How to easily install VMware ESXi 7.0 Update 1 onto a 32GB or larger USB flash drive

This article is still undergoing minor refinement based on further testing. This is a basic overview document of the fresh install process, highlighting the steps that I walk you right through in the accompanying video below, should work on any supported VMware ESXi server. One advantage of this…

Oct 18 2020

VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 1 announced, with vSAN 7 Update 1 featuring HCI Mesh

There's a pattern here. VMware announced VMware vSphere 7 on March 10 2020, and the code went GA and became available for download on April 2, 2020. This week, VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 1 was announced on September 15, so when can we download it? We'll likely found out for sure soon with VMworld…

Sep 20 2020

Supermicro SYS-5028D-TN4T mini-tower/Wiredzone Bundles are now on the VCG for ESXi 7.0 and 7.0U1, full VMware support resumed!

TLDR Gladly, the super popular SYS-5028D-TN4T mini tower and the 1U rack mount SYS-5018D-FN4T and SYS-5018D-FN8T are now on the VCG (VMware Compatibility Guide) for ESXi 7.0 & VCG for ESXi 7.0 Update 1. Sadly the mini 1U SYS-E300-8D and SYS-E200-8D are not listed for any 7.x release. From…

Aug 26 2020

NAKIVO Backup & Replication v10 released with VMware vSphere 7.0 support, Linux workstation backup, and backup to Wasabi

Turn Your QNAP, Synology, ASUSTOR, WD, or Netgear NAS into a VM Backup Appliance, claiming to improve backup performance by up to 2X and offload your IT infrastructure Last year, I wrote about NAKIVO v8.5.2 with detailed walk-thru install and configure videos, see that detailed article here, and it…

Jul 29 2020

Sabrent 4TB Rocket NVMe M.2 High Performance SSD - FLIR thermal imagery, firmware tools, and speed tests for VMware ESXi 7.0 VMFS and Windows 10 NTFS

I've been beating up my Samsung 960 PRO 2TB for a good 3 years now. It's in my daily driver, a Windows 10 VM in my Supermicro SuperServer SYS-5028D-TN4T system with Xeon D-1567 12 core, also known as Bundle 1. Shop Amazon. Amazon - Sabrent 4TB Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 Internal SSD High…

Jul 25 2020

How to workaround "Update installation failed. vCenter Server is non-operational." message during VCSA 7.0 update

This article is short and simple, hopefully helping some of the many folks that have watched either my Jun 24 2020 or Jun 25 2020 VCSA 7.0 upgrade attempt videos, using VAMI. For me, my home lab had a healthy VCSA 6.7 upgrade to VCSA 7.0 GA, performed successfully on camera on release day Apr 02…

Jul 3 2020

How to change or disable your VMware vSphere Client default inactivity timeout

Maybe you're a demo master, and you want to conquer your private lab and show it whose boss. You're sick and tired of fat-fingering that dang adminstrator@vsphere.local username then password into your vSphere Client at the most inopportune times, especially if you (wisely) didn't use your…

Jun 10 2020

How to apply your VMUG Advantage EVALExperience vSphere 7 license keys to your home lab

This article and video assume you've already installed vSphere 7 in your home lab, and you are now seeking a little guidance on exactly how to go about applying your license keys during the 60 day evaluation period, without any interruption in running your (non-production) workloads. If you're…

May 6 2020

How to configure Ubiquiti mPower PRO outlet names without an mFi controller

Unfortunately, the mFi line got to the end of the road back in 2017, see is MFI dead?. That doesn't mean it doesn't mean it stopped working, but support sure is gone. This is unfortunate, and the Ubiquiti name is still generally beloved, it's just that this particular product line has run out of…

Apr 25 2020

VMware vSphere / ESXi 7.0 GA work-around for GPU passthrough issues including disabled-after-reboot bug and UI bug

A new and improved workaround is available as of Jun 18 2020, details below. When I was upgrading my primary Supermicro SuperServer Workstation / Datacenter, I ran into some strange problems with getting passthrough working. What would happen is that I'd get everything squared away, and boot my…

Apr 25 2020

Folding@homelab - Inspiring podcasts about the global vCommunity, with nerd stats on TinkerTry's 4 F@h VMs on VMware ESXi 7.0 on 4 Xeon D Servers

If you haven't already come across my article with a walk-through video about how easy it is to get started with Folding@home VMs, have a look! VMware Appliance for Folding@home - help researchers unfold the mystery of diseases like Coronavirus/COVID-19 virtually Mar 21 2020 It's now been about…

Apr 15 2020

Quick look at 5 VMware vSphere 7.0 features & tips to organize and personalize your vSphere Client

