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Network cards not detected on an ESXi/ESX host (1034782)

Symptoms

When you add a new a network card to your ESXi/ESX host you experience these symptoms:
  • The new network card is not recognized by the system.
  • The new network card is not listed when you run the command:

    esxcfg-nics -l

Purpose

This article provides steps to troubleshoot a network card that is not recognized by the system.

Resolution

This issue can occur after adding a new NIC or replacing a NIC on your ESXi/ESX hosts.

To troubleshoot this issue:

  1. To determine if the ESXi/ESX host is seeing the new NIC devices, run the command:

    lspci -v |less

  2. Search the output for:

    /Ethernet

    Look for the network card that has been added to the system. Note the PCI slot and bus number (xx:xx) returned.

  3. To obtain the Vendor ID (VID) and the Device ID (DID) of the new NIC, run the command:

    lspci -n |grep xx:xx

    This returns the VID and DID of the card in the format: nnnn:nnnn. The first set of numbers is the VID; the second set is the DID.

  4. To determine if the card is supported for the version of ESX/ESXi you are running.

    1. Go to the VMware Compatibility Guide.
    2. Select IO Devices from the dropdown.
    3. Select the VID and DID values from the dropdowns, and click Update and View Results.
    4. Under I/O Device and Model Information, click the model name. A list of available drivers displays.
    5. Take note of the device driver name, the firmware version, and the type of driver (inbox or async).

      Note: Inbox drivers are included with ESXi/ESX when you perform the initial installation. Async drivers are drivers that have to be installed after installation or must be incorporated into the installation image. In ESXi 5.x, this can be done using Image Builder. For more information, see Installing async drivers on ESXi 5.x (2005205).

    Note: If you do not see your version of ESXi/ESX listed, the card has not been certified. Your vendor may provide a driver that you can use until they are able to complete the certification process. 

  5. To confirm that you have the appropriate driver loaded on your system:

    • For ESXi hosts, run the command:

      vmkload_mod -l |grep drivername

    • For ESX hosts, run the command:

      rpm -qa | grep drivername

    Note: If a line is returned, the driver is installed and the card is recognized. Proceed to step 7. If a line is not return, proceed to step 6.

  6. If the driver is not loaded, obtain and install the appropriate driver:

    1. Go to the VMware Compatibility Guide.
    2. Select IO Devices from the dropdown.
    3. Select the VID and DID values from the dropdowns, and click Update and View Results.
    4. Under I/O Device and Model Information, click the model name. A list of available drivers displays.
    5. Copy the Device Driver version name.
    6. Navigate to the VMware download page and paste the Device Driver version name into the Search field.
    7. Search for the version of the driver you need to install in the list of links.
    8. Click Manually Download.
    9. Mount or open the ISO and find the offline-bundle folder.
    10. In the offline bundle folder, locate the zip file that needs to be installed on the host.
    11. Upload this file to the host by uploading the file to a datastore on the host or using a program like WinSCP to copy the file.
    12. Navigate to the directory of the uploaded file and install the driver:

      • For ESXi/ESX 5.x, run the command:

        esxcli software vib install -d offline-bundle.zip

      • For ESXi/ESX 3.5 and 4.x, run the command:

        esxupdate --bundle=bundlename.zip update

    13. Reboot the host when prompted.

    Caution: A hardware vendor may have a specific process or script that must be run to update or install a driver. Follow the hardware vendor's recommendations for installation.

    Note: The host needs to be in maintenance mode to run the update. If the update does not run on the host:

    • For ESXi/ESX 5.x, run the command:

      esxcli system maintenanceMode set -e true

    • For ESXi/ESX 3.5 and 4.x, run the command:

      esxupdate --bundle=bundlename.zip update --maintenancemode

  7. If the network card is still not detected, check the log files.

    Note: You are checking to see if the devices are being claimed and loaded or if there is some other error being reported about the driver or the network card.

    • For ESXi 5.x, check /var/log/vmkernel.log  and /var/log/hostd-0.log, search for /vmnic or /drivername.

    • For ESXi 4.1 and earlier, check /var/log/messages and /var/log/vmware/hostd-0.log, search for /vmnic or/drivername.

    • For ESX, check /var/log/vmkernel, search for /vmnic or /drivername

Additional Information

The resolution also applies to HBA cards that are not detected when the corresponding async drivers are not installed.

For installing Async Driver on ESX/ESXi 4.x, see Installing async drivers on ESX/ESXi 4.x (1032936).

For installing Async Driver on ESXi 5.0, see Installing async drivers on ESXi 5.x (2005205).

Tags

network-card-not-detected

See Also

Update History

10/27/2011 - Updated the Additional Information section 05/22/2013 - Updated the command for installing driver in ESXi 5.x 05/22/2013 - Updated the command for maintenance mode in ESXi 5.x

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