Installing ESXi 7.0 on a whitebox server

Posted on Sunday, March 7, 2021


Server specs


It can be a pain to get common hardware working with ESXi especially network cards….


Gigabyte Z390 UD LGA 1151


Core i3-8100 Coffee Lake


32 GB 2x16GB
DDR4-3200 Corsair

Ethernet Card

Gigabit Pro/1000 CT PCI-e Desktop Adapter EXPI9301CT

Download software and Key



Head over to [1]




Scroll down and click on VMware vSphere Hypervisor (64 bit)



Login with your VMware account or create one





Click Register



Fill out the form and checkbox the agree and click on Sign up.

After you do that….




You should see a license key and a button to manually download it.


Click the download button and record the license key somewhere.





Create Bootable USB


Create a bootable USB drive using Rufus.
You need a USB stick that you can wipe out.
Head over to [2] and download rufus.

Run Rufus.


Select the USB drive to become the boot drive


Click Select then find the ESI 7.0 ISO you just downloaded

Make sure MBR and BIOS or UEFI are selected then click Start.

Last warning!!

Click OK
And that is it.





Plug the USB into the machine and start it up!





Press enter to install ESXi 7.0



Press F11


Select a disk and press enter

Press enter to confirm you want to wipe out the disk



Choose keyboard and press enter

Enter a password and press enter



Press F11 to begin install process


Watch the progress bar


After it completes press Enter to reboot


After it reboots remove the usb drive.


Post installation setup


You should see something like this once the server reboots.



I like to change the IP address and make it static so I am going to do that now.



Press F2 and enter password


Select Configuration Management Network and press enter

Go to IPv4 Configuration and press enter

 Set it to static and enter new IPv4 Address you want and press enter


Press Y


Press Esc a few times to get back to the main screen.


Now you should see the new IPv4 Address show up.




Login and register


Using your IP open up the web interface




Login as root with your password


You will see that you have 60 days to register it.

You have the key so let’s just register it.



Click on Manager under Host then open up the Licensing tab


Click on Assign License



Enter your license then click Check License


If it says it is valid click Assign License


You are good to go and you license never expires J




[1]        VMWare trial


                Accessed 3/2021

[2]        RUFUS


                Accessed 3/2021



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