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 Persistent storage problems: ESXi 3.5 U4/U5 on HP ML350 G3 
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Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:33 am
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Post Persistent storage problems: ESXi 3.5 U4/U5 on HP ML350 G3
I am trying to install ESXi 3.5 U5 (at the moment ....but have tried my U4 with same result) on a HP Proliant ML350 G3 server with a SmartArray 5300 RAID controller and a 5 disk RAID 5 (w/ hotspare) of 36GB U3 SCSI drives.

ESXi 3.5 installs and subsequently boots up fine, however when I go to access the Infrastructure Client, I get:
Quote:
The VMware ESX Server does not have persistent storage.


I've come across several documents detailing problems when updating ICH7/8/9-based computers with SATA drives and such, but I cannot find anything detailing why a setup such as mine would have issues.

The command lspci -v shows my SmartArray 5300 by name and during install, the installer even shows the total size (~143GB) correctly.

At one time, I had ESXi 3.5 U3 (or 2) running properly on this server (didn't have to do anything special). It was decommissioned after a hardware fault that was recently fixed. Since I can't find the original version (U2/3), I downloaded U5, and would prefer to run that if possible.

I've also tried a technique involving changing the LVM.EnableResignature from 0 to 1 and then rescanning the storage adapters with no positive result.

Attempts to create a datastore gives a failure (expected since it shows no available space out of the 135GB SCSI target.

What might I try to resolve this?

Thank you for any help.
-Pat Ring


Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:09 am
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Post Re: Persistent storage problems: ESXi 3.5 U4/U5 on HP ML350
If you run lspci -p what driver is listed for the controller?

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Dave Mishchenko
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Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:19 am
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Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:33 am
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Post Re: Persistent storage problems: ESXi 3.5 U4/U5 on HP ML350
The output of lspci -p is:
02:01.00 0e11:b060 0e11:4070 5/ 5/0x91 A V cciss vmhba3

Thank you for any help.
-Pat Ring


Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:33 am
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Post Re: Persistent storage problems: ESXi 3.5 U4/U5 on HP ML350
If you run fdisk -l do you see a datastore patition (type of fb)?

Have you tried to create a datastore with fdisk / vmkfstools?

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Dave Mishchenko
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Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:57 am
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Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:33 am
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Post Re: Persistent storage problems: ESXi 3.5 U4/U5 on HP ML350
-------------
~ # fdisk -l

Disk /dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:0: 145.6 GB, 145675714560 bytes
64 heads, 32 sectors/track, 138927 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 = 1048576 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:1 5 750 763904 5 Extended
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:2 751 4845 4193280 6 FAT16
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:3 4846 138928 137300160 fb VMFS
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:4 * 1 4 4080 4 FAT16 <32M
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:5 5 52 49136 6 FAT16
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:6 53 100 49136 6 FAT16
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:7 101 210 112624 fc VMKcore
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:8 211 750 552944 6 FAT16

Partition table entries are not in disk order
----------
It looks like there is a ID "fb" for a VMFS large enough to be the datastore, but for whatever reason, it isn't making it available for use. But, that is just what I'm taking from this. I'm pretty stumped here.

On a previous attempt (a month or so back with 3.5 U4), I tried to create a datastore using a method involving vmkfstools that I've used for making VMFS partitions on SAN's. It didn't work at that time. (probably because there is already a partition there with no space left)

Thank you for any help.
-Pat Ring


Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:03 am
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Post Re: Persistent storage problems: ESXi 3.5 U4/U5 on HP ML350
I don't have ESXi access right now nut basically you can do this

1) run fdisk /dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0
2) delete the fb partition - then press w to write chages and exit - fdisk should show some empty space
3) start fdisk again - press n to create a new partition - set the type to fb
4) press w to write the change
5) run vmkfstools to create a datastore - see this thread for an example viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2216&p=7111&e=7111

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Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:36 am
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Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:33 am
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Post Re: Persistent storage problems: ESXi 3.5 U4/U5 on HP ML350
Since the server is not yet in production, I have nothing to lose! :)
I will start there and see where it takes me.

Thank you.
-Pat Ring


Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:28 pm
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Post Re: Persistent storage problems: ESXi 3.5 U4/U5 on HP ML350
OK. This is very wrong.

I run fdisk on the /dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:3, and then select d (delete), then to be sure I select p (print table), and I get the right listing:
--------
Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:0: 145.6 GB, 145675714560 bytes
64 heads, 32 sectors/track, 138927 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 = 1048576 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:1 5 750 763904 5 Extended
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:2 751 4845 4193280 6 FAT16
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:4 * 1 4 4080 4 FAT16 <32M
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:5 5 52 49136 6 FAT16
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:6 53 100 49136 6 FAT16
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:7 101 210 112624 fc VMKcore
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:8 211 750 552944 6 FAT16

Partition table entries are not in disk order
-----------
Afterward, I select w (write table and exit).
No errors shown.

However, when I check it using fdisk -l, the partition returns:
----------
~ # fdisk -l

Disk /dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:0: 145.6 GB, 145675714560 bytes
64 heads, 32 sectors/track, 138927 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 = 1048576 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:1 5 750 763904 5 Extended
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:2 751 4845 4193280 6 FAT16
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:3 4846 138928 137300160 fb VMFS
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:4 * 1 4 4080 4 FAT16 <32M
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:5 5 52 49136 6 FAT16
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:6 53 100 49136 6 FAT16
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:7 101 210 112624 fc VMKcore
/dev/disks/vmhba3:0:0:8 211 750 552944 6 FAT16

Partition table entries are not in disk order
---------
I even tried a reboot following the fdisk procedure.

Is there something I may not be doing at that point? Or, something deeper with the hypervisor?

Thanks for any help.
-Pat Ring.


Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:57 pm
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Post Re: Persistent storage problems: ESXi 3.5 U4/U5 on HP ML350
Would you want to give update 2 a try? I still have a copy of it.

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Dave Mishchenko
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Now available - VMware ESXi: Planning, Implementation, and Security
Also available - vSphere Quick Start Guide


Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:34 pm
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