Category Archives: VMware

Realtek network cards and VMware ESXi 5.5

Yesterday I decided to upgrade my two ESXi servers from ESXi 5.1 to ESXi 5.5 since the update came out some time ago.
The upgrade from ESXi 5.0 to ESXi 5.1 went great, without any problems. But this time, that is not the case.
My two ESXi servers are white boxes made of the following hardware:

  • Motherboard: MSI Z87-G43 (
  • CPU: i5-4670K (
  • RAM: Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600MHz, 8Gb * 2(16GB total) (

The problem was the motherboard that ships with an onboard Realtek 8111E network adapter.
This problem has been verified to be the same with Realtek 8168 and Realtek 8169.
The reason for this, is that VMware removed the drivers from the new ESXi 5.5 iso.
In this post I will show you how to get ESXi 5.5 working with the Realtek network adapters.
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Installing VMware ESXi on a haswell and Z87 (4th generation) CPU

The problem

A couple of days ago, I got a package containing a new motherboard, a CPU and some RAM.
It was supposed to be used for an upgrade on one of my VMware ESXi servers, since I was running low on resources.
The package contained:

So, everything looked fine, and I was excited since this was actually my first build with a haswell (4th generation i5) CPU!
Before I ordered the hardware, I googled around to find some answers on Z87 ESXi compatibility, but was not able to find anything, so I was at the same time kind of nervous..

I took out the old parts from the server, and put in the new motherboard, CPU and memory and booted it up into bios.

i then set some settings i wanted (boot order, fan control and so on) and rebooted the server onto the VMware ESXi 5.1-update1 installer I just had burned to a CD only to discover that something was horribly wrong.

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