VMware ESXi 5 fails to install on Intel NUC, “No Network Adapters” error

If you use the VMware ESXi 5 ISO image and try to install it on an Intel NUC you’ll receive the following error during the install.

No Network Adapters

No network adapters were detected. Either no network adapters are physically connected to the system, or a suitable driver could not be located. A third party driver my be required.

Ensure that there is at least one network adapter physically connected to the system before attempting installation. If the problem persists, consult the VMware Knowledge Base.

The “No Network Adapters” on the Intel NUC error message during the ESXi install is because VMware removed a number of drivers (non-enterprise drivers) from their ESXi 5.x image and in order to use the Intel NUC as an ESXi host you need to create a customized ESXi image with the NIC drivers added to the image.

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