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Our instance of VMware ESX was acting strange so we powered off the virtual machines and rebooted the server. Now the ESX host won't start. The server will go through the POST stage, but then it just stops. It is stuck at the screen that shows the remote access card being loaded. When we boot from a CD and go through the motions of an install we can still see the partitions.

Is there a way to repair the ESX boot partition without losing our VMs? What could be causing the ESX instance to hang at the remote access card?

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What kind of remote access card is it? ESX is unlikely to be the problem here. Perhaps the card needs to be reseated or have a firmware update applied. – Wesley Mar 11 '12 at 6:53

Yes, you can run ESX 4.0 re-install, I assume you don't have your VMs installed on the same datastore as the ESX itself. You probably should go with 4.1, it's already has been released.

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should i just restore the boot partition? – troy Feb 10 '11 at 15:42
No need really, just re-install the server, you only be required to restore the config of the system. Like IP, DNS, etc. – Vick Vega Feb 10 '11 at 15:44
Thank you very much – troy Feb 10 '11 at 16:11
You're welcome. – Vick Vega Feb 10 '11 at 16:29

The problem is very unlikely to be ESX. You need to take care of your remote access cards inability to load. You haven't said what model it is (DRAC, ILO, etc.), however I would suggest looking into updating the firmware for the card as well as reseating it. If that doesn't work, consider removing it altogether and testing it in another server. Perhaps the card has been damaged in some way.

Do not consider modifying or repairing ESX until you are sure that the card is not the problem.

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