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ESXi v4.1 booting into maintenance mode / powering on VM's automatically

Posted on 2013-06-28
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Last Modified: 2013-08-05
I have a free version of ESXi v4.1 deployed and we noticed that if it drops due to power loss it comes back up in maintenance mode.  We've only had one power outage that caused this but with my other ESXi hosts I've never seen this before.  It's on a battery but the battery up time was shortly than the outage.  Is this normal behavior?  Also, how can I make it to where VMs power on automatically?
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Question by:gopher_49
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LVL 118
ID: 39284647
It's odd, it comes back in maintenance mode, we've not seen this.

Auto Start and Shutdown Virtual Machines

Just log into your ESX server using the vSphere GUI Client, click on the host, then click the Configuration tab. In the 'Software' box, click the Virtual Machine Startup/Shutdown link. In the upper right click Properties.

http://www.vmadmin.co.uk/vmware/35-esxserver/111-esxautostartstop

also see this question

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_26874904.html
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39284702
okay..  I found out how to change the shutdown/startup settings right after I posted this... But..  I'm still puzzled about it entering into maintenance mode automatically.  That's really odd.
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Expert Comment

by:RickEpnet
ID: 39284750
If you do not fix the underlying issue having the auto start set will not do you much good. It is not going to work if the host is in MM. See this it might help.

http://communities.vmware.com/thread/443913?start=0&tstart=0
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39285656
The onsite tech is going to see the ESXi version number... This was his first deployment and I suspect he downloaded an older Dell v4.1 image...
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LVL 118
ID: 39286271
If you server fails, ie no controlled shutdown because you have no UPS, it could be in any state when it gets powered on.

It's also lucky, that it does not corrupy anything permanently.

It could be RAID controller write cache?
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39290216
To my knowledge the RAID controller has write cache.  I'm suggesting an APC battery with powerchute so the VM's can shut down properly.  Is there a APC powerchute agent for ESXi?
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LVL 118
ID: 39290231
Not exactly an agent, it has to be installed on the vMA, and it does *NOT* work with FREE version of ESXi!
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39318274
On Monday we plan on updating ESXi...  I'll update then..
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39327434
We tried to update the ESXi host via vihostupdate.pl utility... We did this in a lab and it worked just fine.. But... We went on site and tried the same command and no luck.  We get the error:

Unable to tar to bootbank DB to alt boot bank: Unable to read or write to database /bootbank/pkgdb.tmp
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LVL 118

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 39327655
something is not correct with the ESXi installation.
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39327770
At this point it seems easier to download the newest ESXi build and reinstall to the SSD card...  The import VMs...
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LVL 118
ID: 39327968
just be careful the installer does not wipe the datastore.
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39328325
yea...  that seems to be easily done...  I warned the onsite tech.  Does the latest ESXi v4.1 Dell image have all of the current bulletins or do I need to install bulletins after the clean install?
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LVL 118
ID: 39328848
You will need to apply patches afterwards.
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