Tag Archives: Commodity-XenServer

A Commodity XenServer: The XenServer Install

This is the second part in my Commodity XenServer series.  Check out Part 1 here.

The XenServer Install

Now that I had the basic system  stable and ready to roll, I fired up the XenServer install CD.  (At this point, I was running a SATA hardrive, with an IDE DVD-ROM Drive.)  

The installer would run fine up until the point where I had to choose where I wanted to install from.  When I selected the local DVD drive, I would get the error message, “Base installation repository was not found at that location. Please check and try again.”  

After searching the Citrix support forums, I found that other people were having the same issue, but nobody had any answers yet.  So I did a ton of troubleshooting:

-I re-downloaded and burned another copy of the installer

-I tried installing via FTP and NFS

-I disabled all non-essential BIOS functions

-I removed all non-essential hardware

None of these worked, but I got a tip from the Citrix forums–That the issue probably had something to do with hard disks/SATA/IDE.  So I tried disabling all unused IDE/SATA channels, which was a no go.

 I then swapped out the IDE DVD drive for a SATA DVD drive and disabled all IDE channels on the motherboard–And it worked!

I posted my results in this Citrix forum thread.  

As I’m looking at the thread, it looks like there is another workaround, without having to go to SATA: (From the thread)

After starting the install and selecting the keyboard …

1) Hit Alt+F2 to switch to another console window
2) enter “modprobe ide-generi
c” return
3] switch back to the install window by hitting 

After I got this issue worked out, everything else fell into place, and I came up with a working XenServer 5.0 Update 3 install.

The only other issuing I am still having is that the onboard NIC is realtek, and I can’t seem to get working drivers–This is not a big deal though, since I threw in a Netgear NIC I had laying around, and then bought an Intel Pro dual-nic PCI card, which XenServer had drivers for out-of-the-box.

This wraps up the Xen-Server install, which I am happy to say is humming along just fine with 5 VMs currently active.


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A Commodity XenServer: The Build + Specs

This is the first post of my Commodity XenServer series, where I will be describing my experience in putting together a Commodity XenServer.

First off,  let’s take a look at the specs and a photo:


-An old, mid-tower Antec Case

Antec TruePowerTrio 430W


AMD Phenom 9850 Quad Core Black Edition

Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler

8GB 4 x 2GB  Corsair DDR2 1066

Western Digital Caviar SE16 SATA 640GB (SATA/7200 RPM/16MB)


I was able to find the majority of the components on sale / rebates / discounted, etc.  For instance, the CPU was a NewEgg Open Box for $83, instead of the retail price of $160+.  This allowed me to get a pretty decent setup for my budget.

Here is a photo before the build




The Build, Stress Testing, & Overlocking

Overall, the physical build went fine.  At first I wasn’t sure if the AC CPU Cooler was going to fit with the memory slots so close, but I was able to finagle it together.

I started off by running memtest86+ overnight, to make sure the memory was good–Although the testing went fine, I noticed the RAM was running at 800Mhz instead of the advertised 1066Mhz, but I left it alone for now.

I then installed Vista, so I could do some benchmarking and stability testing.

I wanted to do a bit of overclocking, (why else would you have a Black Edition Phenom, which features an unlocked multiplier?)

This is where I ran into the memory clock issue, which I will devote a future post to.

Suffice to say, the final result was a CPU overclock  of 8%, to 2800 Mhz / Core, for a total of  11,200 Mhz.  I know I could have OC’ed it more, but since it will be serving in a server role, I didn’t think the extra CPU vs. Power was worth it.

With the build and OC done, I went on to the XenServer Install, forthcoming.


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