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 Can't create datastore 
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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:49 pm
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Post Can't create datastore
After a battle to get my 3ware 9500s controller working under ESXi 4.1, I've hit a new hurdle - creating a datastore. The local disks in the system are 6 1TB drives, configured as 3 two disk raid 1 arrays.

Obviously the driver supplied in my custom oem.tgz is at least partially functional, because ESXi installed fine. However, when I try to create a datastore, I can't proceed. If I select the first disk (where ESXi resides), I get "The selected disk already has a VMFS datastore, select another disk." Now that's all well and good, except that when I try to create a new VM, there are no datastores to pick on this disk.

If I select either of the other two disks, I get an error:
Call "HostDatastoreSystem.CreateVmfsDatastore" for object "ha-datastoresystem" on ESXi "192.168.x.y" failed.
Operation failed, diagnostics report: Unable to create Filesystem, please see VMkernel log for more details.

If I go to the logs, I see the following (summarized) messages:
Hostd [datetime 6EB81B90 verbose 'Vmomi'] Arg version
"2"
Throw vmodl.fault.RequestCancelled
dynamicType = <unset>,
faultCause = (vmodl.MethodFault) null,
msg = ""
Hostd [datetime 6EB81B90 error 'App'] failed to read Header on stream TCP(local = 127.0.0.1:51632, peer = 127.0.0.1:0) N7Vmacore15SystemExceptionE (connection reset by peer)

The message on the vClient gui suggests that it's a disk issue, but the log suggests a networking problem, so I'm not sure how to proceed. I've read a little about the hidden console, and that may be the way to go, using fdisk to re-format those drives. The reason I'm suspicious about the drives is because I initially ran an old copy of wipeDrive on them, but cancelled out after figuring out how long that op would have taken. Instead, I went into the raid controller bios and removed/reinitialised the array, figuring it wouldn't matter since ESXi was going to reformat them anyway. As far as the networking issue I'm using the onboard NICs on a Supermicro X7DAL, which are reported as Intel 80003ES2LAN Gb Ethernet controllers which IIRC are compatible hardware.

Any help greatly appreciated!


Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:15 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Can't create datastore
So to summarize you have 3 x 1 TB arrays and ESXi is installed to one of them.

Where did you get the driver / oem file from?
If you've installed to one of the arrays, the installer should have created a datastore with the remaining space (the install uses about 5 GB of space) so you'd be left with datastore in the 900 GB range. Normally you would be able to see that the host has a datastore when you access it with the vSphere client.

Can you access tech support mode and run fdisk -l?

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Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:50 am
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Post Re: Can't create datastore
Yes, 3 @ 1TB, with ESXi 4.1 installed on one.

The driver came from
http://kb.lsi.com/KnowledgebaseArticle15753.aspx#vmware located inside:
Noncertified_ESX_and_ESXi_4.0_GA_4.0_u1_4.1_GA_4.1_u1_driver_and_twcli_for_9500s_9550sxu.zip (inside the zip, inside the iso, inside the rpm, under /./usr/lib/vmware/vkmod/)

I made the oem.tgz myself since I couldn't get any of the ones I found on this forum to work (they were missing the 1002 device id inside simple.map). Put it altogether with Varazir's script (mkesxiaio_4.3.1.sh)

The "select another disk" message certainly seems to indicate that there is a datastore on that first disk, but I can't create a vm on it, so it seems to be messed up too. I'll try the tech support console and report back.


Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:09 pm
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Post Re: Can't create datastore
fdisk should identify 3 disk. One should show the ESXi install partition and an fb type partition for the remainder.

You can use fdisk to create a fb partition on the other two and then vmkfstools to format them.

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Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:25 pm
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Post Re: Can't create datastore
fdisk -l shows a whole whack of info. Stupid question: if I redirect it to a file, how can I get at that file to paste it's contents here? The jist of it is:

Disk /dev/disks/t10.AMCC_xxxBD 999.99GB sector/track/cyl info
/dev/disks/t10.AMCC_xxxBDp1
fb VMFS

Disk /dev/disks/t10.AMCC_xxx42 999.99GB sector/track/cyl info
/dev/disks/t10.AMCC_xxx42p1
fb VMFS

Disk /dev/disks/t10.AMCC_xxx4B 999.99GB sector/track/cyl info
/dev/disks/t10.AMCC_xxx4Bp1
5 Extended
/dev/disks/t10.AMCC_xxx4Bp2
6 FAT16
/dev/disks/t10.AMCC_xxx4Bp3
fb VMFS
/dev/disks/t10.AMCC_xxx4Bp4
4 FAT16 <32M
/dev/disks/t10.AMCC_xxx4Bp5
6 FAT16
/dev/disks/t10.AMCC_xxx4Bp6
6 FAT16
/dev/disks/t10.AMCC_xxx4Bp7
fc VMKcore
/dev/disks/t10.AMCC_xxx4Bp8
6 FAT16

Which seems to say that it sees 3 disks alright, the 2 empty ones look fine, but the one with 8 partitions seems odd (to me, didn't expect to see FAT16 ever again). Of course I have no idea if this is correct or not...


Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:04 pm
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Post Re: Can't create datastore
You can pipe it to a file in /tmp, access via a client like WinSCP and then copy it locally.

Disk 3 looks good. Those are the partitions for ESXi.

Have you tried to use vmkfstools on either of the first two disks?

Had these been used in another host before? If you have trouble with vmfsktools, I would suggest booting with a Gparted live and deleting the existing partitions on either of the first two disks.

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Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:36 pm
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Post Re: Can't create datastore
OK, thanks will try vmfsktools.

Even though disk 3 looks fine, why can't I create a VM on it (since it appears to have a datastore on it). What I'm tempted to do is just boot a Win7 DVD, format all 3 drives and reinstall ESXi again. At least then I know I'm starting with a reasonable set of disks. Or should I wait the 3 days it would take to 'zero out' all of the disks using WipeDrive (there must be something faster).


Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:45 pm
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Post Re: Can't create datastore
I'd try gparted to wipe all partition info on the disks. I don't think WipeDrive will help.

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Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:32 am
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Post Re: Can't create datastore
This is turning downright nasty... I fired up GParted and nuked all of the partitions on all drives. To convince myself that things were still working I formated one drive. After re-installing ESXi from the same CD which originally worked, the system refuses to boot. I've nuked the partitions and re-installed on all 3 drives, but the result is always the same: after the bios routines, the system just hangs with an empty screen. I installed Ubuntu server for the heck of it, and when it didn't boot, the raid controller came up with a degraded array on the install disk (I was able to boot to Ubuntu with the disks in degraded status). The controller claims that the disk is unrecoverable. On reboot, the drive was visible again, and I was able to rebuild the array. After much pissing around (GParted and other installs) it happened again, with a different drive. While it is possible that 2 disks go on the blink in rapid succession (they were bought in 2 batches, so the 2 might come from the same batch), it seems unlikely. How can I test this controller card to see if it is the problem? Thanks


Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:00 am
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