ESXi on a VideoEdge R710 Server

So, you’ve got an old VideoEdge Server lying around? Why not turn it into an ESXi Server. The first thing you’re going to need to do is reset the password on the BIOS so that you can change the boot order. The easiest way to do this is to open the chassis and remove the jumper labeled PWRD_EN. The jumper is located just behind the memory towards the rear of the server. The next time you boot you can hit F2 to get into the BIOS.

With the BIOS now open, set the option to boot from the front or rear USB ports depending on your preference. You’re going to want to flash the BIOS with a newer, non-branded one. A VideoEdge Server is just a Dell PowerEdge R710 Rebranded with the VideoEdge front bezel. Head over to Dell Support and download the latest BIOS (6.6.0) as of this writing. Note, you will want to download the Non-Packaged format for DOS bootable media. Also, you will want to grab a copy of Rufus so you can make a DOS bootable USB drive. Once your bootable USB drive has been created with Rufus, copy the Dell BIOS update to the root of the USB drive.

Next, you will plug your bootable USB into one of the front or rear USB ports (whichever you specified above) and boot from USB. Once your server has booted to the DOS prompt. Run the following command:

R710-060600C.exe /forcetype

Note that if you don’t use the /forcetype switch you will receive the following error message: BIOS cannot be applied to a VideoEdge Appliance. Once the BIOS is applied remove the USB drive, reboot into setup and enable visualization support and then install ESXi.

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