FAQ
I run VMware vSphere 4 Essentials with three almost identically
configured ESXi 4.1 hosts and a mix of 32 and 64 bit guests including
Windows 2003 and 2008 as well as CentOS 5 and 6. Recently I updated one
of the hosts to build 800380. The new build runs Windows and CentOS 5
VMs fine, but CentOS 6 guests won't come up.

I tried two different CentOS 6 VMs. Both have the latest standard kernel
(2.6.32-279.5.2.el6.x86_64). Both run perfectly fine on one of the other
VMware hosts still running ESXi 4.1.0 build 702113. On build 800380,
both display the GRUB menu alright but freeze immediately afterwards,
emitting the message

PANIC: early exception 0d rip 10:ffffffff81038879 error 0 cr2 0

on the bottom of the virtual console. Both run perfectly fine again once
I move them back to the host with the older ESXi build.

From one of the failed boot attempts, I captured a VMware debug log
which shows:

Sep 11 17:21:19.628: vcpu-0| RDMSR: unknown MSR[0x1a0] (read as zero):
rip=0xffffffff810388db count=1
Sep 11 17:21:19.628: vcpu-0| RDMSR: unknown MSR[0x1a0] (read as zero):
rip=0xffffffff810388db count=2
Sep 11 17:21:19.629: vcpu-0| X86Fault_Warning:
vmcore/vmm64/cpu/interp.c:427: cs:eip=0x10:0xffffffff81038879 fault
Sep 11 17:21:19.632: vcpu-0| Vix: [1125838 vmxCommands.c:9609]:
VMAutomation_HandleCLIHLTEvent. Do nothing.
Sep 11 17:21:19.632: vcpu-0| MsgHint: msg.monitorevent.halt (sent)
Sep 11 17:21:19.632: vcpu-0| The CPU has been disabled by the guest
operating system. Power off or reset the virtual machine.

Ideas?

aTdHvAaNnKcSe,
Tilman

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  • John R Pierce at Sep 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    On 09/11/12 12:06 PM, Tilman Schmidt wrote:
    I run VMware vSphere 4 Essentials with three almost identically
    configured ESXi 4.1 hosts and a mix of 32 and 64 bit guests including
    Windows 2003 and 2008 as well as CentOS 5 and 6. Recently I updated one
    of the hosts to build 800380. The new build runs Windows and CentOS 5
    VMs fine, but CentOS 6 guests won't come up.

    I tried two different CentOS 6 VMs. Both have the latest standard kernel
    (2.6.32-279.5.2.el6.x86_64). Both run perfectly fine on one of the other
    VMware hosts still running ESXi 4.1.0 build 702113. On build 800380,
    both display the GRUB menu alright but freeze immediately afterwards,
    emitting the message

    PANIC: early exception 0d rip 10:ffffffff81038879 error 0 cr2 0

    on the bottom of the virtual console. Both run perfectly fine again once
    I move them back to the host with the older ESXi build.

    From one of the failed boot attempts, I captured a VMware debug log
    which shows:

    Sep 11 17:21:19.628: vcpu-0| RDMSR: unknown MSR[0x1a0] (read as zero):
    rip=0xffffffff810388db count=1
    Sep 11 17:21:19.628: vcpu-0| RDMSR: unknown MSR[0x1a0] (read as zero):
    rip=0xffffffff810388db count=2
    Sep 11 17:21:19.629: vcpu-0| X86Fault_Warning:
    vmcore/vmm64/cpu/interp.c:427: cs:eip=0x10:0xffffffff81038879 fault
    Sep 11 17:21:19.632: vcpu-0| Vix: [1125838 vmxCommands.c:9609]:
    VMAutomation_HandleCLIHLTEvent. Do nothing.
    Sep 11 17:21:19.632: vcpu-0| MsgHint: msg.monitorevent.halt (sent)
    Sep 11 17:21:19.632: vcpu-0| The CPU has been disabled by the guest
    operating system. Power off or reset the virtual machine.

