HowTo: troubleshoot and fix VmWare ESXi boot stuck at ‘loading ipmi_si_drv’

The first post that urged me to write a new blog because of several hours of head banging against wall, scratching my hair and relentlessly typing on keyboard with random google hits.

Yes, the VmWare ESXi clueless error, that when you are running this baremetal hypervisor, it gets stuck during loading stage, where its loading all modules, almost to end of process, it gets stuck with following message:

Loading ipmi_si_drv

After much of docs reading and agonising go-through ESXi manual, i finally figured out the solution.

Here is what you need to do:

Step 1: Restart your machine. Its always good to go for the ‘when-nothing-works-try-this’ solution 🙂

Step 2: Be very quick and sharp about this step as it needs to be done in matter of seconds.

The moment you see a black screen with progress bar saying LOADING HYPERVISOR , enter SHIFT + o (the letter, not the number)  instantly.

`shift + o’ is a directive to boot options of ESXi hypervisor.

Step 3: Now that you are on an interactive boot shell of ESXi, enter this command :

> noipmiEnabled

That will tell ESXi boot not to load ipmi drivers for next reboot.

* Careful, this you will need to do at every reboot of your machine

Step 4: now hit enter and and let it go through the booting process.

Step 5: watch without any panic , the ESXi now should load all modules except ipmi and there you are at login screen.

From that, you know what to do 🙂

cheers

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9 thoughts on “HowTo: troubleshoot and fix VmWare ESXi boot stuck at ‘loading ipmi_si_drv’

    • Depends. Have seen this on HP blade servers. Update to at least iLO v 2.4 fixes a bug in the HP firmware which tells esxi that there is an iLO in a specific slot when there isn’t. This then causes esxi to poll for the iLO at every possible IRQ, thereby causing the boot process to look as if it is hung.

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