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I've got an ESXI that's been running for almost 3 years fine. Yesterday, I upgraded the machine's bios, installed RAM and 2 additional hard drives. Today I added a Windows VM and changed the Gateway, Subnet Mask, and IPs. Everything was going well. A couple hours ago I started installing Windows patches on the VM. But then I couldn't access the machine.

The tech at the colo facility took a look and said it was at the normal ESXi screen but, "The graphics are artifacting and displaying some weird red lines running top to bottom on the screen". I had the tech reboot the server.

When it rebooted, we got: "Cannot set up ramdisk: boot image is corrupted" [then some error codes] "Visor tar header is invalid for var/lib/register/providerRegister
No place on disk to dump data and after that it has the line that it is waiting for debugger"

What should I do now?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

That has all the hallmarks of defective RAM. If the server really was fine before, then perhaps one of the new sticks of RAM is defective. Test the memory and replace any defective ones you find.

One of the RAM slots on the motherboard could also be defective, but it's easy to test for this simply by rotating the sticks around and retesting.

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Thank you for the response. A few months back, there were power issus at the colo facility and then the server wouldn't post. Moving the ram resolved the problem so I'm guessing it is a motherboard issue. Is it safe to turn off and turn on the system a couple times after I move the ram? – EfficionDave Mar 28 '13 at 4:37
Yep, motherboard, RAM or possibly both. I would have had it all replaced under warranty at that point a few months ago. Be sure to power off the server before you start moving RAM around. – Michael Hampton Mar 28 '13 at 4:39
Memtest has been running all night (16gb of ram). First pass found no errors. – EfficionDave Mar 28 '13 at 14:29
For you comment on rotating the sticks, I'm currently using all four slots. Is there any point in rotating the sticks while still using all 4 slots? – EfficionDave Mar 28 '13 at 14:31
Memtest showed no errors through 2.4 passes. Tried booting, everything went great... still have a sinking sense of doom. The issue I had earlier where it wouldn't post was back in May 2012. It's been running great since then until yesterday but I've now moved from 2 2GB sticks of ECC ram to 16GB of normal RAM. So I guess I'm just going to see how things go for the next few days. – EfficionDave Mar 28 '13 at 15:19

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