I just purchased enough gear to build a nice NUC rig with the intention of running VMWARE for my home office. The low power consumption and quiet appeals to me, especially after living with the noise (and electricity bill) from an HP DL360G5 for a few years.
I used UNETBOOTIN to load a boot-able drive image of the VMWARE installer to an old Cruzer USB 2.0 flash drive - the intention being to install it onto the small USB 3.0 Mushkin flash drive and use the internal drive for guest OS's. This worked great and I was able to boot from the Cruzer and install VMWARE on the Mushkin Atom drive without issues.
The issues started almost immediately afterwards when trying to boot from the Mushkin USB drive. Sometimes the NUC would boot from the flash drive and sometimes it wouldn't. Some symptoms:
- Always boots from the USB 2.0 Sandisk Cruzer drive containing the VMWARE installer written by UNETBOOTIN
- Upgraded to and running the latest visual BIOS: WY00026
- Sometimes boots from the MUSHKIN from a pwoer-off/power-on cold boot
- The USB port doesn't seem to matter, I've tried them all (all the external ones)
- An F9 (load BIOS defaults) followed by an F10 and a warm reboot sometimes fixes the boot issue for a short time
- I tried a different flash drive, loading VMWARE onto a 16GB SanDisk Cruzer Fit (USB 2/3) and I get the same inconsistent behavior
- It will boot from either of the USB3 drives in a completely random manner, sometimes it will boot 6 or 8 times in a row, and sometimes it won't boot for long stretches without resorting to #10
- It will always recognize and boot from the 4GB USB 2 SanDisk Cruzer created with UNETBOOTIN from the VMWARE installer ISO
- If I boot and hit F10 to get the boot menu it will sometimes see and sometimes not see the MUSHKIN drive
- If I place the USB2 SanDisk Cruzer in the NUC along with the MUSHKIN drive, power up and hit the F10 boot menu option the BIOS always sees both drives
- Enabling or disabling the UEFI boot option in the BIOS seems to have no effect
I've scoured forums and have found some slightly similar issues but I've not been able to get anywhere fixing this. I've tried an alternate USB3 drive and get the same inconsistent behavior.
It seems like a USB bus timing issue of some kind.
Once booted, the device seems to run VMWARE just fine, but if I can't get it to consistently boot without all the fiddling then I can's leave the home office to others to run in case there's a power outage.
Any advice or help would be appreciated!
- Intel NUC BOXD54250WYKH1
- HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630 1TB drive
- Crucial Ballistix Model BLS2K8G3N169ES4 (2 x 8G) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1600
- Mushkin Enhanced atom 16GB USB 3.0 flash stick
- SanDisk Cruzer Fit (16GB)
- SanDisk U3 Cruzer Micro 4.0 (boot installer image)