HP’s done it again. They’ve managed to break their custom ESX ISO on the G6 and G7 servers. I suspect it’s the same for G8.
If like me you found yourself perplexed by the PSOD (pink screen of death) after upgrading from ESX 6.0 to 6.5, keep on reading for the fix (skip to the bottom for the download link to an already fixed ISO).
It seems the “hpe-smx-provider” driver version 6.5.0 from the ESX 6.5 ISO is causing the PSOD.
The fix and the drawbacks
(Simply) Replace the driver with it’s older counterpart (version 6.0.0) and reinstall (see below for the procedure or check the “download link” section at the very end for an already fixed ISO). Unfortunately if you decide to create a custom ISO with the previous version of “hpe-smx-provider”, you will no longer be able to upgrade to any future ESX version and will need to do a full installation every time (thank you HP!). That being said, here is the procedure to customize the ISO:
Customize your own HPE ESX ISO
- Install PowerCLI from here. At the time of this writing, the latest version was 6.5.0R1.
- Download both the ESX 6.5 and 6.0 offline bundles and save them to a convenient place (ex: C:\HP) — download from this link. To make it easier, rename them to something like HPE_ESX6.5.zip and HPE_ESX6.0.zip.
- Open up PowerCLI and do the following:Add the 6.5 bundle
12cd C:\HPAdd-EsxSoftwareDepot -DepotUrl HPE_ESX6.5.zip
# check that the profile was loaded and the vendor is HPE
# clone the profile (feel free to specify whatever you like for the “vendor” when prompted)
1New-EsxImageProfile -CloneProfile HPE-ESXi-6.5.0* -Name "HPE-ESX-6.5-CUST"
# double check the profile was indeed cloned
# Remove the “hpe-smx-provider” driver from the clone
1Remove-EsxSoftwarePackage HPE-ESX-6.5-CUST hpe-smx-provider
# Add the 6.0 bundle
1Add-EsxSoftwareDepot -DepotUrl HPE_ESX6.0.zip
# check the profile
# check driver versions from both bundles
1Get-EsxSoftwarePackage | findstr smx
# Add hpe-smx-provider version 6.00 to the custom profile
1add-esxsoftwarepackage -imageprofile HPE-ESX-6.5-CUST- softwarepackage "hpe-smx-provider 600.03.11.00.9-2768847"
# Export the profile to an ISO
1Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile HPE-ESX-6.5-CUST -ExportToIso -filepath "HPE-ESX-6.5-CUST.iso"
The following images have hpe-smx-provider version 600.03.11.00.9-2768847. Nothing else was changed. The 6.5.0d (build 5310538) is running on an HP Proliant DL380 G7 since March 2018 and was also tested on a DL380 G6 for a couple of months. For convenience, I’ve also built a 6.7.0 ISO: