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Thursday, January 07, 2016

XenServer Installation over iDRAC Virtual Media (and IIS7/7.5

Over the years I have performed a number of installs using the DELL iDRAC virtual media, allowing you to mount isos to a machine as a CD/DVD drive.

I have used this to install xenserver on a few occasions, however recently I have encountered an issue where I would use the virtual media to boot to the xenserver installer. It would then let me configure the install, and then the install would begin... However at various points in the install it would suddenly terminate with an errno 5 error (i/o error).

I tried re-downloaded the iso, but same problem. I was running 2 installs at the same time from the same iso (mounted on 2 different machines), so I tried separately  (even though this has worked in the past). None of this worked, each time after a long time the errno 5 would appear.

I decided to google and I found this.

Excellent I thought, I can just place the install onto a local web server and away i go.... Not...

So after trying various different things I found these

So it was mime type... just add a wildcard mime type and we should be good... Nope.

Now this one took some time to track down, but there is apparently a bug in IIS7 and 7.5 wheree by depending on the server configuration and .net installation, you can find that IIS will not serve files via a wildcard, and therefore files with no extension will not be served. There is a hot fix...

Now I have not tried the hot fix, but it should work. My solution was to move the location to a windows 2012R2 running IIS8.5.

This immediatly solved my problems and I was able to run the install from a web server.

Below I detail the overview of the process.

Prepare the web server (watch out for the IIS7/7.5 wilcard mimetype gotcha)
Copy the contents of the xen server CD to a folder on the webserver.
Create a Virtual directory and point it to the above folder.
Add a wildcard mime type to the VD. "*", application/octet-stream

As a test you should be able download the following from your webserver

Now mount the xenserver iso into the DRAC, and boot the machine into the xenserver installation.
When the selection comes of where to install xen from select http and put in the following URL


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