VMware 4.1 Essentials - warning: bank 1 partition type invalid. ignoring

One of the vmware hosts in my DR cluster failed yesterday - shows the following on screen:

cannot get bank 1 parameters
warning: bank 1 partition type invalid. ignoring
cannot get bank 2 parameters
warning: bank 2 partition type invalid. ignoring
Panic: No useable banks found

The only system change in the last 3 months othe rthan usual patch updates is that one HDD failed at the start of last week - hot spare took up the slack and the failed drive was replaced successfully.  Can anyone shed any light on why the host should suddenly fail and give the above message?

Host affected is a Dell 2950 II running VMware Essentials 4.1, 6 x 146GB SAS (raid 5), 16GB ram, Xeon 1.6Ghz
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cmdownAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Replace USB, and Re-install.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We have seen this when the installion has become corrupted, and partitions are not correct.

Is this ESXi?

Is it installed locally to a disk or USB flash drive or SD card?
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cmdownAuthor Commented:
Hi Hanccocka

The DR cluster is running VMware Vsphere 4 Essentials - boots initially from a USB flash drive.  

All 3 DR cluster hosts are currently powered off & I've pulled the flash drive from the host that has failed but can access it ok on another pc

Flash contains 4 files as follows:
ldlinux.sys
mboot.c32
safeboot.c32
syslinux.cfg
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, we've seen this corrupt, USB installation or USB reader, slot.

Re-install, to a new USB flash drive. e.g. SanDisk, HP, Kingston.

Also check the BOOT Order, Emulation Type has not changed in the Server BIOS.
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compdigit44Commented:
Have you check the USB emulation mode in the bios:
http://www.petenetlive.com/KB/Article/0000501.htm
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cmdownAuthor Commented:
Hi comp - yes, one of the first things checked - no dice :o(
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compdigit44Commented:
To add-on to hanccocka post, have you tried to take the usb stick and place it in a test workstation to see if you are able to boot from it?

Also you could try to run a diagnostic or repair on your USB stick. I have not personally tried any of these though..

http://www.rmprepusb.com/tutorials/repair-your-usb-flash-drive
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cmdownAuthor Commented:
All

Further to the above I have also had feedback from vmware ts which is the same as the last post by hanccoocka.  Although not a well published error message the esxi host boot partition is corrupt and the esxi requires re-installing.
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