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Ceton Infinitv and ESXi? I'm stumped.

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
Ok, my ESXi build had been going great until I plonked the Ceton into the system and tried to passthrough the card. ESXi gives me a "pink" screen of death and crashes.

Hardware: Intel DX58SO motherboard with an i7 960 and 16GB of RAM. The board and CPU both are VT capable and I can pass through my M1015 cards or dual Intel NIC cards without an issue.

It's only the Ceton that seems to be the problem child. Any hints/suggestions/workarounds? I have tried every slot on the board, and nothing seems to pass it through.
post #2 of 51
Thread Starter 
Well, I seem to have found a solution...kind of.

It seems the i7 960 is a no go for device passthrough. I had a 950 lying around and threw that into the system, and at first it gave a pink screen of death as well...argh! but then, I remembered, for any VMs that have physical PCI passthrough devices, should have their memory "reserved", in the VM settings. Once I did that (with the 950), the VM with the Ceton passed through booted. It is installing Windows 7 as we speak, so we'll see if Windows can see the Ceton card properly.

In summation, i7 960 no good for device passthrough, but a 950 works fine. This is on an Intel DX58SO which does have VT-d support.
post #3 of 51
Why are you using i7?
post #4 of 51
Thread Starter 
Ugh. PSOD again.

As to why I'm using i7...I have a few lying around? smile.gif
post #5 of 51
That's a good reason.
post #6 of 51
Thread Starter 
Nope. Can't get it to work. Either my CPU(s) are screwed up, the Ceton has something weird in it, or I'm just dumb.

Will revert back to Hyper-V.
post #7 of 51
I've heard the latest version of ESXi has problems with the Ceton card. I'd try 5.0 update 1 if you can.

https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/evalcenter?lp=default&p=free-esxi5[/URL

It's under version history on the download page.
post #8 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by duff99 View Post

I've heard the latest version of ESXi has problems with the Ceton card. I'd try 5.0 update 1 if you can.
https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/evalcenter?lp=default&p=free-esxi5[/URL
It's under version history on the download page.

That is what I'm trying (5.0u1). I think it has something to with my hardware, although it is weird that every other card passes through just fine, except for the Ceton. The Ceton does have an on board PCI/PCI bridge and I know ESXi doesn't play very well with PCI bridges.
post #9 of 51
I was able to get it to work with 5.0u1, but I was using all server-grade stuff: SuperMicro X9DRI-LN4F+-O board and a Xeon E5-2620 proc. I think getting the Ceton to passthrough is very dependent upon having the right motherboard and CPU. 5.1 broke it though.
post #10 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcturkey View Post

I was able to get it to work with 5.0u1, but I was using all server-grade stuff: SuperMicro X9DRI-LN4F+-O board and a Xeon E5-2620 proc. I think getting the Ceton to passthrough is very dependent upon having the right motherboard and CPU. 5.1 broke it though.
Yup, that's my suspicion as well. Well, I don't want to buy all new hardware, since I have so much hardware lying around, and I think Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V will fulfill my requirements for now, as I can still pass the disks through to a WHS 2011 VM, and the host 2008 R2 can handle the Ceton. I'll wait until 5.1 is a bit more mature and maybe upgrade later.
post #11 of 51
I had it working awhile ago. Problem was supplying a feed to multiple clients...signals got choppy or dropped. I had passed through a Intel nic to help, but didn't fix the issue...

I might try to do this again...Maybe memory was low or something...
post #12 of 51
Thread Starter 
Grrr.....Hyper-V sucks. No PCI passthrough (which I knew), but no USB passthrough either?? Dammit.
post #13 of 51
Thread Starter 
Well, after quite a bit of googling... smile.gif I suspect it is the CPU(s) causing the issue, not the motherboard. Have an L5520 Xeon on order (which explicitly supports VT-d). SHould be able to test by Wed or Thursday.
post #14 of 51
For socket 1366/x58 VT-d support is based on the motherboard. I have a MSI X58M that had working VT-d added with a later bios, tested with both a 2009-era 920 and a much later 6 core 970.

Only with newer cpus that have their own pci-express controllers does the cpu come into play.

Regardless, 5.1 has broken some devices in typical vm-ware undocumented fashion, stick with 5.0u1. Honestly though using a hdhomerun prime over the network would be less hassle IMO.
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aluminum View Post

For socket 1366/x58 VT-d support is based on the motherboard. I have a MSI X58M that had working VT-d added with a later bios, tested with both a 2009-era 920 and a much later 6 core 970.
Only with newer cpus that have their own pci-express controllers does the cpu come into play.
Regardless, 5.1 has broken some devices in typical vm-ware undocumented fashion, stick with 5.0u1. Honestly though using a hdhomerun prime over the network would be less hassle IMO.

