7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 25, 2020 6:12 PM by pbraren

    Upgrade from 6.7 to 7.0 and unsupported hardware

    zwbee Novice

      Hi,

       

      I'm relatively new to ESXi. I've been running it as a home server for around 5 months, and so far it's been fantastic. I built my server on new hardware, including the following HBA which I pass through to a FreeNAS VM.

       

      SAS 9210-8i Host Bus Adapter

       

      Today I thought I'd try the upgrade to ESXi 7.0, but the installer brings up a warning saying my host has unsupported hardware and logs the following:

       

      [pciinfo 1000:0072 1000:3040]

       

      By the looks of it, this represents my HBA card: https://pci-ids.ucw.cz/read/PC/1000/0072/10003040

       

      I've cancelled the upgrade for now. I'm hoping someone can help me with a couple of questions:

       

      1. Does this warning mean ESXi would not be able to pass this device through to a VM like I've been doing under 6.7?

      2. Is there any hope of ESXi supporting this in the future, or does it generally mean they've dropped support for this device now?

       

      Any advice is much appreciated!

        • 1. Re: Upgrade from 6.7 to 7.0 and unsupported hardware
          AlessandroRomeo68 Master

          Hi,

           

          VMware Compatibility Guide - System Search

           

          1. Does this warning mean ESXi would not be able to pass this device through to a VM like I've been doing under 6.7?

          Answer:

          The solution is to download the .vib driver of the unrecognized device and insert it inside the installation of ESXi 7.0

          You can do it through a procedure similar to this (but you do it for Esxi 7):

          http://woshub.com/add-drivers-vmware-esxi-iso-image/

           

          2. Is there any hope of ESXi supporting this in the future, or does it generally mean they've dropped support for this device now?

          Answer:

          No.

           

          Keep in mind that if your drivers aren't released in ".vib", you can't do anything. You need to upgrade your hardware or keep Esxi 6.7

           

           

          ARomeo

          • 2. Re: Upgrade from 6.7 to 7.0 and unsupported hardware
            zwbee Novice

            Thanks Alessandro, I had not heard about this driver injection method before.

             

            So are you saying I could download a driver that was originally intended for 6.7, and use it in 7.0?

             

            I believe this is the page for my device:

             

            VMware Compatibility Guide - I/O Device Search

             

            I can download a vib file from the top link (scsi-mpt2sas-20.00.01.00-1OEM.550.0.0.1331820.x86_64.vib), but they don't list ESXi 7.0 on this page. Are they just indicating which ESXi versions already include this driver?

             

            Thanks for your help!

            • 3. Re: Upgrade from 6.7 to 7.0 and unsupported hardware
              scott28tt Champion
              VMware EmployeesUser ModeratorsCommunity Warriors

              That page shows a driver type of vmklinux, there’s no support for such drivers in ESXi 7

              • 4. Re: Upgrade from 6.7 to 7.0 and unsupported hardware
                vmwph Lurker
                VMware Employees

                Surely that message can be ignored for devices you're going to pass-through. That ESXi doesn't have drivers for the card aren't relevant.

                • 5. Re: Upgrade from 6.7 to 7.0 and unsupported hardware
                  zwbee Novice

                  Thanks Scott, you're right, I missed that. I was a little confused here, because I ran the command "esxcli system module list | grep vmklinux" on my 6.7 install, and it came up with nothing. Apparently the module should show up there if you're using any vmklinux drivers. But the reply from vmwph has made me think this is because a passed through device may not actually need a driver/vib under ESXi. The closest info I could find on this was related to sharing GPUs between VMs versus passing them through to a single VM - apparently you only need a vib if you're sharing them. I'm guessing the same likely applies to my SAS card.

                   

                  I do see some LSI/SAS output using the CLI, but I'm not sure that's actually for 'drivers' as such.

