Novell is now a part of Micro Focus

Installing iChain 2.3 on VMWare ESX Server

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Andrew Boulanger

Digg This - Slashdot This

Posted: 29 Aug 2005


When trying to install iChain 2.3 into a VM on an ESX server, the install will either hang or the machine will halt on multiple abends on startup.


  1. Start off using VMWare Workstation 4.5 (4.5.2-8848 used in this case), create a new virtual machine and select Custom.
  2. Select Novell NetWare and NetWare 6 OS.
  3. Name your machine and create a folder to locate all the files in on the local workstation.
  4. Assign the amount of memory and bridged networking.
  5. When it comes to the drives, select LSI Logic, Create a new Virtual Disk and on the next screen, make the disk SCSI.
  6. I made the disk size 2GB which is plenty for iChain and allows you to copy it easier to the ESX server. I also ticked the box for allocate all disk space now.
  7. Name the disk file and finish.
  8. Install iChain 2.3
  9. After the Partitioning phase, the iChain installation process will reboot automatically.
  10. When prompted with the following question: Do you want to select custom disk, platform support or network drivers Y,N? type Y and press <Enter> to continue.
  11. Next you will be prompted with device driver configuration menu. Make sure for Storage Adapters IDEATA is selected, then press <Enter> to continue.
    Select PCNTNW.LAN | AMD Ethernet PCnet-PCI, PCnet-PCI_II as the network adapter driver and press <Enter> to continue.
  12. iChain installation process will reboot the machine.
    You will be prompted again to select storage and network drivers. Repeat step 11.
  13. Finally, the installation process will load the needed drivers and complete iChain 2.3 installation
  14. When iChain comes up, install SP2 using the instructions packaged.
  15. Copy the .vmdk file to the ESX server onto the VMFS partition (I copied the file to a server which was mounted as a Samba share on the ESX server). This converts the file during the copy. (NOTE: this will only work for files 2GB or under).
  16. On the ESX server, create a new VM, Novell NetWare 6, name it and set the memory.
  17. Point the machine to the existing .vmdk image. Once created, edit the .vmx and make sure there are two CDROM drives, one on IDE0:0 and the other on IDE0:1.
  18. I assigned the first CDROM to a Win98 boot disk with CDROM support and the second to the NW6SP5.iso and booted the machine off the Win 98 CD.
  19. Once Win98 has finished booting to the prompt, copy server.* from the startup folder on the NW6SP5 cd to c:\nwserver.
  20. Copy *.HAM and *.DDI from the drivers\storage folder on the NW6SP5 CD to c:\nwserver\drivers.
  21. Boot to iChain and configure.

NOTE: If you ever apply a support pack to the iChain server after this, you will need to re-apply steps 19 and 20.

Many thanks to Dmitry Kipa for his cool solution ( and Steve Thompson at ENGL for the Workstation and NW6SP5 tips.


Example of the vmx config file (the bottom paragraph is important):

config.version = "6"
virtualHW.version = "3"
scsi0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0.virtualDev = "vmxlsilogic"
memsize = "512"
ide0:0.present = "TRUE"
ide0:0.fileName = "/usr/lib/vmware/isoimages/netware.iso"
ide0:0.deviceType = "cdrom-image"
floppy0.startConnected = "FALSE"
floppy0.fileName = "/dev/fd0"
Ethernet0.present = "TRUE"
Ethernet0.connectionType = "monitor_dev"
Ethernet0.devName = "vmnic0"
Ethernet0.networkName = "Staging"
usb.present = "FALSE"
RemoteDisplay.depth = "16"
displayName = "iChain"
guestOS = "netware6"
checkpoint.cptConfigName = "ichain-8e78e9b9"
priority.grabbed = "normal"
priority.ungrabbed = "normal"

scsi0:0.present = "TRUE" = "vmhba0:0:0:5:ichain.vmdk"
scsi0:0.mode = "undoable"
draw = "gdi"

Ethernet0.addressType = "generated"
uuid.location = "56 4d 32 56 fd fd f1 1d-ab d0 b2 45 91 9a 2f c4"
uuid.bios = "56 4d 32 56 fd fd f1 1d-ab d0 b2 45 91 9a 2f c4"
ethernet0.generatedAddress = "00:0c:29:9a:2f:c4"
ethernet0.generatedAddressOffset = "0"

ide0:1.present = "TRUE"
ide0:1.fileName = "/mnt/iso/nw6sp5.ISO"
ide0:1.deviceType = "cdrom-image"
ide0:1.startConnected = "TRUE"

Novell Cool Solutions (corporate web communities) are produced by WebWise Solutions.

© Copyright Micro Focus or one of its affiliates