ESXi is now installed and configured on a USB drive and all I have to do is plug it into the server and power on, right? Well there’s one little trick we have to pull off first!

The ASRock Q1900-ITX as I had pointed out in the home lab post, does not boot headless or without a monitor connected. Luckily there’s a VGA port, which means the monitor check can be easily bypassed. Basically the connected monitor creates some impedance on the circuit and this can be emulated with some resistors! I followed this guide to create one (pictured below) and all the parts were purchased from Jaycar.


I can plug in the VGA dummy and USB drive now, and finally power on the server. But to show you the graphics chip incompatibility with ESXi and how it crashes video output, I connected a monitor! ESXi is fully loaded, running and accessible via it’s configured IP address but it just cannot display anything on the screen afer this point.

esxiboot

I will log into ESXi web client from a browser to configure settings and create virtual machines.