When trying to install ESXi to an unsupported storage device such as IDE you may get the following error:
"Unable to find a supported device to write the VMware ESX Server 3i 3.5.0 image to"

With the error on the screen press ALT+F1. This will let you into the ESXi installer console

User: root

Type the following which will show the list of devices on the PCI bus.

Type the following which should show the IDE drive.
fdisk -l

Edit the following file to allow IDE disks to be used as SCSI
vi /usr/lib/vmware/installer/Core/TargetFilter.py

Change the following line:
return interface.GetInterfaceType() == ScsiInterface.SCSI_IFACE_TYPE_IDE
to read
return interface.GetInterfaceType() == ScsiInterface.SCSI_IFACE_TYPE_ISCSI

Save the changes.

Type 'install' and press enter to install again 'F11'.

The IDE drive will now be shown to install to and allow you to continue.

NOTE: Using IDE drives for ESXi is not supported or recommended by VMware. You may want to do this if you are testing it on some old hardware and only have IDE drives available.

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All advice, installation/configuration how to guides, troubleshooting and other information on this website are provided as-is with no warranty or guarantee. Whilst the information provided is correct to the best of my knowledge, I am not reponsible for any issues that may arise using this information, and you do so at your own risk. As always before performing anything; check, double check, test and always ensure you have a backup.

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