    Ideas?
    from here, it appears to be a hardware or vmware issue. NOTHING the
    guest OS does should crash the hypervisor. I'd file a bug report with
    vmware.


    --
    john r pierce N 37, W 122
    santa cruz ca mid-left coast
  • Tilman Schmidt at Sep 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Am 11.09.2012 21:14, schrieb John R Pierce:
    On 09/11/12 12:06 PM, Tilman Schmidt wrote:

    I tried two different CentOS 6 VMs. Both have the latest standard kernel
    (2.6.32-279.5.2.el6.x86_64). Both run perfectly fine on one of the other
    VMware hosts still running ESXi 4.1.0 build 702113. On build 800380,
    both display the GRUB menu alright but freeze immediately afterwards,
    emitting the message

    PANIC: early exception 0d rip 10:ffffffff81038879 error 0 cr2 0
    [...]
    from here, it appears to be a hardware or vmware issue.
    I tend to exclude hardware issues. The host in question was working fine
    before the update.
    NOTHING the guest OS does should crash the hypervisor.
    Perhaps I wasn't quite clear. It's the guest OS that panics. The
    hypervisor continues quite unperturbed by its guest's fate.

    Thanks,
    Tilman

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  • Tilman Schmidt at Sep 12, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Am 11.09.2012 21:14, schrieb John R Pierce:
    On 09/11/12 12:06 PM, Tilman Schmidt wrote:

    I tried two different CentOS 6 VMs. Both have the latest standard kernel
    (2.6.32-279.5.2.el6.x86_64). Both run perfectly fine on one of the other
    VMware hosts still running ESXi 4.1.0 build 702113. On build 800380,
    both display the GRUB menu alright but freeze immediately afterwards,
    emitting the message

    PANIC: early exception 0d rip 10:ffffffff81038879 error 0 cr2 0
    I'd file a bug report with vmware.
    Well, yes, I'm working on that. It's a tedious process trying to
    convince VMware support that I really have bought support.

    Meanwhile I'd like to understand what's going wrong here, and ideally
    how to work around it. I found this blog post

    http://www.basemont.com/panic_early_exception_i3_i5_i7_vmware_virtualbox_parallels

    which seems to hint that the Linux kernel might be involved in the
    problem after all. The processor in the problem host is a Xeon
    E3-1270V2, while the other one which works fine has an E3-1230. Alas the
    "nosmep" boot option did not have any effect.

    --
    Tilman Schmidt
    Phoenix Software GmbH
    Bonn, Germany

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  • Laurent at Sep 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Le 2012-09-11 21:06, Tilman Schmidt a ?crit?:
    I run VMware vSphere 4 Essentials with three almost identically
    configured ESXi 4.1 hosts and a mix of 32 and 64 bit guests including
    Windows 2003 and 2008 as well as CentOS 5 and 6. Recently I updated
    one
    of the hosts to build 800380. The new build runs Windows and CentOS 5
    VMs fine, but CentOS 6 guests won't come up.

    I tried two different CentOS 6 VMs. Both have the latest standard
    kernel
    (2.6.32-279.5.2.el6.x86_64). Both run perfectly fine on one of the
    other
    VMware hosts still running ESXi 4.1.0 build 702113. On build 800380,
    both display the GRUB menu alright but freeze immediately afterwards,
    emitting the message
    I've found what is probably your post on VMware Communities.
    http://communities.vmware.com/message/2112173?tstart=0

    It seems there's a second 4.1 update 3 build (811144):
    http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId 20362

    It fixes another panic, so trying this build may help.
    --
    PR722061: When a Linux kernel crashes, the linux kexec feature is used
    to enable booting into a special kdump kernel and gathering crash dump
    files. An SMP Linux guest configured with kexec might cause the virtual
    machine to fail with a monitor panic during this reboot. Error messages
    such as the following might be logged:

    vcpu-0| CPU reset: soft (mode 2)
    vcpu-0| MONITOR PANIC: vcpu-0:VMM fault 14: src=MONITOR
    rip=0xfffffffffc28c30d regs=0xfffffffffc008b50
    --

    --
    Laurent.
  • Tilman Schmidt at Sep 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Am 11.09.2012 21:57, schrieb Laurent:
    I've found what is probably your post on VMware Communities.
    http://communities.vmware.com/message/2112173?tstart=0 Indeed.
    It seems there's a second 4.1 update 3 build (811144):
    http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId 20362
    Thanks, I'll give it a try.