I agree with this. I have my father set up with two of them and they are awesome.
post #16 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aluminum View Post

For socket 1366/x58 VT-d support is based on the motherboard. I have a MSI X58M that had working VT-d added with a later bios, tested with both a 2009-era 920 and a much later 6 core 970.
Only with newer cpus that have their own pci-express controllers does the cpu come into play.
Regardless, 5.1 has broken some devices in typical vm-ware undocumented fashion, stick with 5.0u1. Honestly though using a hdhomerun prime over the network would be less hassle IMO.
The motherboard I'm using (DX58SO) is perfectly compatible with VT-d and is enabled for that, the problem is the CPU. Notice, you said, 920 or 970...smile.gif and I'm using neither of those. Hence why the Xeon L5520. And hopefully that should reduce the idle power consumption as well, compared to the 960 I was using (130w TDP vs 60w).
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

The motherboard I'm using (DX58SO) is perfectly compatible with VT-d and is enabled for that, the problem is the CPU. Notice, you said, 920 or 970...smile.gif and I'm using neither of those. Hence why the Xeon L5520. And hopefully that should reduce the idle power consumption as well, compared to the 960 I was using (130w TDP vs 60w).

Another note, I had read awhile back that some motherboards that have chipsets capable of VT-d just simply didn't work, from users reviewing them.

I bought mine motherboard sort of gambling that VT-d would work given the chipset...It didn't at first, but then I upgraded the bios and viola...magic.
post #18 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FantaXP7 View Post

Another note, I had read awhile back that some motherboards that have chipsets capable of VT-d just simply didn't work, from users reviewing them.
I bought mine motherboard sort of gambling that VT-d would work given the chipset...It didn't at first, but then I upgraded the bios and viola...magic.
Oh, the motherboard VT-d is working... smile.gif I can pass through NICs and HBAs all day long. The problem with the Ceton card is that it has an onboard PCI/PCI bridge and that kills passthrough compatibility for the vast amount of hardware. Very few combinations (as mcturkey pointed out) will enable a successful passthrough of this card. The problem isn't ESXi per se, it's the hardware combo.

My Xeons should be here today, so we'll find out if my CPU VT-d support suspicion was correct or not... smile.gif
post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

Oh, the motherboard VT-d is working... smile.gif I can pass through NICs and HBAs all day long. The problem with the Ceton card is that it has an onboard PCI/PCI bridge and that kills passthrough compatibility for the vast amount of hardware. Very few combinations (as mcturkey pointed out) will enable a successful passthrough of this card. The problem isn't ESXi per se, it's the hardware combo.
My Xeons should be here today, so we'll find out if my CPU VT-d support suspicion was correct or not... smile.gif
.

Gotcha.

I guess I was extremely lucky then.

Hopefully those Xeons work.
post #20 of 51
Thread Starter 
No dice...even with a Xeon. Something must be seriously fu**ed up with my configuration.

I give up. I'll just go with Microsoft software and continue running my 4 servers and paying outta my nose for electricity bills.
post #21 of 51
Thread Starter 
Hold your horses.....

One last mucking around with ESXi and I edited the /etc/vmware/passthru.map file and added an entry for the Ceton. The guest VM (with the Ceton passed through) booted with no PSOD! I'm installing Windows on that as we speak, but did anyone else have to do that as well?
post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

Hold your horses.....
One last mucking around with ESXi and I edited the /etc/vmware/passthru.map file and added an entry for the Ceton. The guest VM (with the Ceton passed through) booted with no PSOD! I'm installing Windows on that as we speak, but did anyone else have to do that as well?

I did not, but now you've got me wondering if that might work for 5.1.. Can you provide the details on how you added it?
post #23 of 51
Thread Starter 
Well, the VM did boot, but as soon as it rebooted, back to PSOD. frown.gif

Quick question, if anybody knows. My Cetons are hardware version 4884 (I bought them fairly soon after they came out). Has anybody been able to passthrough this hardware version?
post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

Well, the VM did boot, but as soon as it rebooted, back to PSOD. frown.gif
Quick question, if anybody knows. My Cetons are hardware version 4884 (I bought them fairly soon after they came out). Has anybody been able to passthrough this hardware version?

That's the version I had passed through.
post #25 of 51
Thread Starter 
Son of a ......either I'm going senile or doing something really dumb. Everything in ESXi reports that VT-d is working just fine, and every other card passes through just fine, except for this SOB.

Can you or FantaXP7 detail any additional configuration you had to do?

Failing this, it may be time for new hardware as I really want use ESXi.
post #26 of 51
Ok, not 100% if this info will help or not...

I followed a guide of at hardforum for installing a windows VM in ESXi and optimizing... if you want I can send you that...You are getting to the point where you are passing it through but windows is getting the BSOD I believe?

You can see the card in the ESXi passthrough devices? Like this here: http://www.servethehome.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/VMWare-Set-LSI-9211-8i-to-passthrough.png The card is listed as a "Pre VGA Device"

Some more info:

http://experts.windows.com/frms/windows_entertainment_and_connected_home/f/115/t/103148.aspx
post #27 of 51
Thread Starter 
Well...this bug never did leave me....smile.gif

New hardware coming. We'll do Round 2 at this.
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

Well...this bug never did leave me....smile.gif

New hardware coming. We'll do Round 2 at this.

Well good luck. I sold my Ceton this week and went with the homerun primes.
post #29 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FantaXP7 View Post

Well good luck. I sold my Ceton this week and went with the homerun primes.
Oh, the reason isn't solely the Cetons, it's also consolidation of my server side stuff.
post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

Oh, the reason isn't solely the Cetons, it's also consolidation of my server side stuff.

Ahh gotcha.
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