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ESXi v5.5 purple screen crash - Exception 14 in world 41720.

Posted on 2016-10-22
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Last Modified: 2016-11-24
I'm getting a Exception 14 in world 41720.  I have a screenshot of the purple screen but not sure if it's okay to post on here. I also did a dump and plan to open a ticket with VMWare on Monday.  Any ideas for this could be a lot of different things.  It's happened twice in 2 x weeks..  It started after adding a multipath iSCSI NAS connection.. But sure if that's related and don't see how it could be.
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Question by:gopher_49
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Purple Screen of Deaths are usually caused by hardware faults, out of date firmware, hardware which is not supported and on the HCL.

Check the VMware Hardware Compatability Lists HCL here

The VMware Hardware Compatibility List is the detailed lists showing actual vendor devices that are either physically tested or are similar to the devices tested by VMware or VMware partners. Items on the list are tested with VMware products and are known to operate correctly.Devices which are not on the list may function, but will not be supported by VMware.

http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl

Also are you using the OEM Build downloadable from your vendor ?

So check firmware, update if necessary, use the OEM version, check RAID is stable, and no failed disks.

Are you using the lastest version of ESXi ?

There are some ESXi bugs, caused by using VMXNET3 and E1000 in the VMs and certain OS.

see here - check your ESXi 5.5 build, and VMs, is this the problem, it's very common

ESXi 5.x with E1000e adapter fails with purple diagnostic screen (2059053)

what is your ESXi build ?
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by:gopher_49
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I've been running v5.5 on the Dell 2950 for a few years now.  These symptoms just started to come back after about a year.. I'm using Dell custom images.  I knew of a bug on early releases of v5.5 that resulted in E1000 drivers causing this.  Its been almost a year since that happened.  After upgrading to the newest v5.5 build at that time my symptoms went away.  They just came back a few weeks ago.  I think I converted all NICs to VNET3 except one VM.  Not sure to what else I need to do.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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So, if you are running latest build, fixed the ESXi 5.5 bug with VMXNET3/E1000 build....

the it's hardware.

Re-seat memory, fans, processors, run memory checks.

If under Dell support, not sure your 2950 will be as it's an old server, call in Dell Engineer.

Otherwise, upgrade to final ESXi 5.5, and test hardware.
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by:gopher_49
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Below are the actions I plan to take.  Does this make sense?

Re-seat all hardware noted above.
Run memory checks in the BIOS.
Update to the newest Dell ESXi v5.5 build
Change the last few NICs to VNET3

In regards to the Dell ESXi upgrade.  Doesn't it just upgrade and keep the settings?  Will I have to upgrade my vcenter appliance?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Good Plan, but I think we would start with the Upgrade FIRST.

As for updating vCenter Appliance, not normally, but depends what version and build of ESXi 5.5 you are on.
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by:gopher_49
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Do you think I should just do the upgrade and see if it fixes it?  Then proceed to the other steps?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Yes, I would proceed with UPGRADE, BUT.......you've not responded with that build of ESXi 5.5 you have, otherwise you may have to upgrade vCenter FIRST!
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by:gopher_49
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I'm running ESXi 5.5.0, 2068190 and vcenter appliance v5.5.0.20500 Build 2646489
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
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That's quite an old build - VMware ESXi 5.5 Update 2. Released Sept 2014.

There are been 14 updates since that build.

and to update to the latest build will require you to UPDATE vCenter FIRST! otherwise vCenter will not be able to manage the host.

With this in mind, I think it may be worth, leaving the update to last, as it's a quite a bit of work, but you should be on the latest and last available, at some time.
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by:gopher_49
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Okay.. I'll do the steps I originally had..  I'll reply to this ticket ASAP.  I might be able to handle some of this later today.
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by:gopher_49
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Can't I run a memory check in the BIOS of the 2950?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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I would recommend you use Memtest86+

http://www.memtest.org/

We have a Dell 2950, which randomly PSOD an ESXi server, and it's running latest ESXi, and hardware all reports fine, but there is an intermittent issue with the motherboard.

We are due to retire it!
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by:gopher_49
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I have a spare mainboard/chassis..  I might swap it out..  I'll run the mem diag asap.
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by:gopher_49
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Andrew,

I did 10 x passes and memory shows to be fine, however, it just crashed again.  It seems to only happen during backups.  I'm fairly certain of that.  I have a spare chassis.  I'll swap it out.
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by:gopher_49
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Andrew,

I ended up upgrading to Dell's ESXi v5.5 Build 3.  The PSOD has not come back.. It's been almost two weeks.. In the past I went about two weeks before it happened again..  So..  I'm still a little leery of it..  I'll give it a few more weeks before I consider it fixed.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Firmware, ESXi versions, Hardware, all applicable ...
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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do you require any additional help to close this question?
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by:gopher_49
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Andrew,

The PSOD has not come back since upgrading to the newest build of Dell's ESXi v5.5 .  I'll go ahead and close this out.
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by:gopher_49
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The update to Dell's newest version of v5.5 fixed it..
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