ESX 3.5 on a HP D530

By | January 3, 2008

Well I was looking at this blog post:

And I thought… We’ve got one of those lying around.

So I figured I’d give it a try.

I added a supported nic, and was on my way. Then I realized that my D530 only had an IDE drive in it.

I installed ESX 3.5, and sure enough it griped because it didn’t have any storage. On a positive note, the onboard nic was recognized by ESX. So I didn’t even need to add a “supported” nic.

Well I didn’t have any SATA drives or non-supported SATA RAID controllers.

So I looked at this VMTN forum post:

To address some storage, without wanting to setup another box on the network, I followed the instructions from the PDF located in the thread:

Thanks to Reinout Wijnveen for the instructions.

Despite the fact that I don’t know Dutch, I was able to mull my way through the document. Sure enough, success!

Now I’ve got a “free” ESX test box. Keep in mind it isn’t the fastest (with a 3.0 GHz P4, and 1GB of RAM), but I can “play” without having to touch our test or production environments.

8 thoughts on “ESX 3.5 on a HP D530

  1. Anonymous

    Jase, we must get you an ebay account, a 42u rack, and some inspiration to buy rack mount server hardware for your ESX playground 🙂

    Jason Boche

  2. Jase McCarty

    Hey Jason,

    Actually, I like to keep this stuff out of the house.

    I do have a buddy that has a 42″ rack in his living room…

    That’s a little much for me.

    I’m on eBay… But you need money for that… Lol!

  3. Anonymous

    I have a Dell Optiplex 745 SF, I wil use this computer for VMware ESX 3.5, now, I can’t find a supported low profile PCI or PCI x16 network adapter for this small form factor PC. Can you help me? I wil not buy a very expensive network adapter…

  4. TechHead

    Hi Jase, has also had good success with running ESX v3.5 on the D530. he has got a blog entry on the performance he has been getting from it so far (see:

    I have been looking for a good low cost ESX test server solution and ended up buying an HP ML110 server for about £149 (UK) that runs ESX v3.5 just fine also. I have blogged about it here

    Let us know how you get on using the D530.


  5. Carlo Costanzo


    Thanks for the post on the d530s! It inspired me to set up my own lab and finally retire my Power consuming PowerEdge servers. My Electric bill thanks you. I have also installed the LeftHand VSA on the boxes so now have a fully functional HA, DRS environment. I posted a little about it on

    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

    Carlo Costanzo

  6. Olusegun Martins

    Hey jason,
    Thanks for the info.
    Finally got 2 D530s for bout $130 each, jumped the mem to 4gb and 300gb hdd and got all my machines running no sweat on it. Moved all my Vmware fusion machines to this boxes now and connect to bot esx servers via Vi via wifi server. this is a perfect lab setup. I can move my Macbook pro outside and still have wireless connections to my entire lab. Just for the heck of it, i will be going to pick up another 2. This babies actually make me feel like am running my very own datacenter

  7. rico_cebiche

    I noticed the picture is a D530 minitower. Some blogs only make reference to the SFF version of D530.


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