                   

                  [root@ESXi:~] esxcli system module list | grep vmklinux
                  [root@ESXi:~]
                  
                  
                  [root@ESXi:~] esxcli software vib list | grep lsi
                  lsi-mr3                        7.708.07.00-3vmw.670.3.73.14320388    VMW     VMwareCertified   2019-10-23
                  lsi-msgpt2                     20.00.06.00-2vmw.670.3.73.14320388    VMW     VMwareCertified   2019-10-23
                  lsi-msgpt35                    09.00.00.00-5vmw.670.3.73.14320388    VMW     VMwareCertified   2019-10-23
                  lsi-msgpt3                     17.00.02.00-1vmw.670.3.73.14320388    VMW     VMwareCertified   2019-10-23
                  lsu-lsi-drivers-plugin         1.0.0-1vmw.670.2.48.13006603          VMware  VMwareCertified   2019-10-23
                  lsu-lsi-lsi-mr3-plugin         1.0.0-13vmw.670.1.28.10302608         VMware  VMwareCertified   2019-10-23
                  lsu-lsi-lsi-msgpt3-plugin      1.0.0-9vmw.670.2.48.13006603          VMware  VMwareCertified   2019-10-23
                  lsu-lsi-megaraid-sas-plugin    1.0.0-9vmw.670.0.0.8169922            VMware  VMwareCertified   2019-10-23
                  lsu-lsi-mpt2sas-plugin         2.0.0-7vmw.670.0.0.8169922            VMware  VMwareCertified   2019-10-23
                  
                  
                  [root@ESXi:~] esxcli software vib list | grep sas
                  scsi-megaraid-sas              6.603.55.00-2vmw.670.0.0.8169922      VMW     VMwareCertified   2019-10-23
                  scsi-mpt2sas                   19.00.00.00-2vmw.670.0.0.8169922      VMW     VMwareCertified   2019-10-23
                  scsi-mptsas                    4.23.01.00-10vmw.670.0.0.8169922      VMW     VMwareCertified   2019-10-23
                  lsu-lsi-megaraid-sas-plugin    1.0.0-9vmw.670.0.0.8169922            VMware  VMwareCertified   2019-10-23
                  lsu-lsi-mpt2sas-plugin         2.0.0-7vmw.670.0.0.8169922            VMware  VMwareCertified   2019-10-23
                  
                  

                   

                  It looks like ESXi has a built-in recovery mode that lets you rollback to your previous install. Given that, I think I'll just give it a go and cross my fingers...

                   

                  Thanks for your help!

                  • 6. Re: Upgrade from 6.7 to 7.0 and unsupported hardware
                    zwbee Novice

                    For anyone else going down this road, here's where I ended up....

                     

                    I ran the ESXi 7.0 upgrade via iso, ignored the 'unsupported hardware' warning, and the install completed successfully.

                     

                    After logging into ESXi, all my VMs had started successfully... expect one. My FreeNAS VM had not started, and had a vague error about a PCI device. Clearly the passthrough HBA was not working.

                     

                    I went to Host/Manage/Hardware and the HBA was showing up with the correct name. However, its passthrough setting had been switched to inactive. I toggled it to active, but there was an error in addition to the usual "Reboot required" message. I figured it didn't work, but I tried rebooting anyway. After reboot, the device now showed as passthrough active. Promising!

                     

                    I then tried to start the FreeNAS VM, but no luck - another error. I found a support article for this one, and it said when this happens to remove and re-add the device. I tried that, and the VM booted and worked no problem!

                     

                    So, a bit of a bumpy road, but success, ESXi 7.0 is now running great!

                     

                    Thanks for your help

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Upgrade from 6.7 to 7.0 and unsupported hardware
                      pbraren Hot Shot
                      VMware EmployeesvExpert

                      Interesting! This sounds a bit similar to what I found happening to my GPU after upgrading to 7.0, explained in my article and demonstrated in my video.

                      Basically, once I've configured my AMD GPU properly for passthrough, the settings don't persist through host reboots, and I have to use ESXi Host client (NOT vSphere Client) to toggle them off then on again, and tada, no 2nd reboot needed, the GPU mapped VM can now boot up without issue.