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VMware 3i with USB has potential risk to be corrupted

P. Louage
Valued Contributor

VMware 3i with USB has potential risk to be corrupted

Last week I received 3 brand new blades BL465 G5 with the USB ESX 3i USB installed.

Here are some remarks:
1: the AMD virtualization option for the CPU was not set in the setup F9
2: All 3 blades did start well and have been configured accordingly.
3: It was was already clear after a few reboots with the ILO that 2 out of the 3 blades had a strange behaviour:

A: intermittent boot hangs, cold reboot needed to get the boot passing.
B: configuration of networking and DNS had to be retried a few times and inconsistent behaviour.
C: impossible to connect ESX with a Data Center using VC, error pointing to a network problem although the connection is perfect. Direct connected VI worked perfect.

After an indepth check we came to the conclusion that the USB memory stick seems to be suspected.

We do not know how this happen but we believe that the several reboots we have done has an influence on the USB memory.

Worse, during the troubleshooting we thought it would be best to reset the defaults in the setup, and then to compare with the only one perfectly working.

If you reset the setup default you blow away some info on your USB memory stick and you will not be able to reboot the 3i anymore. (if you did not copy the license, it will be history).

The only way out here is to boot the recovery CD and to reinstall the USB information. Since you will get an evaluation license you should be able to connect with VI and reconfigure it all again.
In case you have a license server and enough licenses of course you do not need the 3i license.

What I learned here:
1: There is a serious problem with the USB stick. (it was a problem in the past but now reappears)
2: Do never reset the setup defaults with a USB installed otherwise you will not be able to reboot anymore the ESX 3i
3: Since we learned the USB memory gets corrupted during a reboot, minimize the reboot of the ESX server.
4: If you are not using a license server make sure you have a copy of your 3i license.

It's not a bad idea to contact HP if you see this problem.

P. Louage
Valued Contributor

Re: VMware 3i with USB has potential risk to be corrupted

HP has identified an issue that may occur when updating the configuration of a ProLiant server running HP Integrated VMware ESX Server 3i on two types of USB Keys.
The following two issues were detected during testing:
Issue 1: Configuration settings are lost upon rebooting supported ProLiant servers running VMware ESX 3i Server because there is not sufficient time during shutdown to write all configuration data to the affected USB Key.
A second issue may occur that is unrelated to Issue 1, but is related to the USB Key:
Issue 2: On rare occasions, the server may not boot properly due to a hardware issue related to the USB key.
USB keys are affected if they are in one of the following circumstances:
â ¢ USB keys with green aluminum casing - the issue always occurs.
The green aluminum casing USB Keys that are affected were shipped between March 31, 2008 and September 15, 2008. All the USB Keys (with green aluminum) have been purged from inventory. Effective September 16, 2008, the VMware ESX Server 3i USB Keys with green aluminum casing were replaced with a VMware ESX Server 3i USB Key encased in black plastic. The Spares Kit part number remains the same (490749-001).
â ¢ Certain USB keys with black plastic casing. Refer to the following information to identify affected keys with black plastic casing:
If the key includes "SMSE" etched into the plug, at the location shown in Figure 1 below (i.e., "xxxSMSExx" - where x represents any alphanumeric value), the key is NOT affected by this issue.

Graphic Omitted Here
Figure 1: Rectangular box identifies the location of where SMSE is etched on the USB key.
If the key does not include "SMSE" etched into the plug, the key IS affected by this issue and should be replaced.

Ask for: Document ID: c01604995