Is the new Mac mini 2019 suited for VMware vSphere/ESXi home labs?

Specification Differentiations These features: From the Oct 30 2018 Apple Event. Standard: Desktop 8th-generation 3.2GHz Intel Core Processor Thunderbolt 3 / USB C expansion (4 ports) NVMe based SSD storage running at full speeds Optional: up to 6 cores up to 64GB of RAM (SODIMMs) up to 10GbE…

Oct 30 2018

Using ESXi 5.5 to create "Golden Master" Windows 8.1 template VM with ease-of-use tweaks for your lab

In this article with video walk through, you'll learn exactly how to create a Windows 8.1 Profession 64 bit template, using an ESXi 5.5 Virtual Machine Version 10. The ginormous 8TB size for the C: drive in the VM shows off the vSphere 5.5-only features, including the VM's EFI BIOS setting to…

Oct 17 2013

Rufus quickly creates a UEFI bootable USB 3.0 flash drive for Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 installation

Download Rufus, straight from the author at rufus.akeo.ie, or from reboot.pro: The executable is digitally signed and the signature should state: "Akeo Consulting" (v1.3.0 or later) "Pete Batard - Open Source Developer" (v1.2.0 or earlier) Rufus:…

Sep 11 2013

macZilla Core i5 Mac mini gets an SSD drive upgrade, the operation was a success

A family member's Core i5 Mac Mini 2011 started life with 4GB of RAM, a 500GB traditional (slow, 5400) hard drive, and respectable discreet graphics. A very efficient and cool little beast. It fit the bill, fairly cheap, rather portable, and runs OS X and Windows very nicely, without putting out a…

Jan 22 2013

ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 BIOS 2.10 released May 10 2012, DO NOT USE 2.X BIOS if you're staying on a Sandy Bridge CPU!

I've been watching the beta firmware levels, knowing that support for Ivy Bridge CPUs was coming in a new BIOS that ASRock was cooking up for users of the ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 motherboard, such as my TinkerTry.com/vzilla and TinkerTry.com/gzilla systems. Thanks to Roy's comment…

May 17 2012

How to get into LSI's RAID WebBIOS on an ASRock Z68 based system

Turns out that getting into the RAID configuration screen can be tricky on Z68 consumer-oriented motherboards (affordable), versus server class motherboards (expensive). For my TinkerTry.com/vzilla virtualization lab/backup server project, I had finalized my choices of RAID and motherboard: LSI…

Nov 17 2011

32GB of RAM is the sweet spot for VMware ESXi 5.0 Free Hypervisor

Feb 28 2012 Update: Great news, with some patience and careful shopping, ~$200 USB can now get you 32GB of RAM that works great, given 32GB is what the free Hypervisor 5.0 supports maximum anyway, good deal! TinkerTry.com/32gb-memory-on-asrock-fatal1ty-z68-professional-gen3-motherboard I cannot…

Nov 16 2011

Lenovo ThinkPad W520 Saga

I'm very happy to have finally received my ThinkPad W520.  Set original preload drive aside for a bit, to play with Windows 8 Developer Preview for a bit fun first, seen here: https://tinkertry.com/windows8onw520 Now back to getting this laptop ready for work. 1) Memory I needed to upgrade to…

Sep 15 2011

In the midst of crankin out photos/videos about vZilla...

I may have launched TinkerTry.com/vzilla nearly a month ago, but the vZilla documentation wasn't really complete.  I need to add far more build details (photos, storage configuration, video of building RAID array, etc), and reorganize the way that I present the information. Now that I've…

Aug 7 2011

Variety of Site Updates Now Available (including walk-thru video of UEFI BIOS on ASRock Z68 Gen3)

Here's some miscellaneous tips for folks that have been to this site before: Jul 20 2011: Check out the new Fancybox for Wordpress images, much faster loading than the NextGEN Gallery I moved away from, easier to navigate libraries on iOS devices and PCs. Jul 20 2011: In addition to PCI passthru,…

Jul 20 2011

ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 motherboard likes and dislikes

Jan 26 2012 Update: Getting into RAID BIOS setup is now found to be easy, see solution at: TinkerTry.com/lsi-knowledgebase-article-points-tinkertry-method-configure-lsi-raid-z68-motherboard This article is getting rather stale (outdated), but is still quite popular. Below, you'll find how it first…

Jul 19 2011

ASRock Z68 Extreme4 motherboard likes and dislikes

Pricing info in this newegg.com screenshot as of Jul 17 2011 subject to change at any time: I’ve been able to spend about 10 days with the ASRock Z68 Extreme4 motherboard, and I’m now able to give it a cursory overview, having kicked the tires a bit, with both Windows 7 x64 SP1 and VMware ESXi…

Jul 17 2011

Superguide: Z68 Sandybridge Motherboard VT-d Test Matrix: Which Mobo/CPU combo works with VMware ESXi 4.1U1 VMDirectPath feature?

I’ve tested 4 brands of Z68 motherboards out, and the results are in, certain ASRock and MSI Z68 Motherboards can do VMDirectPath! I tested these 4 mid price point boards myself while building vZilla and each cost somewhere between $170-$230. As of July 14, 2011, using the BIOS version listed in…

Jul 14 2011

Superguide: “vZilla” Z68/Core i7/LSI 9265-8i - built for virtualization, storage, and speed

Jul 12 2011 Original Post: (see also updates, appended at the end) Create your own fast and resilient VMware whitebox, for both "production" and "lab" use. I'm happy to finally be publishing this summary on July 12, 2011...the day vSphere 5 was announced. Back in April, my goals…

Jul 13 2011