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ESX 4.x stops booting with the error: Failed to copy esx.conf from initrd to filesystem (1013233)

Symptoms

  • ESX 4.x host stops booting.
  • ESX 4.x host fails.
  • You see the error: 

    Failed to copy esx.conf from initrd to filesystem.
    Possible cause: Read-Only Filesystem or storage device
    MD5 sum mismatch between local and initrd esx.conf
    Halting boot to prevent configuration loss.

Cause

This issue occurs if errors force the filesystem to change into a read-only state (the default response).

Resolution

To resolve this issue, check for and correct errors in the filesystem.
 
To check for and correct errors: 

  1. When booted into the initrd after the error, determine what block device the COS VMDK is mounted on (for example, /dev/sdb), run the command:

    vsd -l

  2. To get the partition number for the / filesystem (for example, 2), determine the partition layout of the block device, run the command:

    fdisk -lu /dev/sdb2

  3. To copy the fsck binary, exit the currently mounted / filesystem (mounted on /sysroot by default) and into the RAM disk, run the command:

    cp /sysroot/sbin/fsck.ext3 /fsck.ext3

  4. To unmount the filesystem, run the command::

    umount /sysroot

  5. To check for errors, run the command:

    ./fsck.ext3 -n /dev/sdb2

  6. Where applicable correct the errors, run the command:

    ./fsck.ext3 /dev/sdb2

  7. To reboot the host, run the command:

    reboot

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