Alright, so what it looks like it comes down to is the scratch partition or a system BIOS that can't boot GPT partitioned flash disks (that was the only thing in the other thread that wasn't already mentioned, I used gparted from UBCD to wipe the flash disk between attempts).Scratch partition:
Now that makes sense and I remember something about that. When I installed 5.0 originally as a test, I had no local storage configured and among other things it was bitching about was "no persistent storage for system logs". I didn't care too much about that and it was just a test at the time but I got the same notice with 5.1 with
So I googled and quickly found this page: »kb.vmware.com/selfservice/micros ··· =1033696
. I followed the vsphere client method, added a /.locker folder on my SAS datastore and told it where to find it. It was happy ever since. Interestingly, 5.0 with
local storage did not complain about that and created the /.locker folder and such on it's own.
Now, while confirming all this before this pot I did notice something. I have a /.locker folder on both the SAS and SATA datastores of both hosts. The latest date stamp on the logs is 9/30 in the SAS datastore and 10/4 in the SATA datastore. I'm gonna guess it either didn't want to reuse the old folder or it wanted to put it on the larger datastore (both are entirely possible).
I definately recall creating the /.locker folder on the SAS datastore so I'm going to have to assume the one on the SATA datastore is the one 5.0U1 created during this latest install. I suspect having two is just taking up unnecessary space and not actually causing any problems? I don't remember seeing one on the SATA datastore while trying 5.1 so I don't think two /.locker folders are related to that but I really don't remember (and it doesn't seem to be causing any problems now).Can't boot GPT formatted disks:
This could make sense to a degree. The servers are from 2008 (Dell 2950 III's) and probably don't support booting from GPT partitions. But I thought 5.0 used GPT partitions too? Or does 5.0 just use it on the datastores and 5.1 attempts to use it on the boot drive as well? Even then, it boots just fine, it's just that it crashes after it boots so if it were really this problem, wouldn't it not boot at all?Tools first on 5.1 upgrade:
That's one of the first methods I plan to try out in my testing. First, I need to see if I can replicate the full conditions on the Precision 690. I need to make sure it will crash under the same conditions my other hosts are crashing on or else it won't be a worthwhile experiment. I'm even going to try it with HDD boot partition and USB boot and see if that really makes a difference.Upgrading VMFS:
I've found two documents on that. One is a vmware blog showing the online, non-distruptive upgrade to VMFS-5 as well as seamless transition from MBR to GPT if you upgraded a VMFS-3 datastore and then later expand it beyond 2TB. The other is a PDF that gives considerations for upgrading vs. creating new as some VMFS-3 limitations will remain in an upgraded datastore.
»blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2011/12 ··· nge.html
»www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpap ··· ions.pdf