vmware ESXi 5.5 server boot issue

Hi,

I have three vmware ESXi physical servers, two are on version 5.1 and one is on version 5.5.

i had to power off all of the esxi hosts the other night to move some power points and the two v5.1 rebooted fine and i restarted all the VM servers (5 w2008 on each).

however the esxi v5.5 errored on this boot message (in red)

error loading /xorg.v00
fatal error 11 volume corrupt

All three servers are HP DL360 G5 with dual 3Ghz CPUs, 32GB RAM and multiple RAID configurations.

my questions are:

1. does anyone know what this error relates to?
2. can i re-install the ESXi 5.5 O/S "over the top" WITHOUT losing the two virtual servers on that host?
3. I have see some reference to this error being related to USB / hardware issues?
I don't recall if I installed the ESXi O/S via a DVD or USB now, but it would have been rebooted a few times since its install, normally remotely.

any help would be appreciated.
exact1Asked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's a corrupted installation, re-install ESXi.

It will detect and prompt if it finds an existing VMFS partition (where the VMs are located).

select Preserve VMFS, and re-install.
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Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
According to this reference it could be related to hardware and indeed could be USB as well ...

If your VM's are located on a local datastore you can re-install VMware and preserve the local datastore
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exact1Author Commented:
Hi, thanks. Yes local datastores on each host, I have today looked on HP's site as well and they suggest using their images for correct driver comparability, they also only mention the HP DL360G"8" as compatible with esxi v5.5 and mine is a G5, but I think I will try reinstalling the original esxi v5.5 media over the top, just to get the two servers on it backed up and then maybe install the esxi from HPs media from scratch, its just i need the data from one of the servers before i try anything else.

So I assume from your post its possible to install the esxi over the top and preseve the datstore, if so thats ideal.
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Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
Yes, you can preserve the datastore, no problem (reference)
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exact1Author Commented:
That's great thanks, I will try this on Monday when I am back in the office.
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exact1Author Commented:
Hi guys,

this turned out to be a faulty hard drive, let me explain the drive configuration first before I say what's the new issue.

ESXi Host: "vmware3"
Drive 1: SAS 2.5" 36GB - ESXi v5.5 (Faulty)
Drives x 5 : SAS 2.5" 146GB in RAID5 (called Datastore3)

1. replaced 36GB drive and run setup from DVD of version ESXi 5.5
2. installed ESXi with same name and IP (no prompt for datastore)
3. vSphere client: logged in and can see the server had created itself as a datastore but the "Datastore3" can be seen and browsed, but no virtual PCs are listed so I can power on.
4. create a new virtual server just to see I can write to datastore 3 - ok
5. decide to browse and move (migrate) the original virtual server to one of the other VMs, this works but still can not see the server listed to power on? the files are there but no server listed...

am I missing a step here? I did re-apply the license to the server after install and vcenter sees it all fine.

just need to view the VM to power on.?

Thanks
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You will need to Add Servers Back to the Inventory.

Browse, datastore, Right Click the VMX file, and then Select Add to Inventory.

see Step 6 in this Article I wrote:-

HOW TO: Clone or Copy a virtual machine in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESX/ESXi 4.x or ESXi 5.0

No RAID 1 setup for your ESXi 5.5 installation ?

(you would be better advised to install to USB or SD  card)
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Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
Maybe I misunderstand, but do you mean you want to add the VMs in the inventory of the host? If yes, this guide might help
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exact1Author Commented:
ok, that was it "Add to inventory", I had looked at that but obviously not right clicked the correct file!

it all makes sense now!!!!

I have now powered on the server and retrieved the database I wanted, thank you!
I am now in the process of migrating it back to the correct ESXI datastore.

I do have some spare 2GB USB adapters, are they more reliable than a hard drive? I suppose no moving parts helps! is 2GB big enough? its the only esxi I put on its own drive.
The other two esxi servers both have 6 x 300GB new SAS 2.5" drives in one RAID5 volume and the ESXi / datastore is on the same array.

The three esxi are for development staff, and demo applications to clients, we don't run any "live servers" as yet in VMware. The data is sync'd nightly to a NAS elsewhere on the network. I also use Ad-hoc image backup in Veeam Backup v7 Free.

as I am quite new to VMware administration any advice is appreciated!! :-)
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, Good Quality USB flash drives are more reliable than a single rotational hard disk!

Here is the VMware KB on installing 5.x on USB/SD:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2004784

2GB is just within the limits of an ESXi installation.
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exact1Author Commented:
ok, thanks for your help guys.
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