What happens when the USB key or SD card I've installed VMware ESXi on fails?

Posted by ewwhite on Server Fault See other posts from Server Fault or by ewwhite
Published on 2013-10-28T21:30:35Z Indexed on 2013/10/28 21:55 UTC
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An SD (SDHC) card installed in an HP ProLiant DL380p Gen8 server running VMware ESXi just failed.

I encountered some rather ominous looking messages on the vCenter console and in the HP ProLiant ILO event log...

Lost connectivity to the device ... backing the boot filesystem. As a result, host configuration changes will not be saved to persistent storage.

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Embedded Flash/SD-CARD: Error writing media 0, physical block 848880: Stack Exception.

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VMware advocates the use of USB and SD (SDHC) boot devices for ESXi. It was one of the main reasons the smaller footprint ESXi was developed (versus the older ESX). I've spent much time highlighting the differences between ESXi's installable and embedded modes to coworkers and clients. However, these failures do seem to happen. In this case, this is my third instance.

Luckily, this is a vSphere cluster with SAN storage. What steps should be taken to remediate this failure?

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