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  • Tilman Schmidt at Sep 12, 2012 at 4:40 am

    Am 11.09.2012 21:57, schrieb Laurent:
    Le 2012-09-11 21:06, Tilman Schmidt a ?crit :

    I tried two different CentOS 6 VMs. Both have the latest standard kernel
    (2.6.32-279.5.2.el6.x86_64). Both run perfectly fine on one of the other
    VMware hosts still running ESXi 4.1.0 build 702113. On build 800380,
    both display the GRUB menu alright but freeze immediately afterwards,
    [...]
    I can't find that second build anywhere.

    I have installed patch ESXi410-201208201-UG on the problem host.
    It refers to http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2020373 for details, which states:

    Build
    800380
    811144 (security-only)

    I have also installed ESXi410-Update03 ("VMware ESXi 4.1 Complete Update
    3") which is named in the title of that KB article. Update Manager does
    not offer me anything else to install. Still vSphere Client reports
    build 800380.

    --
    Tilman Schmidt
    Phoenix Software GmbH
    Bonn, Germany

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  • Tilman Schmidt at Sep 12, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Am 11.09.2012 21:06, schrieb Tilman Schmidt:
    I tried two different CentOS 6 VMs. Both have the latest standard kernel
    (2.6.32-279.5.2.el6.x86_64). Both run perfectly fine on one of the other
    VMware hosts still running ESXi 4.1.0 build 702113. On build 800380,
    both display the GRUB menu alright but freeze immediately afterwards,
    emitting the message

    PANIC: early exception 0d rip 10:ffffffff81038879 error 0 cr2 0

    on the bottom of the virtual console. Both run perfectly fine again once
    I move them back to the host with the older ESXi build.
    Two and a half new data points:

    - The problem host has a Xeon E3-1270V2 processor while the one which
    runs the CentOS 6 guests fine has an E3-1230. I'm not sufficiently
    up to date with Intel processor types to tell whether this would
    make a difference.

    - Another CentOS 6 VM with older kernel 2.6.32-220.7.1.el6.x86_64
    does come up on the problem host. It does a panic blink (Caps Lock
    and Scroll Lock blinking in unison while the VM has the keyboard)
    but I get a working login prompt (I don't get any further because I
    don't have a logon for the machine) and I can shut it down normally
    by sending Ctrl-Alt-Del.

    - (the half point, no idea if it matters) The CentOS 6 VMs which
    die with "PANIC: early exception 0d" do *not* do a panic blink.

    So it would seem that something related to the problem was changed
    in the CentOS kernel between releases 2.6.32-220.7.1 and
    2.6.32-279.5.2.

    --
    Tilman Schmidt
    Phoenix Software GmbH
    Bonn, Germany

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  • Tilman Schmidt at Sep 13, 2012 at 5:30 am
    Alright, it's the CPU. Subject adapted accordingly.

    In a fit of recklessness, I updated VMware on one of the hosts on which
    the CentOS 6 machines were still able to run. Lo and behold, they still
    work fine there. So now I have:

    ESXi Build 582267 800380 800380
    Processor E5620 E3-1230 E3-1270V2

    Windows ok ok ok
    (all versions)

    CentOS 5.8 ok ok ok
    2.6.18-308.13.1.el5

    CentOS 6.2 ok ok ok(*)
    2.6.32-220.7.1.el6.x86_64

    CentOS 6.3 ok ok Panic
    2.6.32-279.2.1.el6.x86_64

    (*) except for the irritating keyboard blink

    More ideas?

