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VMware ESX Server 1.5 Troubleshooting
  [an error occurred while processing this directive]Knowledge Base Troubleshooting

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Disk Issues

Disk Issues

The following sections will help you diagnose and correct problems you may encounter when using disks.

After I allocate all my devices to the virtual machines, my console operating system complains about a panic and fails to boot.

After I allocate all my devices to the virtual machines, my console operating system complains about a panic and fails to boot.

Most likely, you allocated all your SCSI/RAID disks to the virtual machines, leaving the console operating system with no SCSI/RAID disks. If the operating system was installed on a SCSI/RAID disk, the console operating system will be unable to boot from the SCSI/RAID disk, since it was not allocated any SCSI/RAID adapters or disks. You will have to get into the system somehow to assign the SCSI/RAID adapters in such a way that the console operating system will have access to the disk on which it was installed. Otherwise, you may have to reinstall and try again.

The other possibility if you are booting from a SCSI or RAID disk is that your initrd image file might be corrupted. The initrd file should be in your /boot directory and you should have a line in your /etc/lilo.conf that looks like the following:

initrd=/boot/initrd-2.2.14-vmnix1.img

This line must be associated with the boot image that you are trying to use to boot. The initrd file contains a series of device drivers that needed to be loaded so that you can boot. If you do not have this file in /boot and an entry in
/etc/lilo.conf, your system may not be able to find the device drivers that it needs to boot from your SCSI/RAID disk.

To create your own initrd file, you can use the mkinitrd command. For example, if you want to create a new initrd file for the vmnix kernel distributed with ESX Server, type

/sbin/mkinitrd -f /boot/initrd-2.2.14-vmnix1.img 2.2.14-vmnix1

Then modify your /etc/lilo.conf file so it includes the required line and rerun lilo to make the changes occur the next time you boot.

Why do I get a message saying that I must get rid of shared SCSI/RAID mode and reboot?

Why do I get a message saying that I must get rid of shared SCSI/RAID mode and reboot?

This error message appears if you have a SCSI/RAID device shared between the console operating system and the virtual machines. Once you have shared a SCSI/RAID device, you cannot stop VMware ESX Server unless you reboot. However, the vmware-config-www.pl script requires that VMware ESX Server be stopped before it can continue.

This means the only way to change the settings in the vmware-config-www.pl script is to make sure no SCSI/RAID devices are shared. The only way to do that is to go back into pcidivy-www.pl, make sure no shared SCSI/RAID devices exist, then reboot.

When I am copying a large file between two SCSI disks, the console operating system hangs.

When I am copying a large file between two SCSI disks, the console operating system hangs.

We have observed a problem with the Adaptec AIC-7899 Ultra 160/m SCSI host adapter that is built into some Dell server systems, such as the Dell Dimension 420. This is a dual-function card that has disks on function 0 and other devices such as the tape on function 1. There is an external SCSI connector that is also controlled by this card. If there are devices attached to the external SCSI connector, the card may hang when transferring files between internal SCSI devices and external SCSI devices. We recommend that you not attach devices to the external SCSI connector.

I get an error message when I try to commit changes to an undoable disk.

I get an error message when I try to commit changes to an undoable disk.

If you see an error message during the commit process, you can rerun the commit in either of two ways.

  • Start the virtual machine again, and when you see the dialog offering options for the undoable disk, click Commit.
  • Use the command-line vmkfstools --commitfile option, as described in the section of the manual titled File System Management on SCSI Disks and RAID.
I logged in as root and added a new virtual hard drive to my virtual machine. Now I cannot start the virtual machine.

I logged in as root and added a new virtual hard drive to my virtual machine. Now I cannot start the virtual machine.

The user who created the virtual machine must make all changes to that virtual machine's configuration.

I cannot create CDs in my CD-R drive.

I cannot create CDs in my CD-R drive.

We have occasionally seen this problem when trying to burn CDs at higher speeds. We are investigating the cause. The workaround is to reduce the drive speed used when you are creating the CD.

I cannot eject the CD from my SCSI CD-R drive.

I cannot eject the CD from my SCSI CD-R drive.

We have occasionally seen instances in which a SCSI CD-R drive, while burning CDs, may get into a state where the CD cannot be ejected - either through software controls or by using the button on the drive. To regain control of the drive, shut down the virtual machine and restart it.

ESX Server fails to detect some of the disks on my storage area network.

ESX Server fails to detect some of the disks on my storage area network.

In order to use all storage devices on your SAN, you may need to change some VMkernel configuration options as described below. To make these changes, log in to the VMware Management Interface as root, then go to Configure System > VMkernel Configuration. To change an option, click the current value, then enter the new value in the dialog box and click Update.

By default, the VMkernel scans for only LUN 0 to LUN 7 for every target. If you are using LUN numbers larger than 7 you must change the setting for DiskMaxLUN field from the default of 8 to the value that you need. For example, if you now have LUN numbers 0 to 15 active, set this option to 16.

By default, the VMkernel is not configured to support sparse LUNs - that is, a case where some LUNs in the range 0 to N are not present, but LUN N is present. If you need to use such a configuration, set the DiskSupportSparseLUN field to 1. (The default is 0.)

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