I thought I'd sprinkle a bit of home lab cheer for you all in this world-wide cooped-up weekend we're all in together. I thought you might find at least one or two tips in here that you didn't already know about vSphere Web Client, let me know! Got some more tips? Here's your chance for fame, just…

Apr 2 2020

How to upgrade from VMware vSphere 6.7 to vSphere 7.0, vCenter/VCSA first, then ESXi host(s) next

A nice dark-mode view of the TinkerTry Datacenter, consisting of 3 Xeon D-1500 systems and 1 Xeon D-2100 system. This is a placeholder, where I'll be describing the process of install, featuring most walk-through video for now. If you've done these updates before, this library of walk-through…

Apr 2 2020

William Lam's "Homelab considerations for vSphere 7" predicts an easy install for Xeon D Supermicro SuperServers!

Back on March 10 2020, VMware announced vSphere 7. On Thursday, April 2nd, they've got a launch event planned, and I was originally hoping it'd also be the day we can finally get our hands-on the GA level bits. Like many others, I'll be having myself a close look at both the vExpert downloads and…

Mar 31 2020

VMware Appliance for Folding@home - help researchers unfold the mystery of diseases like COVID-19 virtually

Tips added since initial publication: There are server-side issues that result in failing to get work assigned to your VM, see ongoing discussions here, new automatic bigadv on 16 CPU or larger VMs seems to have helped. I have now published a short video of downloading/deploying/configuring 1.0.1…

Mar 21 2020

VMware vSphere 7 Announced

Check out the many related articles on the web in my See Also section below. If you're feeling kinda TLDR, try the video gallery below, with General Availability expected by May 1 2020. This long awaited major vSphere release was officially announced earlier today, and I've included 3 key excerpts…

Mar 10 2020

VMware's William Lam publishes "VMware Community Homelabs Project" at virtuallyGhetto

When I was at VMware as a vSAN SE, I often got asked about what home lab equipment to buy. The answer was usually along the lines of "it depends." In other words, you need to know what the goals of the buyer are, and I always spent time asking a lot of questions before proposing anything,…

Feb 11 2020

Supermicro Xeon D SuperServer BIOS 2.1 / IPMI 3.86 released, how to upgrade with ease!

Step-by-step walk through video is now available! The only information I have about this 2.1 BIOS release is from a helpful TinkerTry commenter who said: I reached out to Supermicro, and they gave me some rather vague info: "BIOS 2.1 update info for SYS-5028D-TN4T/ X10SDV MB BIOS 2.1 has…

Jan 21 2020

Hear about the amazing Veeam Vanguard program. Maybe my dozen years of Veeam stories will inspire you to apply by Jan 21 2020!

Put your nomination(s) in by January 21 2020, all the instructions are in Nikola Pejková's post here. You can nominate yourself (or be nominated by another person), so don’t be shy and apply by sending your profile summary or CV to As of Jan 21 2020, nominations are now closed. Existing Vanguards re…

Jan 15 2020

VMUG Advantage EVALExperience is serious about home labs with a 10% discount for TinkerTry readers and now includes VCF and SRM too!

Backstory Last week, this timely twitter exchange occurred, seen at right. JD Wallace noticed that the code at VMUG Advantage isn't always quite at the very latest patch level. The kind volunteer who updates the VMUG Advantage EVALExperience growing library of huge files does so on a quarterly…

Nov 5 2019

My VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 3 Upgrade Experience

This vSphere update was officially announced 6.7 Update 3 last week, and yesterday, it became available to download. For folks with only VMUG Advantage EVALExperience with its (currently) older 6.7 Update 2 VMware-VMvisor-Installer-6.7.0.update02-13006603.x86_64.iso they can instead use ESXCLI to…

Aug 21 2019

VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 3 Download

This vSphere update was officially announced last week: VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 3 Announced Today, vSphere 6.7 Update 3 became generally available, and anybody can download and install or upgrade, or just use VUM to upgrade. If you only have VMUG Advantage EVALExperience with its (currently)…

Aug 20 2019

VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 3 Announced

This vSphere update was officially announced one week ago: Announcing vSphere 6.7 Update 3 Aug 13 2019 by Niels Hagoort at VMware vSphere Blog We are excited to announce the future release of VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 3. This new vSphere release comes with enhancements that will continue to…

Aug 20 2019

VTUG Summer Slam 2019 was the last VTUG ever! Thanks for the memories, Dawn, Chris, and Chris!

If you're just here for the nostalgia, no problem, check out the Photos, Videos below, or have a look back at all my VTUG tweets. Don't get misty on me, not yet, I got more for you, read on... Magic moment #1 One of the most touching moments in my IT career ever was thanks to Matt Broberg…

Jul 24 2019