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2012 R2 guests on ESXi 6.5 fail to boot when using EFI

2012 R2 guests on ESXi 6.5 fail to boot when using EFI

I'm setting up a new vSphere 6.5 cluster and starting to provision my first machines. My backing storage is a StoreVirtual 3200 unit. I've set up a template for future guests, which uses EFI instead of BIOS. Upon rebooting the guests, they fail to start properly.

The issue is identical to this one I found on the KB: https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2146167

I have followed the steps and set my configuration accordingly. Here is the output from esxcli storage core path list:

iqn.1998-01.com.vmware:esx-mk1-58d288d3-00023d000003,iqn.2015-11.com.hpe:storevirtual.rpl,t,3-naa.6000eb3b01323a960000000000001bf0

   UID: iqn.1998-01.com.vmware:esx-mk1-58d288d3-00023d000003,iqn.2015-11.com.hpe:storevirtual.rpl,t,3-naa.6000eb3b01323a960000000000001bf0

   Runtime Name: vmhba64:C0:T0:L10

   Device: naa.6000eb3b01323a960000000000001bf0

   Device Display Name: LEFTHAND iSCSI Disk (naa.6000eb3b01323a960000000000001bf0)

   Adapter: vmhba64

   Channel: 0

   Target: 0

   LUN: 10

   Plugin: NMP

   State: active

   Transport: iscsi

   Adapter Identifier: iqn.1998-01.com.vmware:esx-mk1-58d288d3

   Target Identifier: 00023d000003,iqn.2015-11.com.hpe:storevirtual.rpl,t,3

   Adapter Transport Details: iqn.1998-01.com.vmware:esx-mk1-58d288d3

   Target Transport Details: IQN=iqn.2015-11.com.hpe:storevirtual.rpl Alias= Session=00023d000003 PortalTag=3

   Maximum IO Size: 131072

 

iqn.1998-01.com.vmware:esx-mk1-58d288d3-00023d000004,iqn.2015-11.com.hpe:storevirtual.rpl,t,3-naa.6000eb3b01323a960000000000001bf0

   UID: iqn.1998-01.com.vmware:esx-mk1-58d288d3-00023d000004,iqn.2015-11.com.hpe:storevirtual.rpl,t,3-naa.6000eb3b01323a960000000000001bf0

   Runtime Name: vmhba64:C1:T0:L10

   Device: naa.6000eb3b01323a960000000000001bf0

   Device Display Name: LEFTHAND iSCSI Disk (naa.6000eb3b01323a960000000000001bf0)

   Adapter: vmhba64

   Channel: 1

   Target: 0

   LUN: 10

   Plugin: NMP

   State: active

   Transport: iscsi

   Adapter Identifier: iqn.1998-01.com.vmware:esx-mk1-58d288d3

   Target Identifier: 00023d000004,iqn.2015-11.com.hpe:storevirtual.rpl,t,3

   Adapter Transport Details: iqn.1998-01.com.vmware:esx-mk1-58d288d3

   Target Transport Details: IQN=iqn.2015-11.com.hpe:storevirtual.rpl Alias= Session=00023d000004 PortalTag=3

   Maximum IO Size: 131072

 

As per the article, I have taken the maximum IO size of 131072 (bytes) and set the 'Disk.DiskMaxIOSize' setting on each of my hosts to 128 (kilobytes). Output of esxcli system settings advanced list -o "/Disk/DiskMaxIOSize" | grep Int\ Value | grep -v Default'

 

Int Value: 128

 

Here's a snippet of vmware.log for a guest that fails to start:

 

2017-02-14T15:15:16.849Z| vcpu-0| I125: Guest: About to do EFI boot: Windows Boot Manager

2017-02-14T15:15:16.886Z| vcpu-0| I125: HBACommon: First write on scsi0:0.fileName='/vmfs/volumes/58986c57-beebfb62-20dc-941882e61b50/dc-mk1/dc-mk1.vmdk'

2017-02-14T15:15:16.886Z| vcpu-0| I125: DDB: "longContentID" = "9183ad927c82a0f735b6ad050dce9686" (was "b8e64cc6686f60edd799a37495b96386")

2017-02-14T15:15:16.939Z| vcpu-0| I125: DISKLIB-CHAIN : DiskChainUpdateContentID: old=0x95b96386, new=0xdce9686 (9183ad927c82a0f735b6ad050dce9686)

2017-02-14T15:15:20.002Z| vmx| I130: Vigor_ClientRequestCb: dispatching Vigor command 'Ethernet.queryFields'

2017-02-14T15:15:38.459Z| vcpu-0| I125: Tools: Tools heartbeat timeout.

 

There is a consistent 22 seconds between "about to do EFI boot" and "tools heartbeat timeout" when the guest fails to start.

 

I'm keen to resolve this ASAP so I can commission my new hardware in earnest - any ideas?

2 REPLIES
Stor_Mort
HPE Pro

Re: 2012 R2 guests on ESXi 6.5 fail to boot when using EFI

Hi referencepoint, 

That's interesting. The SV3200 should support IO sizes much larger than 128KB. If you change the DiskMaxIOSize to 127, does it work? How about 64? Does it work if you boot in BIOS mode?

If you think this is a SV3200 issue rather than a VMware or Microsoft issue, go ahead and open a support case.

I am an HPE employee - HPE StoreVirtual Support

Re: 2012 R2 guests on ESXi 6.5 fail to boot when using EFI

Hi stor_mort

I didn't notice your reply - I'm now subscribed!

The guests work perfectly if they boot in BIOS mode - I haven't tried booting the hosts in BIOS mode as that would require re-imaging them.

I think the 128KB limit is possibly related to the fact it's running over iSCSI - lots of the iSCSI initiator config makes reference to 131072 byte (128KB) block sizes. I currently have a support case open with VMware, they suggested a few different Max IO Size options but none of those made a difference.

If you think HPE would be happy to assist with this issue then I'll make a ticket!