ESXi 6.5 Intel 82577 NIC no longer working on Elitebook 2540 or 8460?

Don’t let deprecated hardware stop you from having fun with the latest version of ESXi 6.5! I love running ESXi on my Elitebook 2540P: Keyboard, Video, Mouse, and UPS all built into one portable server. ;-)

Taking some pointers from this thread: https://communities.vmware.com/message/2650848

  1. Download ESXi customizer Powershell from here: https://www.v-front.de/p/esxi-customizer-ps.html
  2. Download HPE Custom Image for VMware ESXi 6.5 Offline Bundle (this is a .zip file): https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/details?downloadGroup=OEM-ESXI65-HPE&productId=614#
    1. Active subscription required or leave a comment below and I’ll help you out.
  3. Download IGB 4.2.1 package here: https://download3.vmware.com/software/SCATEST/Intel_13/igb-4.2.16.8-1242301.zip
  4. Open the HPE .zip file and navigate: “vib20” folder –> remove “ne1000” folder (delete it).
  5. Put your HPE.zip, IGB.zip, and Powershell script in the same directory and run this command in Powershell: .\ESXi-Customizer-PS-v2.5-Offline.ps1 -izip .\VMware-ESXi-6.5.0-HPE.zip -remove ne1000 -pkgDir .\
    1. Or specify the full path to the files in lieu of “.\”
  6. Use RUFUS or similar program to “burn” the ISO to a flash drive and install ESXi 6.5 on your unsupported hardware.
  7. ESXi should install correctly and, once at the console GUI, you should see “No compatible network adapters found” or something along that line. Press “F2“, go to “Troubleshooting Options“, enable ESXi shell.
  8. Press “ALT+F1” (literally ALT F1) and type: esxcli system module set --enabled=false --module=ne1000
    1. Press enter
  9. Reboot and voila!

Important: If you are using vCenter Update Manager, don’t forget to remove the “ne1000” VIB from your host update!

P.S: Feel free to have my customized HPE ISO for ESXi 6.5 on Elitebook 2540P laptop if you think it’ll work for you. If the link breaks message me below.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z6kse8h2cpwpkfu/HPE-ESXi-6.5.0-OS-Release-650.9.6.0.28-customized.iso?dl=0

One thought on “ESXi 6.5 Intel 82577 NIC no longer working on Elitebook 2540 or 8460?”

  1. Following up on the VIB install from VMware Update Manager: in the event that you accidentally install the VIB for ne1000, upon reboot you will receive a “No compatible network adapters found…” error message.
    To remediate, we are going to list the installed VIBs and remove ne1000 (to simply remove ne1000 skip step 3)
    1) Boot host
    2) Enter ESXi Shell using ALT+F1 (literally ALT F1)
    3) Enter: esxcli software vib list | less (display more by pressing the enter key; exit by pressing Q)
    4) Enter: esxcli software vib remove –vibname=ne1000
    5) reboot

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