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Modus
I hate smartassery on forums
Premium
join:2005-05-02
us
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to The WeaseL

Re: ESXi PF Exception 14

you can upgrade just ready to dig into kb's on vmware's site. I just completed my migration and man i'm just glad it's over! I didn't have to contact support because so many other ran into the issue i had so it wasn't to much of a puzzle
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Think Ahead. Learn More. Solve Now!


The WeaseL
Premium
join:2001-12-03
Minnesota
We run View as well, so going to 5.1 wouldn't work anyway (as of last check at their compatibility matrix).
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amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable
reply to Modus
Oh frak. Now you all got me worried a bit

...looking to do 4.1 ESX to ESXi, across 3 hosts, and also add a brand new DL380 (g8) into the mix once complete (yes, found the 'special' iso for HP already)...

Modus - what happened, and how long did it take to fully migrate? Running everything on 5.1 now and all is good I take it?

Not to get too far OT, but since the thread is generally discussing 4.x --> 5.x migration trouble, I'm very curious. Page file exceptions are also never cool. It does indeed sound like it's possibly related to flash drive/space - tried another bigger one? I believe you need more space for swap files. Will probably work on your other machine w/more storage.

JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
said by amungus:

Not to get too far OT, but since the thread is generally discussing 4.x --> 5.x migration trouble, I'm very curious. Page file exceptions are also never cool. It does indeed sound like it's possibly related to flash drive/space - tried another bigger one? I believe you need more space for swap files. Will probably work on your other machine w/more storage.

As long as the mods don't mind, I don't. This is good discussion (and related as far as I'm concerned) and when/if I upgrade again to 5.1 I'm going to need all the insight I can get apparently. And you bet I'll document any issues I run into for others here

I haven't tried a different/larger flash drive but I assume you mean VM swap space? If so it's set to store the VM swap files in the same datastore as the VM itself.

I don't know if ESXi itself has a swapfile but 6.8GB of the flash drive is unallocated (and has always been, even when I was on 4.1) so if it wants to use the flash drive for it's own swap space, it didn't anticipate that during install (and there's not much to change during a standard install). That also wouldn't explain why 5.0 works just fine with the same VMs.


Modus
I hate smartassery on forums
Premium
join:2005-05-02
us
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to amungus
It took me about 3 1/2 days mostly because of all the errors i kept running into. Like i said though if you run into any errors just search others have already found the answers everything is working a lot better now! I have 3 monster dell poweredge 720's and a new dell compellent san
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amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable
reply to JoelC707
Cool - I don't think they will as long as we're not going overboard and so OT that it devolves into talking about totally unrelated madness

Actually, I meant "scratch" partition for ESXi itself (should've been more clear.

First, there is this from the vSphere upgrade pdf (page 105):

Partitioning in New ESXi 5.x Installations
In new installations, several new partitions are created for the boot banks, the scratch partition, and the locker.
New ESXi 5.x installations use GUID Partition Tables (GPT) instead of MSDOS-based partitioning.
The partition table is fixed as part of the binary image, and is written to the disk at the time the system is
installed. The ESXi installer leaves the scratch and VMFS partitions blank, and ESXi creates them when the
host is rebooted for the first time after installation or upgrade. The scratch partition is 4GB. The rest of the disk
is formatted as a VMFS5 partition.
NOTE The installer can create multiple VFAT partitions. The VFAT designation does not always indicate that
the partition is a scratch partition. In some cases, a VFAT partition can lie idle.

Second, this might be part of the issue..

page 13:

When installing on USB or SD devices, the installer attempts to allocate a scratch region on an available local disk or
datastore. If no local disk or datastore is found, /scratch is placed on the ramdisk. You should
reconfigure /scratch to use a persistent datastore following the installation

It's possibly breaking somewhere as a "ramdisk" since it's not really meant to use that permanently.

Finally, it could come down to some of the things mentioned in this thead, if you haven't seen it yet - »communities.vmware.com/message/2084277

Modus - that's not too bad really, even with all the errors! I'm hoping to be able to do it in half that, if possible, including reboots for all the VMs themselves (tools, etc.)

Anyone do the tools first, then proceed with everything else??
I'm contemplating that, just so it's out of the way. Also a little scared to update the VMFS versions, but I haven't read any horror stories on that front, so I'll probably just go for it.

JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
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 local storage.

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

amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
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1 edit
Very interesting about the flash disks and "./locker" folder...

I went ahead and updated vCenter last night.

Now comes the fun part of dealing with licenses. Perhaps I don't quite understand this, but, if I "upgrade" licenses, does that not hose me on ESX host licensing??? Their support has been rather useless so far on this front, and I'm kind of confused on how to proceed. I misunderstood that the initial "trial license" was only for new installs, which is completely lame.

Edit: This looks promising, but I'd like to hear from anyone else who's done it... »communities.vmware.com/thread/413129
No "license check" for the hosts? That would be nice... to be able to upgrade existing keys, migrate to 5.1, and call it a day

JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
The "free" upgrade to v5 sounds basically like SA (Software Assurance) which IIRC VMware does do on the ESX licenses but I've never bought them so I don't know for sure. As for the license check and upgrade migration and what not, that all sounds correct.

amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable
Right, we are licensed to 2013, and are eligible for "upgrading" the license to 5.x.

My only concern is what this means for the actual ESX hosts themselves. Will they freak out, or will their licenses sit there and happily truck along until I get them upgraded to ESXi 5.1?