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ESXi 5.1 Host not booting.

Posted on 2014-11-12
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Last Modified: 2014-12-08
Last night, our ESXi host suddenly crashed. Vsphere stopped responding and the host went down. When I restarted the physical server, it came back up saying that "The system found a problem with your machine and can't continue. Unable to load multiboot modules: Bad Parameter" I need to get this system back up as soon as possible, so I'm thinking of reinstalling the host, or upgrading to ESXi 5.5. Will this help? Is anyone familiar with this issue?
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Question by:Jake Davis
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 40437227
A few options to try...

can you boot it in Recovery Mode, e.g. select Shift R, in the first 4 seconds of BOOT.

otherwise, you will need to re-install the OS, on re-installing, it should detect the existing VMFS datastore, which contains the VMs, select YES to PRESERVE, and continue the installation.

Check your server is on the HCL before 5.5. Also, vCenter Server also needs to be at 5.5, to support 5.5 hosts!

If you are using HP, IBM, DELL servers etc make sure you download OEM vendor version from their website!
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Author Comment

by:Jake Davis
ID: 40437648
Okay, got it. It seems to have preserved some but not all of my VM's. Also, one of the VM's I'm recovering seems to have an issue powering on...any ideas?
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LVL 118
ID: 40437678
I'm recovering seems to have an issue powering on...any ideas?

lots of ideas, error messages, screenshots may help me!
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Author Comment

by:Jake Davis
ID: 40437718
Okay, well, our Domain Controller is a virtual machine. Now that I've reloaded the ESXi host, because it stopped booting, I have been able to import the domain controller into the VM inventory, but it will not power on.
VsphereError.PNG
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LVL 118
ID: 40437767
at first glance, that could be a corrupt VMX or Virtual Disk.

can you upload a screenshot of the folder with the VM.

Also I would try creating a new VM, and add the virtual disk to it, and try that, power on.
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Author Comment

by:Jake Davis
ID: 40437995
I'll certainly try that. I hope the disks aren't corrupt, but their size kind of disturbs me. Let me know if this looks off to you.
VMdirectory.PNG
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LVL 118
ID: 40438193
Is this a thin disk, because it does not look correct ?
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Author Comment

by:Jake Davis
ID: 40441052
I think it might be a thin disk, but I am not sure. Right now I am in the process of backing up the server so that I can experiment with it. When I was trying to download the .vmdk file from the datastore to my PC, it was taking hours, then it would totally fail. I'm pretty sure I have a RAID issue, which might have caused the initial failure of the ESXi.
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LVL 118
ID: 40441119
and if there is RAID, datastore issues, this would be the result of a crash, and virtual disk issues and corruption.
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Author Comment

by:Jake Davis
ID: 40441127
at this point in the game I'm wondering what the likelihood is of data recovery.
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Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 40441476
Do you have any VM backups?
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LVL 118
ID: 40441487
Data Recovery is often costly, if you need to resort to it, especially if you think you have some hardware RAID issue.
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Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 40441543
Have you run a hardware check on your server to see if their are hardware issues?
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Author Comment

by:Jake Davis
ID: 40450656
Well, right now I am trying to get the .vmdk files migrated to another source so that I can rebuild everything from scratch. Does anyone know a good tool to correct an input/output error when trying to move or access a vmdk file? Or a good method of repairing disk issues on VMFS volumes?
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LVL 118
ID: 40450793
if the bits on the disk are corrupted, e.g. ,marked bad, there will be a hole in the VMDK, and it will be corrupted.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Jake Davis
ID: 40487203
This is an accurate solution and would have worked fine if not for data corruption.
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