PSA: Vmware ESXi 7.0 does not like consumer NVMe drives

zer0sum

Active Member
Mar 8, 2013
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I just found out that ESXi 7.0 is really particular about the brand of NVMe drive you try to use.
And it was an issue on earlier versions but it seems to be even stricter now

My Intel 660P works perfectly, but my Adata XPG SX8200 and HP EX920 do not work at all :(
I believe most Intel and Samsung drives like 970's should work fine at least :D

YMMW with other brands on the official HCL - Cisco, Dell, HPE, HGST, Hitachi, Huawei, Intel, Lenovo, Micron, Oracle, Samsung, ScaleFlux, SKHynix, WD
If anyone has other brands working please comment and we can start to create a list.

In previous versions of ESXi you could run a couple of commands to load older nvme drivers like this:
But on ESXi 7.0 that somehow kills all of your network card drivers and your box is now a shiny paperweight :(
Anyone know of any further hacks/tweaks to get it work?
 
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vangoose

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May 21, 2019
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7.0 has many issues, highly recommend reading release notes before upgrade.

All of my network cards have some level of issues in 7.0. Intel X550, BCM57810, QL41212 and CX-4. Understanding the issues, impact and workaround will help you build one with less problems.

I have already loaded 7 in one of my test server for more than a week and didn't experience any significant issue. I won't upgrade my cluster to 7.0 because nested virtualization is broken.
 

986box

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Oct 14, 2017
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Upgraded to 7.0 from 6.5 when building a new server. Samsung EVO 850 from old server works without issues. Though it is a SSD and vsphere is boot off a 8GB USB stick.
 

TXAG26

Active Member
Aug 2, 2016
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7.0 has many issues, highly recommend reading release notes before upgrade.

All of my network cards have some level of issues in 7.0. Intel X550, BCM57810, QL41212 and CX-4. Understanding the issues, impact and workaround will help you build one with less problems.
Not to drag this too off topic, but would you mind sharing what issues you have seen with your Intel X550 network adapter in ESXI 7.0?
 

zer0sum

Active Member
Mar 8, 2013
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So...I found a solution of sorts :)

Download the ESXi 6.5 update 2 iso - VMware-VMvisor-Installer-6.5.0.update02-8294253.x86_64.iso
- mount it and copy nvme.v00 over to your ESXi 7.0 system into the /bootbank directory
- rename the esxi 7.0 nvme driver file - mv nvme_pci.v00 nvme_pci.v00.old
- rename the esxi 6.7u2 nvme driver file - mv nvme.v00 nvme_pci.v00
- reboot

My old datastore on an Intel nvme drive dissappeared so I had to take another step to recover it
- esxcli storage vmfs snapshot list
- esxcli storage vmfs snapshot mount -l "NVME"

Keep in mind, if you patch to the next version of ESXi it will most likely get overwritten.
 
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StevenDTX

Active Member
Aug 17, 2016
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I received a Western Digital (Sandisk) SN750 2TB today and it's recognized (and usable) in vSphere 7.

All of my Samsung 970 Pros work as well.