ESX / ESXi Bios Tools

Discussion in 'Virtualization' started by pix, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. pandabianco

    pandabianco MDL Novice

    Sep 12, 2009
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    Thanks!!!
     
  2. pantagruel

    pantagruel MDL Addicted

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  3. pantagruel

    pantagruel MDL Addicted

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    #484 pantagruel, Nov 14, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
    ESXi 8.0 | 11 OCT 2022 | Build 20513097

    I noticed a couple new ROMs in ESXi 8.0. How does EFI20-64.ROM differ from EFI64.ROM? As far as modding/activation I don't see any difference. Anyone know?

    BIOS.440.ROM
    EFI20-32.ROM *new*
    EFI20-64.ROM *new*
    EFI32.ROM
    EFI64.ROM

    Screenshot_1.png

    Update: Both Server 2022 / Windows 7 (Pro) VMs use EFI20-64.ROM by default. (EFI ROM version: VMW201.00V.20192059.B64.2207280713 (64-bit RELEASE)).

    Update 2: BIOS.440.ROM (build 497) is unchanged from ESXi 7.0.3 and can be used for OEM:SLP activation.

    EFI behavior on ESXi 8.0 is strange (on my installation anyway). ESXi 8.0 insists on using the default stock EFI20-64.ROM in every case, any EFI (modded or stock) specified in the .vmx is ignored, so OEM:SLP activation is not possible.

    Update 3: Not so strange maybe:

    EFI20-64.ROM = tpm support

    Any EFI based VM created with ESXi 8.0 will use EFI20-64.ROM (TPM support) and the 'efi64.filename = "CUSTOM_EFI64.ROM"' .vmx entry will be disabled - to prevent potential tpm issues?

    Existing VMs can continue to use modded EFIs via .vmx entry.

    Both newly created and existing VMs can be activated with a modded BIOS.440.ROM

    Something else, ESXi 8.0 added support for Server 2025 as a Guest OS.

    Screenshot 2022-11-2c.png
     
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  4. pm67310

    pm67310 MDL Guru

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  5. edelweiss

    edelweiss MDL Novice

    Jul 18, 2010
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    Hi, all!
    Where I can download the latest modded BIOS/EFIs for the latest ESXi 8.0 ?
    Thanks&Regards!
     
  6. mirkoippoliti

    mirkoippoliti MDL Novice

    Sep 16, 2021
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    Does someone knows where the default stock EFI-64.ROM is located? Can this stock EFI-64.ROM be overwritten with a modded one to permit OEM:SLP activation?
     
  7. pantagruel

    pantagruel MDL Addicted

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    #490 pantagruel, Dec 2, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2023
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  8. mirkoippoliti

    mirkoippoliti MDL Novice

    Sep 16, 2021
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    Thank you pantagruel

    I tried to install windows server 2022 standard on ESXi 8.0 with VM Options -> Boot Options -> Firmware BIOS but as soon as the VM starts I got the following error:
    "acpi motherboard layout requires efi"

    The very same setup works perfectly fine under ESXi 7.0 Update 3 and even activate.
     
  9. pantagruel

    pantagruel MDL Addicted

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    #492 pantagruel, Dec 2, 2022
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2022
    To double-check I just now set up Server 2022 Standard (BIOS) in ESXi 8.0, added the .vmx entry etc., and it's activated. I don't know why you're getting "acpi motherboard layout requires efi". Are you sure you specified 'Firmware BIOS'? Maybe try again?

    esxi8.0setup.png

    Edit: try setting 'Boot Delay' (under Firmware BIOS) to 100 milliseconds.
     
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  10. mirkoippoliti

    mirkoippoliti MDL Novice

    Sep 16, 2021
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    As soon as I will able to test it I will try. Also I will try Boot Delay of 100 milliseconds.
    I do not have an OEM windows 2022 server iso image so for my tests I use the 180 days eval downloaded from microsoft.
    Then I convert it to retail with the DSIM cmmand.
    Maybe someone has a download link for an OEM windows 2022 server retail iso image.
    But wait a moment, you say in a previous post that ESXi 8.0 ignore .vmx entries about BIOS/EFI ROM files, do you have found a way to force ESXi 8.0 to force it to take into account .vmx entry BIOS/EFI ROM files?
     
  11. pantagruel

    pantagruel MDL Addicted

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    #494 pantagruel, Dec 4, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2023
    Sure, here's some links. Install the DELL OEM key/cert after installation. I used this image:

    https://forums.mydigitallife.net/th...20348-1-fe_release.83200/page-57#post-1760812

    Another link:

    https://forums.mydigitallife.net/th...20348-1-fe_release.83200/page-56#post-1760500

    Also, I didn't need to 'force' the BIOS .vmx entry. Maybe I wasn't clear: Only EFI VMs created with ESXi 8.0 ignore .vmx entries.
     
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  12. mirkoippoliti

    mirkoippoliti MDL Novice

    Sep 16, 2021
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    Thank you Pantagruel!

    > Also, I didn't need to 'force' the BIOS .vmx entry. Maybe I wasn't clear: Only EFI VMs created with ESXi 8.0 ignore .vmx entries.

    So there is no need to install the BIOS/EFI ROM? Only installing the DELL OEM key/cert after installation is sufficient?

    Last but not least (I am not an expert) does the certificates have an expiring date? If yes, what happens *after* the expiring date?
     
  13. pantagruel

    pantagruel MDL Addicted

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    You need to use the modded BIOS, it has a SLIC (software licensing description table) which matches the cert. The cert doesn't expire. Use ESXI8.0_DELL2.6_BIOS.440.ROM and follow the 'How to Use Mod in ESXi'.pdf included in the mod download and you'll be OK.
     
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  14. mirkoippoliti

    mirkoippoliti MDL Novice

    Sep 16, 2021
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    Thank you so much Pantagruel: it works like a charm!
     
  15. edelweiss

    edelweiss MDL Novice

    Jul 18, 2010
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    Hi, Pantagruel!
    Can you explain this statement in more detail?
    How I can use modded efi ROM in EFI VMs with ESXi 8.0?
    Thanks&Regards!
     
  16. pantagruel

    pantagruel MDL Addicted

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    #499 pantagruel, Dec 11, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2023
    There's not much detail I can add to what I've already posted, but to summarize:
    • it is not possible to overwrite the stock roms in /usr/lib/vmware/roms with modded roms. From 7.x they are read-only with restricted permission changes.
    • it is not possible to use a .vmx entry to specify a EFI rom (modded or unmodded) in VMs created with ESXi 8.0, the entry is ignored. Use efi20-64.filename in the .vmx.
    • it is possible to use a .vmx entry to specify a EFI rom (modded or unmodded) in VMs created with ESXi < 8.0, the entry is accepted.
    So, to use a modded EFI in ESXi 8.0 your best bet is to import a VM created in ESXi < 8.0, that way you can still specify the modded EFI64.ROM in the .vmx. It's not ideal, but it works.
     
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  17. pantagruel

    pantagruel MDL Addicted

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    #500 pantagruel, Jan 6, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2023
    @edelweiss
    Made a mistake, to use a modded EFI in ESXi 8.0 you must specify:

    efi20-64.filename = "name of modded efi.rom"

    not

    efi64.filename = "name of modded efi.rom"

    then it works.

    EDIT: To make things more clear, if the vmx entry is virtualHW.version = "20" use efi20-64.filename, otherwise use efi64.filename.
     
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