CakeDestroyer
Contributor
Contributor

HP ESXi 5.0 does not boot until key press

Hi guys,

I wonder if anyone could shed some light on this for me.

I have a HP ProLiant DL385 G7, with HP bundled ESXi 5.0 install onto its internal SD card. However when it gets to the boot stage, it gets stuck on the boot loader until I press the enter key. So it says:

SYSLINUX 3.86 EBIOS Copyright (C) 199402010 H. Peter Anvin et al

boot:

Typically with previous ESXi and other linux it waits 3-5 seconds and it starts the boot up process. But with this system it just waits indefinitely until I press the return key manually. Is this a bug or does this indicate some other problems with my setup?

I presume I can boot with another linux distro and fix it using grub. However I don't know enough to know the actual steps. If someone could provide some instructions or references that would also be helpful.

Thanks a lot


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12 Replies
continuum
Immortal
Immortal

inside the small 4 Mb boot partition you find a cfg-file - if you post it we can compare with working examples

Do you need support with a recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
CakeDestroyer
Contributor
Contributor

Hi,

I booted with a Ubuntu LiveCD and mounted the /boot partition.

There's a syslinux.cfg in the 4MB /boot partition you referred to, inside there:

default safeboot.c32

nohalt 1

safeboot.c32 does exist too. Which is also confirmed by the fact that I can just press enter to boot the system.

But it just sits there waiting until a key press... any idea what nohalt 1 means?

Thanks

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CakeDestroyer
Contributor
Contributor

Hi all,

Problem solved.

Thanks continuum, for pointing me in the right direction.

After looking at the content for syslinux.cfg, a few quick google searches revealed that I can add the following line to introduce a 2 second time out:

timeout 20

The number behind the timeout specify the number of 1/10 seconds to wait. I inserted this at the beginning of the config file and now the system boots without user intervention. It is strange that the default behaviour is to sit there and do nothing!

Thanks guys

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jkghfjkasdhfjka
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Has anyone else run into this? I'm having it with a bunch of HP DL585 G5's..

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rievax
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hello,

Yes. I am having the same issue running ESXi 5 U1 on Dell R810 with local disks.

I just removed the "nohalt 1" line from syslinux.cfg to make it work.

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Doyleb
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Just an FYI here,

It is highly likely in these circumstances that the problem is not that you need to edit the .cfg file

It's more likely that the iLO , or other KVM or potentially a physically attached keyboard

has a Key press stuck / held...

you can manually reproduce the problem on demand by holding the ALT key down with iLo's integrated console.

( and to confirm further,  try adding the timeout line to the cfg and observe how holding ALT no longer causes the hang )

Blair Doyle Sr. Technical Support Engineer - VMware VCP3/4/5 RHCT/RHCSA
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rievax
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Doyleb,

Interesting... disconnecting my (Raritan) KVM console from the server and it works well indeed.

Now, I still think this is a bug with Syslinux's bootloader since it works well with my older ESXi Hosts and any other linux / windows servers we have...

Thank you for your input!

X.

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continuum
Immortal
Immortal

rievax - I think you can replace syslinux from ESXi 5 with older versions

Do you need support with a recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
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rievax
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thanks Continuum... but since Doyleb noticed it, it could be related to our KVM infrastructure, I will not even spend more time trying to fix it myself (everything works if a KVM session is not active). I opened a ticket with VMware and if they believe it should be fixed on the SysLinux side, I'll let them do the corrections. I'm not the only one having this issue - with different hardware and KVM solutions - so this is definitely an annoying bug that has to be addressed by VMware somehow.

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Doyleb
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

glad to hear you opened a support case.

If you can PM me your SR# , I am already handling one other on the topic that one of our support engineers picked up last week.

I will work with your support engineer to document this and push it forward for discussions.

From what I understand, this is a standard syslinux behavior for when ALT, or Scroll Lock (potentially others) are pressed during the syslinux boot time.

that is not to say we may not be able to adjust it's behavior to prevent it from halting boot when such a problem with the kvm exists.

Anyone else who has a support case on this topic, please feel free to pm me your SR details as well.

Thanks,

Blair Doyle

Sr. Technical Support Engineer - VMware

Blair Doyle Sr. Technical Support Engineer - VMware VCP3/4/5 RHCT/RHCSA
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JBURDS
Contributor
Contributor

I have HP servers just like the orginal poster.  I have edited the cfg file and then after a few patches it resets. 

Any idea on what I can do without having to boot to a live cd to edit the file out?

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TTime007
Contributor
Contributor

Hi,

I am seeing the same issue on some HP servers.

I have 4x G6 servers with ILO 2 (2.12) and 2x G8 severs with ILO 4 (1.10) installed.

Vsphere 5.1 (update 1 not yet installed).  No KVM or physical keyboards attached.

I don't really feel like editing the cfg file of the bootloader since I am on heavily loaded productions systems.

Are there any new insights on the ILO 'holding down a alt or scroll-lock' key?

Thanks for the update,

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