November 16, 2010 - Matthijs Haverink

Important vSphere ESX4.1i patch out!

Normally I don’t post info about KB articles out (I don’t post a lot at all I have to be honest and ashamed to say), but yesterday a patch was released that I’d like to give some attention. One of the reasons is that I ran into some pretty heavy issues at one of my customers and this patch addresses those issues.

The patch: Patch ESXi410-201010401-SG
KB article: 1027021
Applies to: ESX4.1i Installable, ESX4i Embedded
Released: 15th of November 2010.

One of the most important issues that is fixed is one that one of my customers ran into. It addressees various problems with VM’s running Windows Server 2003, 32-bit edition with the /3GB switch in use. They experienced spontaneous reboots of servers and unexplainable .NET and Java problems. The nasty part was that this did not occur instantly after the upgrade but a couple of days later.

If you start a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 32-bit virtual machine with /3GB switch defined in the boot.ini file on VMware ESXi 4.1, you might see the following symptoms:

  • Read or Write memory errors occur in the guest operating system.
  • A Remote Procedure Call (RPC) error is reported and the virtual machine is forced to reboot often.
  • A stop code of type 0x000000F4 occurs.
  • Microsoft .NET or Java applications might fail with memory errors.
  • The Microsoft Windows Event log might contain error messages similar to the following:
    Event Type: Error
    Event Source: .NET Runtime
    Event Category: None
    Description:.NET Runtime version 2.0.50727.3615 - Fatal Execution Engine Error (7A0979AE) (80131506)

EDIT: Remon Lam from VirtualClouds.info also posted an article about the problems he experienced, check out this link: http://www.virtualclouds.info/?p=1074

Since this is, in my opinion, a pretty default configuration that could exist in large part of the ESX4.1i install base, I thought it would be useful to give this some extra attention.

Besides the spontaneous reboots there is a number of bugs and important security issues addressed so please check out the knowledge base article here.

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