Today I burned the HP version of ESXi 4.0 to DVD, since I wanted to test the exact same version at home that we will be using at work. My home computer is a generic Asus computer, but I figured the extra HP CIM providers wouldn’t hurt. I got as far as fully installing ESXi 4.0 and booting into the environment.
After a couple of minutes, my computer would crash with a purple screen of death. One of the key strings I found on the screen was smbios_get_64bit_cru_info. A little Googling showed this was a HP watchdog timer tied to the ILO2 ASIC.
Apparently the HP version of ESXi relies on a heartbeat from the iLO2 ASIC to ensure the server is still alive. Since my system doesn’t have an ILO2, it would crash when the timer timed out.
I don’t know if the Dell and IBM versions have similar watchdog timers. Unless you have Dell or HP hardware, then stick with the generic ESXi installation. Seems pretty obvious, but I was trying to save DVD media and a download.