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Windows Server std. 2008 R2 SP1 System Error Event ID 11, Disk Errors w/ESXi 4.0

Posted on 2011-03-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have been battling this error for sometime now. We have recently built a Intel server with ESXi 4.0 running Windows Server Std. 2008 R2 SP1.

I started seeing this error shortly after starting backups with windows server backup to external 1TB HDD's. Error in System log:

Log Name:      System
Source:        Disk
Date:          3/10/2011 12:56:45 PM
Event ID:      11
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:     XXXXXXXX.ZZZZZZZZ.local
Description:
The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk1\DR5.
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
  <System>
    <Provider Name="Disk" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="49156">11</EventID>
    <Level>2</Level>
    <Task>0</Task>
    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2011-03-10T19:56:45.258923500Z" />
    <EventRecordID>6239</EventRecordID>
    <Channel>System</Channel>
    <Computer> XXXXXXXX.ZZZZZZZZ.local</Computer>
    <Security />
  </System>
  <EventData>
    <Data>\Device\Harddisk1\DR5</Data>
    <Binary>0E01800001000000000000000B0004C003010000000000000000000000082D00000000000000000096B1000000000000FFFFFFFF0600000058000000000000000000061208000010000000003C000000000000000000000040F8320980FAFFFF000000000000000010B0970C80FAFFFF0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000</Binary>
  </EventData>
</Event>

At first I though there was a problem with the virtual drive running windows. I later noticed w/o any USB drives plugged in that the errors stopped happening. I have tried combinations of adding the USB controller in ESXi many times, restarting removing USB controller, restarting adding USB controller etc...

The error only seems to post when the drive is ejected. Windows server backup formats the backup drive and hides it to stop overwriting of the backup jobs, and I thought that the way that windows partitions the drive might not talk well with ESXi, but even with normal drives attached by USB the error posts on eject.

I have searched everywhere for an answer to this System error with no success. I wish it related to hardware, but it doesn't matter what drive is plugged in via USB. On eject Sytem posts a Event ID 11 error almost without fail...

I look forward to your inputs...

Cheers!
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Question by:mgedlaman
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Expert Comment

by:speshalyst
ID: 35100015
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Expert Comment

by:predragpetrovic
ID: 35104941
Hi,

The support for USB passthrough is EXPERIMENTAL in ESX 4.0, upgrade to ESX 4.1 and the issue should be resolved.
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Author Comment

by:mgedlaman
ID: 35111144
Unfortunatly the issue is not HW related. The issues occurs with any USB drive plugged in, it is not specific to just one or two drives.

And to correct my previous information, we do have ESXi ver. 4.1 installed...
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Accepted Solution

by:
mgedlaman earned 0 total points
ID: 35141965
We are going to move to a hot-swap PCI E-sata card for the HDDs and dedicate that hardware to the OS. Hopefully this eliminates the issue...
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Author Closing Comment

by:mgedlaman
ID: 35399222
eSATA controller has been working now for weeks on end with no issues.

Used eSATA with esxi pass through device.

Note: When PCI passthrough device used, adding additional hardware in vSphere is disabled until server is shutdown :(
Also snapshot management is disabled until shutdown.
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