    Thx
    T.

    --
    Tilman Schmidt
    Phoenix Software GmbH
    Bonn, Germany

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  • Tilman Schmidt at Nov 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Am 13.09.2012 11:30, schrieb Tilman Schmidt:
    In a fit of recklessness, I updated VMware on one of the hosts on which
    the CentOS 6 machines were still able to run. Lo and behold, they still
    work fine there. So now I have:

    ESXi Build 582267 800380 800380
    Processor E5620 E3-1230 E3-1270V2

    Windows ok ok ok
    (all versions)

    CentOS 5.8 ok ok ok
    2.6.18-308.13.1.el5

    CentOS 6.2 ok ok ok(*)
    2.6.32-220.7.1.el6.x86_64

    CentOS 6.3 ok ok Panic
    2.6.32-279.2.1.el6.x86_64

    (*) except for the irritating keyboard blink

    In the meantime, one other user with the same problem has turned up
    on the VMware forum. He reports that Windows 8 x64 doesn't work on
    the E3-1270V2 host either, but a 32 bit install of CentOS 6.3 does.


    Also, I have updated the last host and it continues to run all
    VMs fine, so the ESXi version is definitely not the culprit.


    What happened between kernel releases 2.6.32-220.7.1.el6.x86_64 and
    2.6.32-279.2.1.el6.x86_64 that would cause a CPU dependent early
    exception?


    --
    Tilman Schmidt
    Phoenix Software GmbH
    Bonn, Germany
  • Tilman Schmidt at Mar 12, 2013 at 11:04 am
    Having read that RHEL/CentOS 6.4 came with new VMware drivers I checked
    whether this problem might perchance be fixed. It isn't.


    In the meantime I got a report that Windows 8 (64 bit) showed a similar
    problem.


    So, updated problem matrix (ESXi build omitted as it has no influence):


    Processor E5620 E3-1230 E3-1270V2


    Windows XP/2003/2008 ok ok ok


    Windows 8 ? ? Panic


    CentOS 5.8 ok ok ok
    2.6.18-308.13.1.el5


    CentOS 6.2 ok ok ok(*)
    2.6.32-220.7.1.el6.x86_64


    CentOS 6.3 ok ok Panic
    2.6.32-279.2.1.el6.x86_64


    CentOS 6.4 ok ok Panic
    2.6.32-358.0.1.el6.x86_64


    (*) keyboard shows panic blink but system works fine otherwise


    Reminder of the problem description: trying to boot a VM with
    CentOS 6.3 or later on a VMware ESXi 4 host with a Xeon E3-1270V2
    processor fails immediately after GRUB, with the VM locking up,
    console message:


    Sep 11 17:21:31.498: vmx| PANIC: early exception 0d rip
    10:ffffffff81038879 error 0 cr2 0


    and ESXi log messages:


    Sep 11 17:21:19.628: vcpu-0| RDMSR: unknown MSR[0x1a0] (read as zero):
    rip=0xffffffff810388db count=1
    Sep 11 17:21:19.628: vcpu-0| RDMSR: unknown MSR[0x1a0] (read as zero):
    rip=0xffffffff810388db count=2
    Sep 11 17:21:19.629: vcpu-0| X86Fault_Warning:
    vmcore/vmm64/cpu/interp.c:427: cs:eip=0x10:0xffffffff81038879 fault
    Sep 11 17:21:19.632: vcpu-0| Vix: [1125838 vmxCommands.c:9609]:
    VMAutomation_HandleCLIHLTEvent. Do nothing.
    Sep 11 17:21:19.632: vcpu-0| MsgHint: msg.monitorevent.halt (sent)
    Sep 11 17:21:19.632: vcpu-0| The CPU has been disabled by the guest
    operating system. Power off or reset the virtual machine.




    --
    Tilman Schmidt
    Phoenix Software GmbH
    Bonn, Germany


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