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Can't run 64-bit guest on host with 64-bit support

Shaun McCloud
Occasional Advisor

Can't run 64-bit guest on host with 64-bit support

We added a new server to our ESXi "cluster" (i.e. made it a cluster). It is a HP DL140 G3 w/ 2 Xeon 5140 CPUs, 32GB RAM & 2 73GB 10k RPM SAS Drives.

I can run 32-bit hosts on it fine and according to the VMware CPUID utility it supports 64-bit guests.
The following are the supported items from the CPUID utility.
[list]
[*]Nx/XD
[*]CMPXCHG16B
[*]Hyperthreading
[*]64-bit Longmode
[*]64-bit VMware
[*]Xeon/Core2 EVC Modes
[*]SSE1,SSE2,SSE3,SSSE3[/list]

Does anyone have a clue why I can't run a 64-bit guest on the machine?

I know its not officially supported, but it should still work if the VMware tools say that VT is supported right?
11 REPLIES
Shaun McCloud
Occasional Advisor

Re: Can't run 64-bit guest on host with 64-bit support

Ok, I've figured out that I have one B-stepping 5140 and one G-stepping 5140. According to Intel, either one processor must be swapped out with one that matches the stepping on the other processor or a BIOS workaround needs to ben enabled. Does the DL140 G3 have this workaround in the BIOS? See the PDF below on page 47 for what I'm reading. http://www.intel.com/assets/PDF/specupdate/313356.pdf
SMR
Valued Contributor

Re: Can't run 64-bit guest on host with 64-bit support

Hey Shaun,

Like you said the processors probably have all the required features for a 64bit guest to run (64bit instruction set, Intel VT support etc) but unless the BIOS on the DL140 G3 has an specific option to enable Intel Virtualization... I believe it won't ever work.

You could try a BIOS update...

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=1842838&swItem=MTX-c4304c249aea4a478d098b5254&prodNameId=3285485&swEnvOID=1005&swLang=8&taskId=135&mode=3


... and see if that helps. If you don't have the option to enable Intl VT then there probably is a limitation on the chipset of the DL140 G3 that keeps it from utilizing the VT capabilities of the processors :(
Shaun McCloud
Occasional Advisor

Re: Can't run 64-bit guest on host with 64-bit support

SMR,
There is a BIOS option for VT on the DL140 G3 & it is enabled. Found out the issue is caused by one CPU being a B stepping and the other being a G stepping and HP not implementing the workaround provided by Intel for that setup.
Michael A. McKenney
Respected Contributor

Re: Can't run 64-bit guest on host with 64-bit support

You always want to match stepping on CPUs. Never mix them. Strange things can happen.
Shaun McCloud
Occasional Advisor

Re: Can't run 64-bit guest on host with 64-bit support

Well, the second CPU was ordered from HP so specifically for the server. It should have matched but stuff happens.
Michael A. McKenney
Respected Contributor

Re: Can't run 64-bit guest on host with 64-bit support

Stepping changes all the time. I usually order CPUs in pairs when I add them to make sure they match.
Shaun McCloud
Occasional Advisor

Re: Can't run 64-bit guest on host with 64-bit support

Yeah,
IT is going to get in touch with HP right after they put out the fire caused by a UPS going bad overnight.
SMR
Valued Contributor

Re: Can't run 64-bit guest on host with 64-bit support

Have you tried removing one CPU and attempting to run the 64bit guest like that?

That should confirm that stepping is indeed th problem.
Shaun McCloud
Occasional Advisor

Re: Can't run 64-bit guest on host with 64-bit support

Yes, I have done that and it works fine.
SMR
Valued Contributor

Re: Can't run 64-bit guest on host with 64-bit support

Cool, now the workaround mentioned by Intel may have been delivered to the DL140 G3 in the form of a BIOS update. Did you make sure you're running the 2009.06.03 BIOS version?
Shaun McCloud
Occasional Advisor

Re: Can't run 64-bit guest on host with 64-bit support

Yep, I'm sure. I flashed it yesterday.