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ESXi 5 Host Update Gone Awry On One Machine But Not The Other

Posted on 2012-03-30
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Last Modified: 2012-04-07
The first host I updated ESXi2, went well and was updated from ver 5.0.0 469512 to 5.0.0 623860. However, the second host that I updated, ESXi1 looked like it updated like the first, but when it rebooted it took a long time to reboot and then came up with the former version. So, ESXi1 remains on ver 5.0.0 469512.

I attempted to run the update again, but each time I try I receive an error, “checking file system on altbootbank please see log for detail.”

The error has something to do with the partition tables and the old FDisk utility can’t be used any longer with ESXi5, but another utility, "PartedUtil" must be used.

Has anyone run into this and been able to figure it out? The PartedUtil seems really raw. My other choice is to reinstall the ESXi host, but I had HA working on both hosts and so they should have been practically identical. The hosts have the same hardware and are sharing the same storage.
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Question by:Created
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 50 total points
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how are you updating ESXi 5.0?

copy update to host, and updating?
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by:Created
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1. Enabled SSH for remote support on the ESXi Host
2. Put host in Maintenance Mode
3. Transfered the update file over to the host using SFTP client to the datastore
4. I also have IPMI enabled on the host so that I can reboot the host

Then ran the following:

esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/[DATASTORE]/[PATCH_FILE].zip

It worked on the first host but not the second.
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by:vmwarun - Arun
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ESXi 5 uses GPT for partitioning scheme and not the old styled MS-DOS partitioning.

Having said that, how are you running ESXi? From a USB key or is it a boot from SAN or is it installed locally on a RAID array?

Are the hosts' hardware identical?
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Author Comment

by:Created
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Yes, the hosts have identical hardware and the storage is an iSCSI SAN which both hosts are on and HA has been setup.
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by:vmwarun - Arun
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Having said that, how are you running ESXi? From a USB key or is it a boot from SAN or is it installed locally on a RAID array?
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Created earned 0 total points
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I ended up using IPMI from a machine on the same network and changing the BIOS to boot from the the update image (VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.0.0.update01-623860.x86_64). I was actually planning on blowing away the previous install and reinstalling; however, during the install, it asked me if I wanted to reinstall or upgrade, I chose upgrade. This time it went through. Finally!

IPMI is really cool in that it allows you to share a file from the machine that you are working from as if that file were on the update machine locally. You simply drill down to the the file from your machine and share it and the update machine thinks it is one of its local drives.

Don't ask me why the update wouldn't work first time around via ssh remotely like it did for the first machine, (again, two identical machines) but I'm glad it is updated and working. Additionally, I like the IPMI method anyway, so I'm going to use this method in the future when possible; otherwise, I will run the update directly from the machine.

Additionally, I may someday install VUM when there is better support for the vCenter Appliance. I dont' really want to install vCenter on a Windows machine along with SQL server.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Created
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I figured out the answer on my own.
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