Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Installing ESXi 4.1 on Cisco UCS B series server throws the error: “vmkctl.HostCtlException: Unable to load module /usr/lib/vmware/vmkmod/vmfs3: Failure”

I ran into an interesting error a few months ago while deploying a new Cisco UCS B series infrastructure with B200 M2 and B440 M1 blades.  As some of you may know, there are Cisco packages of VMware ESXi 4.1 available for download but as I browsed through the downloads section and was only able to find VMware ESXi 4.1 but not ESXi 4.1 Update 1, the thought of trying to use a regular package to see what happens crossed my mind and this post serves to demonstrates what happens.


You’ve downloaded the VMware ESXi 4.1 Update 1 package (VMware-VMvisor-Installer-4.1.0.update1-348481.x86_64.iso) from VMware’s site and proceeded to install onto the UCS blades:


Accepted the EULA:


The ESXi 4.1 installer begins to scan for devices:


… then quickly errors out with the following error:

File “/lib/python2.5/”, line 11331, in Load
def Load(*args): return _vmkctl.ModuleImpl_Load(*args)
vmkctl.HostCtlException: Unable to load module /usr/lib/vmware/vmkmod/vmfs3: Failure


You are not able to proceed with the install and is forced to reboot.


The reason why you’re encountering this error is because the ESXi 4.1 Update 1 installer encounters a device it doesn’t have a driver for and fails without recovering. I’ve spoken to Cisco about this and they say you can either slipstream an ESXi 4.1 Update 1 CD with the missing drivers or just use the available ESXi 4.1 ISO (VMware-VMvisor-Installer-4.1.0-260247_Cisco.iso) provided by Cisco to install ESXi 4.1 onto the blades, then update them afterwards.

I didn’t want to go through the hassle of slipstreaming so what I ended up doing was install ESXi 4.1 onto the blades then used vCenter’s Update Manager to update the build from 260247 to 433742).


Hurry said...

We'too facing the same issue on cisco UCS B200 M2 with adapter M72KR-E. What is the work around u made. Can i have access to the link where u downloaded the Cisco Image for ESXI 4, ESXI 4.U.

Hurry said...

Hi Terence LUK,

For Vmware ESXi 4.1 , we have got an image from cisco at
But what about the ESXi 4.1u, update version. Is the Image available for the upgrade version. If yes let me know the link.