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I installed ESXi 6.5 from a 32GB SD card (inserted into hyper-visor motherboard usb port) and chose to install it on the same card during installation. I set the pass through on my LSI controller & USB controller, and applied a license. I rebooted and these changes retained/stuck.

However, I then added datastore1 (ssd) and uploaded backed up VMDK'/VMX's from prior EXSi 5.5 environment to this datastore and registered the guests with ESXi 6.5. All VM's were running fine at this point.

I shutdown the guests VM's and rebooted the ESXi host.

To My surprise all the VM's unregistered themselves, but the license and pass-through settings retained.

I re-registered the VM's and rebooted ESXi host again, same result.

Any help to point me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: My problem at this point is not being able to toggle passthrough off for my USB controller, which might be causing this, due to it being mounted in RO and I am not able to edit the /etc/vmware/esx.conf file either to disable it by changing the device from "passthru" to "vmkernel". I will schedule more downtime to try serverfault.com/questions/791355/

UPDATE 11/30/18: Scheduling to reinstall ESXi 6.5 as I do not have a backup of the esx.conf file.

  • does this answer your question? kb.vmware.com/s/article/2013301 – marsh-wiggle Nov 25 '18 at 16:11
  • @marsh, I check it out.... To add some more background, previously I installed Esxi 6.5 on a different 8gb USB stick while a preexisting 5.5 ssd datastore was connected with my guest vm's. Every reboot of esxi would result in loss of license, and unregistered vm's. But the custom LSI controller pass-through was still toggled on as set initially. This is very odd and I've never seen this behavior before. – Lee Nov 26 '18 at 12:32
  • @marsh, I've looked at this VMware article already. The vm's do not appear to be orphaned after reboot, instead they are completely unregistered and missing from inventory. I have to re-register them from datastore1 (ssd). – Lee Nov 26 '18 at 12:39
  • The last two times I rebooted, the virtual machines did not show up as invalid or orphaned. Instead they were completely missing from the esxi inventory. Also it is is worth mentioning that there is no vcenter in the picture. – Lee Nov 26 '18 at 12:52
  • I do have my USB controller set as pass-through as well. I'm going to toggle it off, backup my vm's and reboot the host to see if this is the cause. – Lee Nov 26 '18 at 14:12

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