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Problems using flash drive for VMware esxi 5.1 OS

Occasional Visitor

Problems using flash drive for VMware esxi 5.1 OS

We have 5 HP DL 380 servers, 3 G5 and 2 G7. We've been using ESX for the last 4 years with no hardware problems. In January/Feb we installed esxi 5.1 from DVD onto SanDisk Cruzer Fit flash drives. No problems on installs and everything ran perfectly. Within a month one of the G5s showed the error:

Configuration Issues
> Lost connectivity to the device mpx.vmhba32:C0:T0:L0. As a result, host configuration changes will not be saved to persistent storage.

That device is the flash drive. The host continued to run just fine. I tried reinserting the flash drive, then restarted esxi mgmt to no avail. I couldn't get the server to re-recognize the flash drive. A restart of the host finally cleared the error. There were no indications of problems on reboot and the OS loaded up fine so I decided to wait and watch. Now, two months later, one of the G7s had the exact same issue. I got VMware involved and they analyzed the logs right up to the problem. The first sign of problem was:

> 2013-04-30T15:17:43.337Z cpu7:8381)ScsiEvents: 545: Event Subsystem: Device Events, Destroyed!
> 2013-04-30T15:17:43.337Z cpu7:8381)StorageApdHandler: 739: Freeing APD
> Handle [mpx.vmhba32:C0:T0:L0] 2013-04-30T15:17:43.337Z cpu7:8381)StorageApdHandler: 802: APD Handle freed!
> 2013-04-30T15:17:43.337Z cpu7:8381)WARNING: NMP: nmpUnclaimPath:1567:Physical path "vmhba32:C0:T0:L0" is the last path to NMP device "Unregistered Device". The device has been unregistered.
> 2013-04-30T15:17:43.337Z cpu7:8381)WARNING: ScsiPath: 5105: Remove
> path: vmhba32:C0:T0:L0 2013-04-30T15:17:43.337Z cpu1:8717)ScsiAdapter:
> 2243: Unregistering adapter vmhba32 2013-04-30T15:17:43.337Z cpu1:8717)DMA: 654: DMA Engine 'vmhba32' destroyed.

The engineer says: "This seems to be the hardware disconnecting for some reason. We see the USB going offline, this could be the device failing and needing essentially a reset when the server is rebooted. This seems as though the USB may be locking up."

Basically either the USB drive is failing or the flash drive is failing at some point causing esxi to remove the device and a restart fixes the problem. The engineer feels I should check with HP and I agree.

Has anyone had this problem and resolved it?

My options are:

-reinstall esxi using another brand of flash drive

-reinstall esxi onto local storage

Neither of those options are appealing. I would like to have some idea of what's happening before attempting a fix.

When I installed the OS I did download the latest firmware updates from HP and installed them. Another bit of background, I do not use the custom HP esxi builds. I've never needed them and have heard of people experiencing problems using the custom build instead of the generic build.

Any ideas on how to fix this?

Trusted Contributor

Re: Problems using flash drive for VMware esxi 5.1 OS

I have seen numerous other customers use both USB drives and SD Cards without any problems on ESXi.  Some of them have 30 or 40 hosts running liks this as well.  But usually they are using the official HP SD Card or USB media that have been tested and certified.


Not sure what to tell you aside from get a different model USB drive and try it out.


I would say you could try to find a utility to move the contents of your existing drive to the new one, but if anything has gone corrupt you would end up copying that as well, so its safer to simply re-install from scratch.

Occasional Visitor

Re: Problems using flash drive for VMware esxi 5.1 OS

ESXi5.1 was installed in SD card of HP BL465c Gen8, and connection with "mpx.vmhba32:C0:T0:L0" was lost similarly.
Although the reboot is not carried out, I am fearful, and is after a reboot working normally?

Occasional Visitor

Re: Problems using flash drive for VMware esxi 5.1 OS

Hi, I have numerous servers ESXI server with other brands, and also HP. Usually we always use the installation of esxi on a usb flash drive. With the 4.1 version of esxi not have this problem. All servers restarted and tear well. With version 5, we've tested recently but we have not had this problem. We have several servers with version 5.1 U1, which soon, 1 or 2 months back he give us this problem. If we restart the server, two things happen to us, or can not find the USB and have to remove it and put it back, resulting reconfiguration boot options in the BIOS or reset correct. We are testing the 5.5 version to see if the same thing happens, but we have not been able to solve the problem with version 5.1.

a greeting

Valued Contributor

Re: Problems using flash drive for VMware esxi 5.1 OS

Use SLC nand flash drives, this is what HP sells (resells) for esxi in SD or USB format for servers!

MLC/TLC nand flash drives are not nearly as reliable or consistent! which is why they sell for a tenth of the price!