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ESXi Server with virtual -- WHS2011, flexraid, Win7 WMC ? - Page 3

post #61 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceD View Post

Yes, I know to add the USB controller first, that still doesn't allow the usb device to show up.

It's not that difficult to go back to ESXi 5.0 to see if I get the better support for usb.
FWIW, I didn't have an issue with USB passthrough with either 5.0 or 5.1, but then I did not try to pass through a magic jack. There were issues with the initial 5.1 release (as I'm sure you're aware), but the patch they released later seemed to have fixed them.
post #62 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceD View Post

Yes, I know to add the USB controller first, that still doesn't allow the usb device to show up.

It's not that difficult to go back to ESXi 5.0 to see if I get the better support for usb.

I find USB support to be the bane of VMs, I used VMWare workstation and now Virtualbox.

Low level access such as SCSI Passthru (SPT) sometimes messes up the VM USB interface and in bad cases it takes down the USB driver on the host needing a complete reboot of the host.
Sudden removal is another one.

Ended up using network connected USB servers, I currently have a couple from Silex, the different VMs are free to attach and detach to individual devices on the same hub, so far so good.
The feature I like is the software disconnects the VM from the USB server when the VMs go into hibernation.

https://www.silexamerica.com/products/device_servers/usb_device_connectivity/sx-ds-4000u2.html

This particular model seems to have the least trouble with devices compared to cheaper units for Startech or similar.
post #63 of 70
Make sure you buy compatible hardware for your ESX server. There are a few whitebox HCLs floating around, but some of them haven't been updated for v5. I haven't built a new server in a couple of years, but the biggest issues have always been with NICs and RAID controllers. Sometimes you can install additional drivers if you can find them, but this is not easily done for anyone that is not familiar with linux.

http://ultimatewhitebox.com/
http://www.vm-help.com/esx40i/esx40_whitebox_HCL.php
post #64 of 70
Thread Starter 
brian,

Those links for whitebox compatibility are so far behind the technology curve they are almost useless (last updated in 2011) more than 2 years old.

I agree some of the PCIe bridge chips on the motherboards cause problems, but if you check for support for the various virtual technologies on the MB and CPU, you find most things work just fine.

I may finally opt for a supermicro MB (X9SCM-iiF-O), but the Asrock H77 is doing real well for a consumer board, except for the USB issue.
post #65 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

- You don't necessarily have to use local disks in your W7 VM to record TV, since your W7 VM and the WHS 2011 are on the same ESXi server. W7 can be hacked/told to record to a network location, but this usually is buggy when you're using physical networking/gigabit due to a number of reasons. But if you are running WHS and W7 as VMs under ESXi, the virtual network switch in ESXi operates at 10gbps, and recording to the WHS directly works fine. Very low latency with the ESXi switch and in fact may be better than passing disks to the W7 VM and recording locally and then moving them to the server.

Kapone - Years ago I used to have a machine record to a network share on my server. I've long since lost the methodology for setting up the necessary registry hacks. I've now been running ESXi for a while with ZFS-based storage and an MCE-based VM for recording TV. I would like to once again try recording to a network share but one that is on another VM in the same ESXI host. For the life of me, I can not find the way to do it. Can you please reply with the basics and/or link(s) to detailed instructions? (Note-I am a subscriber to your guides, to the extent that makes any difference).

Thanks.
post #66 of 70
OK, looks like I have it working. Here is what I did (as a note to myself, as well):

1) For each of the following items in the registry, I changed to the location on the server using UNC format - "\\Server\tv\Recorded TV\"

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Recording

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\LastRecordPath

Notes:
- "Server" is the name of my OpenIndiana-based that is a VM on the same ESXi machine, "tv" is the name of the CIF shared file system, and I created a folder named "Recorded TV"
- A UNC path is used instead of mapping the location to a drive letter because AFAIK using a drive letter requires additional steps

2) In the services control panel (e.g., type "services.msc" at a command prompt), find the service named "Windows Media Center Receiver Service", right-click, select "Properties," select "Log On" tab, and change account and password to a local user on the VM-client that has access to the VM-server.

Notes:
- Depending on the permissions of the network share, others may not need to do this, but for me the recording service by default runs as a system account that does not have access to my network share.
post #67 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcs2tx View Post

OK, looks like I have it working. Here is what I did (as a note to myself, as well):

1) For each of the following items in the registry, I changed to the location on the server using UNC format - "\\Server\tv\Recorded TV\"

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Recording

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\LastRecordPath

Notes:
- "Server" is the name of my OpenIndiana-based that is a VM on the same ESXi machine, "tv" is the name of the CIF shared file system, and I created a folder named "Recorded TV"
- A UNC path is used instead of mapping the location to a drive letter because AFAIK using a drive letter requires additional steps

2) In the services control panel (e.g., type "services.msc" at a command prompt), find the service named "Windows Media Center Receiver Service", right-click, select "Properties," select "Log On" tab, and change account and password to a local user on the VM-client that has access to the VM-server.

Notes:
- Depending on the permissions of the network share, others may not need to do this, but for me the recording service by default runs as a system account that does not have access to my network share.

I tried to do this and the receiver service keeps crashing on me. Any ideas on why that is? What account are you using for the logon part as I am just using the amdinistator account I created on the WMC machine and it's password.

I am running ESXi 5.5 with server 2012 R2 with Stablebit Drivepool and Win 7 with WMC btw.
post #68 of 70
@BruceD
If your controller is supported for physical RDM, go that route over passing through the controller to the VM.
There are limitations (backup, vmotion, etc.) with VMs with passthrough hardware.

I plan on making on blog post on this topic as I evaluated it for my own use.
My main storage server is a virtualized Win2k12R2 running Transparent RAID. I have an LSI Internal SATA/SAS 9201-8i. It is a well supported card across all OSes and ESXi. The real cool thing is that ESXi fully supports it for physical RDM. Most people have to resolve to forcing RDM through manual mapping, however such configuration is risking for reasons that only VMware and a few of us know. wink.gif
With supported physical RDMs, you get the full benefit of virtualization and direct disk access and none of the restrictions/issues of passthrough hardware.
post #69 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by rekd0514 View Post

I tried to do this and the receiver service keeps crashing on me. Any ideas on why that is? What account are you using for the logon part as I am just using the administrator account I created on the WMC machine and it's password.

I am running ESXi 5.5 with server 2012 R2 with Stablebit Drivepool and Win 7 with WMC btw.

I ended up just using the HDD I had the recordings going to as a datastore and created a virtual disk on the WMC PC. I then used this tool to transfer it to my server network share. No crashes using this method.

http://www.fjdrasch.com/index.htm
post #70 of 70
@rekd0514

The issue with your crashes may be an issue with permissions - in other words, the user on the client does not have proper access to the share. As I mentioned, in my case the default account for the service is unable to write to my network share. To fix the problem, I created a user on my server with the name "record" and the password "record" and gave the user read/write access to the share and underlying file system. On the client, I create the user "record" with the password "record" and this user to run the service.
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