ESXi/vSphere 5.0 serial port passthrough

We have a ESXi 5.0.0 (469512) installation on a Cisco R200-1120402W and used the Cisco customized ISO installation media.  Primary issue is that serial port passthrough is not working.  The only thing that I notice is different about this vmWare install than others we have is that the health status sensors in Configuration are all "Unknown".  

Everything else about the server works fine.  Any thoughts or confirmation about the sensors being related to the issue or better yet, what we can do to resolve or steps we can take to get more detail on the root cause?
gatorITAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you sensors are not reporting correctly to ESXi 5.0, there is something not correct with the CIM providers, that are part of the OEM media.

Is your server hardware on the HCL?

This is a different issues to serial port passthrough not working well, which is a common issue, which we've seen for many years - a workaround is to use a Serial Port to USB adaptor, and connect the USB device to the VM...

see my EE Tutorial Article, Step by Step with screenshots

HOW TO: Add and Connect a USB Device to a Virtual Machine, hosted on VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESX 4.1 ESXi 4.1, ESXi 5.0

As for getting serial port to work in VM.....

have you enabled the Serial Port in the BIOS of the VM?

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gatorITAuthor Commented:
Yes, server is on the HCL as of 4.1.  

Have not attempting an explicit "Enable" setting in the BIOS of the VM.  Just set to the default of "Auto", which has always worked from previous experience.

Will give that a try.

Since the server is on the HCL, it shouldn't be necessary to use the OEM media - would it be worthwhile to try the standard media?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
To get the hardware sensors, working, you need to use the Vendors OEM version of VMware ESXi, not the vanilla VMware version, which does not include the CIM providers, that interface with the hardware.

Enable a Serial Port in the BIOS of the VM, e.g. COM1,
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gatorITAuthor Commented:
Thanks, seems like the easiest thing to do first is to try a USB modem.  Will give that a try and update with the outcome.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
USB modems work fine.
gatorITAuthor Commented:
USB passthrough worked fine, always thought serial passthrough was more stable/reliable!
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