These instructions will enable you to set up VMWare ESXi on your old DELL XPS Desktop using the onboard Realtek NIC card. Without customizing the iso, the ESXi installation will fail unless you have a secondary NIC that is supported. VMWare does not support Realtek NIC cards, so don’t expect support from VMWare if you use these instructions.
Creating the ISO - Step by Step
- Download VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) Offline Bundle and place in C:\tmp folder
The latest one available at the tiem of this post is for ESXi 6.5.
- Download the Realtek Offline Bundle here based on your NIC and place in C:\tmp folder:
For the DELL XPS desktop used in these instructions, the driver is net55-r8168. Direct download link here
- Run the following PowerShell commands
If prompted to install nuget or anything else, select Yes.
NOTE: Whatever the file name is in step 1, replace “VMWare vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) filename” with it.
NOTE: Whatever the file name is in step 2, replace “Realtek Offline Bundle filename” with it.
Note: Realtek was used for the ImageProfile name in this example
Confirm the sofware is in the depot
Note: Replace “ESXI…” with what was shown in the Get-EsxImageProfile commmand. The profile name will still have the -standard at the end of the name. Choose that one. When asked for the vendor name, you can call it anything. The vendor name can be the name of your puppy, the person you love, the person you hate… It doesn’t matter.
Use this custom .iso to install VMWare ESXI on your DELL Desktop.