VMWARE ESXi 4.0 wont boot

Hi all,

I'm having a serious issue with ESXi 4.  I have had ESXi 4 running successfully for a couple of months now, with x2 Server 2003 VM's (Currently installed on an HP ML150G6 server - Intel E5520 CPU, 4GB RAM, x4 250GB HDD's in a RAID-5 configuration, setup using the default Smart Array P410 RAID controller that came with the server bundle).

The issue is that the Server has been running fine up until this morning - After noticing that our mail/file/print server was not working, I had attempted to logon to the server via the vsphere client - no go.  Attempted a ping - no go (Tried pinging both the Server IP and the VM IP's).  So I thought that I'd give the server a restart (the restart took quite a long time to accomplish approx 15 - 20 minutes).  After restarting the server went through POST fine, but when it came time to load the ESXi hypervisor an error showed up saying "boot failed! please enter proper boot device - then restart!).

Could this be that the boot configuration file for the ESXi hypervisor is somewhat corrupt?  Has anyone been through a similar situation before? If so how did you manage to fix this annoying issue.  Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
Tropical-GAsked:
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jakethecatukCommented:
OK - ignoring the previous post.

When the server boots, go into the BIOS for the P410 card and check the status of your RAID controller.  Look for failed drives or a degraded array.

If the RAID is OK, suggest you build yourself a USB key with ESXi on it and boot from that - it will allow you to inspect the server with minimal risk to your hard disks.

This link explains how to do it - http://www.vladan.fr/how-to-install-esxi-40-on-usb-memory-key/
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conradjonesCommented:
if you do a repair installation from the cd, it will retain the datastores so you will keep your virtual machines. as long as obviously the harddisks aren't damaged.

although a repair will require re-configuration of management ip/root password/and you will have to "add to inventory" your vms
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
It certainly looks like a disk problem within the RAID-5 Array.
If you able to notice any Amber LEDs on the front end of the Server, then this indicates a problem with one or more hard drives within your array.
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bbnp2006Commented:
Have you tried to boot into Single User Mode and see if any of your local partitions on your ESX host are full?
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conradjonesCommented:
ESXi doesn't have single user mode? does it?

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mastooCommented:
Any chance ESXi is installed to an internal flash card and it is attempting to boot from the raid set?
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Tropical-GAuthor Commented:
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the prompt feedback.  I will go through the recommendations, and will update you guys asap.

Cheers.
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Tropical-GAuthor Commented:
RE: mastoo

There is no internal/embedded installation of EXi.  I have successfully installed ESXi on a "temporary" flash drive - and am downloading from the DATASTORE as we speak - so it all looks good to me so far.  Once i have the entire DATASTORE backed up safely i will go ahead with the repair.... hope that gets me back online etc (Just need to re-configure the VM's after that's all done.

Cheers.
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