however when I reboot the esxi box the pfsense will not come on automatically thus not allowing me to enter my esxi box via vSpehere client since there is no lan. How can I avoid this, is there a way to let the vm pfsense box to automatically turn on at reboot?
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post #70 of 89 Old 11-27-2013, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Give your ESXi management a static IP and you don't need a router. I can shut down pfsense and access everything on my network.
LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01


To Start up at reboot.
LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

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post #71 of 89 Old 11-27-2013, 09:21 PM
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There has been a somewhat known issue with PfSense and DHCP on start up - it can sometimes take a long time, and this is very bad when you have VMs relying on it to be ready. Definitely do what Andy suggests and you should be good!

Also as above, you may want to consider removing the router entirely. If the router also serves as your DSL or Cable Modem link, then you may want to ask your ISP to put it into Bridging mode and let PfSense do the real work (it will also solve connectivity issues that arise when you have a double firewall going). The caveat is that briding mode will often disable or mess up any wifi funcions of your cable/DSL modem.
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post #72 of 89 Old 11-28-2013, 05:52 AM
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Thank you that was very helpful!
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post #73 of 89 Old 11-28-2013, 09:13 PM
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Or... just don't use pfSense at all. There are other router/firewall packages out there that work very well in ESXi... like IPFire.
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post #74 of 89 Old 12-02-2013, 08:19 AM
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Got everything up and running.

My next step is to create a VM strictly to handle my extenders. How many cores/sockets and memory should I allocate? I will eventually have 4 TVs at most running simultaneously through XBOX extenders.
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post #75 of 89 Old 12-02-2013, 08:24 AM
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post #76 of 89 Old 12-02-2013, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrted46 View Post

Got everything up and running.

My next step is to create a VM strictly to handle my extenders. How many cores/sockets and memory should I allocate? I will eventually have 4 TVs at most running simultaneously through XBOX extenders.

The general recommendation is to not assign any more than one core per VM. I may be wrong, but what I understand is that ESXi will use available cores to do it's processing no matter what you assign to the VM. If you assign too many cores to the VM then ESXi has to wait for that many to be free which can slow down the VM. In the end you will get better performance with a single core per VM and if you see you need to dedicate additional cores then you could do that later. With what we are talking about in this forum it is unlikely any VM would need more than one core anyway. If you are running VMs for Facebook or Amazon servers then you might have good reason to assign more.

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post #77 of 89 Old 12-02-2013, 11:32 AM
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I've assigned all 8 cores (4 are via hyper threading) to the W7 HTPC VM and I haven't noticed a slowdown on it or other VMs, even when running comskip. I have heard that it is bad practice though for bryansj's reasons, so maybe I could try running comskip with fewer cores assigned to the VM and see if the processing time changes.
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post #78 of 89 Old 12-18-2013, 02:01 PM
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On a Windows VM do you install or update any video drivers or do you just use the generic one? The reason why I am asking is because my resolution is terrible. Not a major concern just curious.

Also, what is the best way to backup esxi and any VMs?

I am so addicted toying with this
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post #79 of 89 Old 12-18-2013, 04:07 PM
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The VM Tools installer should install a graphics driver that will enable many more resolutions. Have you installed VM Tools? As for backup, I use Veeam Free edition, but I think you need a paid license for it to work.
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post #80 of 89 Old 12-19-2013, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rc05 View Post

The VM Tools installer should install a graphics driver that will enable many more resolutions. Have you installed VM Tools? As for backup, I use Veeam Free edition, but I think you need a paid license for it to work.

No I am not aware of VM Tools installer. I will do research. Is this an app that runs after you create a VM and install an OS?

ETA: I read about it and didn't realize this was a there. I will play with this tonight.
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post #81 of 89 Old 12-19-2013, 06:48 AM
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Yes, definitely install the VM Tools! In vSphere Client, open the console for the VM. I've attached a picture of where to find the VM Tools installer.

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post #82 of 89 Old 12-26-2013, 01:31 PM
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Next issue I am having, how can I pass a usb device to a vm? Also, can I keep this usb device permanently at the vm?

I am now toying with homeseer, and I want to pass my usb z-stick (controls z-wave devices) to my homeseer vm but can't figure this out.
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post #83 of 89 Old 12-26-2013, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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In the vSphere Client
Right click your VM then hit edit.(If you have any PCIe pass-though devices, you need to shut down first)
Under the Hardware tab, click Add...
First thing you need to do is add a USB controller, After that you can add your USB device.

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post #84 of 89 Old 12-26-2013, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrted46 View Post

Next issue I am having, how can I pass a usb device to a vm? Also, can I keep this usb device permanently at the vm?

I am now toying with homeseer, and I want to pass my usb z-stick (controls z-wave devices) to my homeseer vm but can't figure this out.

I pass my z-wave USB stick to Homeseer in my VM just like the above post suggests. It works just fine.

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post #85 of 89 Old 12-27-2013, 10:37 AM
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I was missing the second step in adding the usb device. Thanks again! You guys are making this easy for me lol
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post #86 of 89 Old 12-28-2013, 01:24 PM
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Guys,

I have been working on getting my Esxi setup working, right now I am on 5.0.1 and everything is working except passing through the 6 port intel nic I have Dell PEG6. I have successfully passed through a USB controller, HD controller to Win 7 VM and both IBM 1015 to a WHS2011 VM. When I select them for passthrough esxi host says reboot is needed. They are no longer selected for passthrough. Any ideas?
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post #87 of 89 Old 12-28-2013, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Guebert View Post

Guys,

I have been working on getting my Esxi setup working, right now I am on 5.0.1 and everything is working except passing through the 6 port intel nic I have Dell PEG6. I have successfully passed through a USB controller, HD controller to Win 7 VM and both IBM 1015 to a WHS2011 VM. When I select them for passthrough esxi host says reboot is needed. They are no longer selected for passthrough. Any ideas?

Could it be a driver issue? I know many users have complained about ESXi 5.x and Intel NIC drivers. I used ESXi Customizer for my I210 NICs so it built the ESXi ISO with the drivers -- http://www.v-front.de/p/esxi-customizer.html
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post #88 of 89 Old 12-28-2013, 03:05 PM
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I recall there were some USB controller passthrough problems, but I don't remember if it was 5.0 or 5.1. Try passing through everything but the USB controller.
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post #89 of 89 Old 12-29-2013, 11:34 AM
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I actually did that, already. Also I don't think it's drivers. Esxi sees the nic and will allow me to select them from the console for the management network.
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