X10SLL-F + E3-1230 v3 - Can't boot ESXi 6 or 7 - Ubuntu 20.04 works

Alfa147x

Member
Feb 7, 2014
144
24
18
Hi all,

I stumped - I recently returned from a week's vacation to a crashed VM host (max ambient temp of 83ºf). I'm currently unable to boot ESXi.

Where should start with troubleshooting?



Failed to boot:
  • ESXi 7 u2 installed boot drive USB - Stable for weeks prior to trip.
  • ESXi 7.0.0 u3c
  • ESXi 7.0.0 u3 Dell OEM ISO
  • ESXi 7.0.0 Dell OEM ISO
  • ESXi 6
Able to boot:
  • ubuntu-20.04.4-desktop-amd64

Hardware specs:
  • Supermicro Motherboard X10SLL-F
  • CPU: E3-1230 v3
  • 4x SuperTalent 8GB DDR3-1333 W1333EB8GM UDIMM (only 1 installed for troubleshooting)
  • HBA: SAS9300-8e (removed for troubleshooting)
  • NVMe (via PCIe to NGFF adapter): Sabrent 1TB ROCKET Q NVMe PCIe SB-RKTQ-1TB (removed for troubleshooting)
  • SAMSUNG FIT Plus USB 3.1 Flash Drive 128GB - (MUF-128AB/AM) - ESXi 7 u2 installed boot drive USB - Stable for weeks prior to trip.
  • Various Samsung and other brand USB drives were used to test ISOs
 
Last edited:

JFO

New Member
May 3, 2020
19
9
3
This is some problems with UEFI boot, you can boot in non UEFI (bios) mode.
Have same problem on X10SLH-F.
Try bios 3.4 and 3.2 version, no change.
 

Alfa147x

Member
Feb 7, 2014
144
24
18
Fixed my ESXi server!!!!
Root cause analysis:
  • VGA sucks - My VGA to HDMI adapter + travel LCD screen couldn't adjust to the VGA resolution. These two were the cause of the video issues. Once I bought a new adapter and used a standard monitor it was smooth sailing
  • The USB drive had corrupted data. I've reinstalled ESXi onto a SATA-DOM drive.
  • I then ran into an issue where I couldn't enable PCIe passthrough for my HBA.
    • I fixed this by swapping my PICe -> NVMe adapter and HBA
So, all in all - 2 weeks of downtime, but we're back up and running!