Wipe disk and create a new VMFS Datastore in VMware ESXi

Recently I installed VMware ESXi on a spare laptop, to expand my local infrastructure at home. During the installation of ESXi, I selected an option to wipe the main disk and install ESXi over top of it. However, I had a secondary SSD installed in the laptop as well, which wasn’t touched at all during the setup process. I wanted to configure the secondary disc so it could be utilized for virtual machine storage or storage of bootable ISOs to provision new VMs from.

In the process and screenshots below, I will show you the steps I took to wipe the disk and configure it as a new VMFS datastore.

Wiping the disk

First, I logged into the VMware ESXi web-based management portal, and navigated to the Storage node. You should see Storage show up above Networking, and below the Virtual Machines node, as in the screenshot below.

Once you’ve navigated to the Storage node, on the right-hand side of the portal, you should see a series of tabs. Select the Devices tab, to view a list of the physical storage devices installed in your system.

As you can see, my laptop has two ~500GB SSDs installed in it. Next, I selected the secondary disk (the Crucial CT480), which took me to the device details screen for that specific disk.

From the Actions drop-down box, choose the Clear Partition Table option. You’ll be prompted with a warning, so just confirm when you see it.

Now the disk has been wiped of its partition table structure, and you can provision it as a new VMFS datastore.

Provision a new VMFS Datastore

On the disk detail screen, click the New Datastore button. Give the datastore a new name.

Select your partitioning structure. In my case, I just told it to use the entire disk.

On the final screen, review the configuration changes and confirm.

If you navigate back to the Storage node under the Navigator, on the left-hand side, you should now see the new VMFS datastore show up. You can now add new virtual machines there, or upload bootable ISOs for provisioning new VMs.