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Enable Realtek NIC on VMware ESXi 5.5

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VMware removed Realtek drivers from ESXi 5.5 base installation making installed NIC unusable once performed a fresh installation. To enable Realtek NIC on VMware ESXi 5.5 you need to create a custom ISO image.

Upgrading VMware ESXi 5.1 to 5.5 the installed NIC drivers will stay in place without interrupting the functionality. The problem comes when you perform a fresh installation.

After a fresh installation of the hypervisor, the Realtek NICs installed in the host are not detected.

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To fix the problem, I found an excellent blog post that explains how to build a custom ISO image of VMware ESXi5.5 with Realtek drivers included in few steps.

 

Prerequisites

 

Install vSphere PowerCLI

Once downloaded vSphere PowerCLI, install the program in your computer.

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Because PowerCLI by default won’t execute unsigned scripts for security reasons, you need to set the system to allow also unsigned scripts.

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To enable the execution of unsigned scripts, use the Set-ExecutionPolicy cmdlet launching from PowerCLI console the command:

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PowerCLI script

The script used to create a new ESXi 5.5 image including missing drivers is listed here.

From the PowerCLI console launch the PowerCLI script. The script takes few minutes to download and build the new image.

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When the process ends, you will find in the directory specified in the script (C:\Temp) the new customized ISO image.

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Performing a fresh installation once again using the customized ISO image, the Realtek NICs are now detected by the system.

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Great solution that allows the system to be fully functional even with these NICs type installed.

firma