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ESXI Driver installation issue (can not live install)

Hello

I am trying to install a community NIC driver (for an Intel 82579LM) under ESXi 5.1 update 2 and I keep getting this error message:

The transaction is not supported: VIB daoyama_bootbank_net-e1000e_2.1.4 cannot be live installed. VIB VMware_bootbank_net-e1000e_1.1.2-3vmw.510.2.23.1483097 cannot be removed live.

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   I am in maintenance mode
   I have restarted the host before attempting the install
   I have stopped all service except for ssh and esxcli
   I have tried install --maintenance-mode and install --no-live-install
  I have tried to repackage the driver (using ESXi5 Community Packaging Tools and have explicitly tried either "Live Install Allowed" On or Off

None of this is working...

Any help / pointer most welcome !
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Alexandre Takacs
Asked:
Alexandre Takacs
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2 Solutions
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
where are you obtaining this non standard, non certified, and homebrew driver from?
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Alexandre TakacsCTOAuthor Commented:
from this guy http://shell.peach.ne.jp/aoyama/archives/2907 (he recompiles Intel drivers so to get support for HCL mentioned mainboards which are actually not fully supported by vmware - don't get me started...).

I did the packaging myself.

But I don't think the issue is with the driver - it seems rather that for some reason the host insists in doing a live update of the currently running driver (which will not succeed) instead of putting the new one in the alternate boot bank and loading it after I restart.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
recompiling drivers does not qualify them for the HCL! We've never seen this error message, but we do not often work with uncertified hardwqare, and ensure it's on the HCL, and been certified by vendor and manufacturer for VMware ESXi.
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Alexandre TakacsCTOAuthor Commented:
Well in that specific case the motherboard is on the HCL but only one of the two Intel cards is supported "out of the box"(*)... What I am trying to achieve is to get the second NIC working. It is possible via community supported drivers - basically using Intel provided source , plenty of people have done it - just that I can't install the darn thing. I might need to inject it at install but obviously would rather not...

quoting form the HCL this board is supported by "ESXi 5.1 U2, ESXi 5.1 U1, ESXi 5.1, ESXi 5.0 U3, ESXi 5.0 U2, ESXi 5.0 U1, ESXi 5.0, ESX 4.1 U3, ESX 4.1 U2, ESX 4.1 U1, ESXi 4.1 Installable U3, ESXi 4.1 Installable U2, ESXi 4.1 Installable U1"
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you place the driver in the installation using the OEM Customizer, and then install ESXi, does this work?
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Alexandre TakacsCTOAuthor Commented:
about to get an answer :)
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
So, did that work?
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gheistCommented:
e1000e 5.1U2 PSOD fix is linked from here
especially you will be out of luck downgrading some driver that you got deom install CD
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Alexandre TakacsCTOAuthor Commented:
I have managed to create usb boot keys integrating those drivers but they will need to get to the datacenter, which will not happen before Tuesday I'm afraid. So if you have any further suggestion you are most welcome.

FWIW I have tried to completely disable networking (form the physical console via KVM - esxcli network nic down -n vmnicX). The driver would still not install, same error message.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Some VIBs can only be installed as part of the installer, not dropped in seperately, this is why HP, DELL and IBM have seperate OEM versions for the inclusion of these drivers.

It will be interesting to observe, if this Customized OEM Installer works, because this is how drivers are supposed to be included.
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gheistCommented:
It must be signed by vmware to replace vmkernel compnent ...
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Alexandre TakacsCTOAuthor Commented:
Well in the meantime I tried to apply the e1000e 5.1U2 PSOD fix mentioned above (as it might be somewhat relevant to my issue). Same problem !

Clearly I have a more fundamental issue with my setup...

So I started to dig in the esxupdate.log and sure enough I found this

HostImage: INFO: Installer <class 'vmware.esximage.Installer.BootBankInstaller.BootBankInstaller'> was not initiated - reason: Error writing tar database: [Errno 28] No space left on device: '/altbootbank/imgdb.tgz.new'.

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Now this is somewhat surprising as I am running out of a freshly formatted 16Gb USB key but heck
/vmfs/volumes/534ffcce-8112eb29-702c-001e678b9728/patchs # df -h
Filesystem   Size   Used Available Use% Mounted on
VMFS-5     931.2G 985.0M    930.3G   0% /vmfs/volumes/Disk02
VMFS-5     931.2G   1.4G    929.9G   0% /vmfs/volumes/Disk01
vfat       249.7M 131.0M    118.8M  52% /vmfs/volumes/238442e1-7cf71dc7-34f4-45bef41e7f78
vfat       249.7M 249.7M      0.0B 100% /vmfs/volumes/dbbddaec-620fa53d-2b1b-e1fc53819833
vfat       285.8M 208.2M     77.6M  73% /vmfs/volumes/534e600d-f0401903-ab79-000c292592a2

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I guess the issue is here - not quite sure how to solve it, though...

EDITED: I tried to apply both the update package and NIC driver install on another host (which is has the same hardware and is running out of a _cloned_ copy of the same usb key) and everything went just fine - the unsupported NIC is working and the patch applied smoothly. So it turns out it is just the /vmfs/volumes/dbbddaec-620fa53d-2b1b-e1fc53819833 volume that somehow filed up and is causing my issue...
What is my best course of action from here ?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Remove log files, restart the host, check you have not copied any ISOS or flopping images to VMFS datastore on the flash drive.

log files are in /var/log

and all the rotations as well, we often have issues with flash drives running out of space.
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Alexandre TakacsCTOAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all how commented - issue tuned out not to be the driver or the install procedure but "simply" a disk full condition (for some a somewhat mysterious reason). Anyway after cleaning up the usb key everything is well !
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