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I’ve got a case of a host upgraded to VMware vSphere 5.1 with a determinist PSOD during each host reboot or shutdown (I’ve found the issue during the first patch update). No difference if hosts where rebuild from scratch with a similar configuration. And no difference with all recent ESXi patches.

After a full upgrade of each BIOS, firmware and drivers (and of course the HCL verification) I’ve only found the KB 2038281 (ESXi 5.1 host fails with a purple diagnostic screen when Beacon probing is enabled).

Syntoms where similar:

  • Cannot reboot a ESXi 5.1 host when Beacon probing is enabled.
  • Rebooting an ESXi 5.1 host enabled with Beacon probing on the NIC teaming policy fails with a purple diagnostic screen.

This is a known issue affecting ESXi 5.1.x and will fixed in a future update. To work around this issue, deactivate Beacon probing if it is activated on one of the switches.

Unfortunately was not my case (and is still open) but I suppose that is some behavior in the the new distributed virtual switches implementation, combined with the used NIC (Broadcom) that cause the issue (in fact, with standard virtual switches works perfect).


Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-24. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-23. Nutanix NTC 2014-20. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.