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ESXi v4.0 host crashed unexpectedly

Posted on 2010-09-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
My ESXi host crashed today unexpectedly.  Vcenter showed to be disconnected from the host.  When I accessed the host's consol it had a pink screen with various debug crash info..  It gave me the option to press 'R' to reboot or another option to access the local debug mode.  I pressed 'R' and the host came back up perfectly fine.  How to I obtain this crash information so I can post it on this ticket?  
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Question by:gopher_49
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 250 total points
ID: 33601466
Follow this article to obtain the support log bundle

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1010705

This answers the question how to obtain the crash information, you may need to ask a direct question as to why it crashed with this information.
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danm66 earned 250 total points
ID: 33604861
unfortunately, you've probably lost your best chance of finding the cause when you rebooted.  ESXi treats all of its boot storage as if it were on a USB drive, even if it's installed onto a harddrive.  This means that it doesn't write the contents of memory to strorage unless a controlled shutdown is done.  Since you rebooted, the logs are probably gone.  The best thing to do with the Pink/Purple Screen of Death is take a screenshot of the error message.  If you don't have a remote console to the server, use the camera in your phone or any other digital camera.

Do you remember any of the text from error screen?

Also, odds are very good that it was caused by faulty hardware, so run memtestx86 against the system and check the hardware logs(if your server has them).  run the memory test for as long as you can have the server down so that the memory is fully stressed.  I've heard of it taking a day or more to get an error to identify the dimm.
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by:gopher_49
ID: 33605416
I tried to take a pic with my camera phone but it came out blurry.  I think the server runs a quick memory test when it boots. I can go up to the office on Monday and bring the VM's down and run the memtestx86 you're referring of.  Is this a native command to the ESXi console?  Due to this I'm replicating farily often to another host so I can always bring up my VM's in the event I need to replace hardware.
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 33605419
Ignore the comment in regards to the memtestx86 command via the console.  I found the website and see that I can boot via an .ISO image.  It's a HP DL380 64 bit proc server.  It's a G4.  We'll see if the current version will run on this system.
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Author Closing Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 34439746
ended up being a memory error.. I had spare memory laying around.

Thakns.
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