ESXI 7.0 - new NVME SSD not recognized as storage

Hello All,

Following situation: I have a Dell PE T320 server which is running the free version of ESXi 7.0 U1 (fresh install, not an upgrade). The boot drive is a RAID1 of two 200GB SAS SSDs, and there's a RAID5 of disk storage for data. On top of that, the server had a intel SSD DC P3600 U.2 NVMe SSD (4k formatted) which was used as fast storage for desktop VMs. This all worked out of the box. 

However, since the intel NVME SSD got too small it was replaced with a larger WDC Ultrastar SN200 (also 4k formatted). The problem now is that the new drive does not show up as storage device. I can see it as PCIe device, and it's correctly identified and listed, but it's shown as persistent memory device. 

This is what esxcli hardware pci list shows:


   Address: 0000:09:00.0
   Segment: 0x0000
   Bus: 0x09
   Slot: 0x00
   Function: 0x0
   VMkernel Name: vmhba1
   Vendor Name: HGST, Inc.
   Device Name: Ultrastar SN200 Series NVMe SSD
   Configured Owner: VMkernel
   Current Owner: VMkernel
   Vendor ID: 0x1c58
   Device ID: 0x0023
   SubVendor ID: 0x1c58
   SubDevice ID: 0x0023
   Device Class: 0x0108
   Device Class Name: Non-Volatile memory controller
   Programming Interface: 0x02
   Revision ID: 0x02
   Interrupt Line: 0x0f
   IRQ: 255
   Interrupt Vector: 0x00
   PCI Pin: 0x00
   Spawned Bus: 0x00
   Flags: 0x3001
   Module ID: 46
   Module Name: nvme_pcie
   Chassis: 0
   Physical Slot: 4
   Slot Description: PCI4
   Device Layer Bus Address: s00000004.00
   Passthru Capable: true
   Parent Device: PCI 0:0:1:1
   Dependent Device: PCI 0:9:0:0
   Reset Method: Function reset
   FPT Sharable: true



So the question is how do I tell ESXi that this is, in fact, a storage device?

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Just an update: I replaced the new SSD with the old one and now the old SSD is also shown as non-persistent memory.

WTH is going on?

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Well, after some trial and error with a number of enterprise class NVMe drives from different manufacturers I found out that apparently ESXi can't deal with 4k formatted NVMe drives, because when I reformat them with 512k sector size they suddenly become recognized as storage device. 

What's makes this even weirder is that for spinning disks ESXi 7.0 has no problems dealing with 4k sector sizes. 

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