ESXi host fails with a purple diagnostic screen mentioning "SP_TryLockIRQWithRA" (2033780)
- An ESXi host stops responding and displays a purple diagnostic screen indicating that a Page Fault (
#PF) exception has occurred.
- The purple diagnostic screen contains information similar to:
#PF Exception 14 in world wwww:WorldName IP 0xnnnnnn addr 0xnnn
- The ESXi host is using Intel Xeon CPUs which support Flex Priority.
This article describes a specific issue. If you experience all of the above symptoms, consult the sections below. If you experience some but not all of these symptoms, your issue is not related to this article. Search the Knowledge Base for your symptoms, see Interpreting an ESX/ESXi host purple diagnostic screen (1004250) for similar issues, or Open a Support Request.
This is a known issue affecting ESX/ESXi 4.1 and ESXi 5.0/5.1.
This issue will not occur in environments which have an altered system configuration. Implement the workaround applicable to your version of ESX/ESXi.
- For systems running ESXi 5.0/5.1
VMware has released a patch which prevents the failure from occurring. No failures have been observed with Flex Priority disabled. For more information, see the release notes:
- VMware ESXi 5.0, Patch ESXi500-201305401-BG: Updates esx-base (2051212)
- VMware ESXi 5.1, Patch ESXi510-201305401-BG: Updates esx-base (2051208)
If the system had Hyperthreading previously disabled as a workaround, re-enable it.
- For systems running ESX/ESXi 4.1
This issue has not been observed in environments where Hyperthreading is disabled. This reduces the capacity of the host and indirectly avoids conditions that lead to the outage.
Disabling Hyperthreading may cause some workloads to experience performance impact, but many workloads will be unaffected. VMware recommends that any production workload be monitored post-change to determine whether there is a performance impact, and whether that impact is preferable to the risk of additional outages.
To disable Hyperthreading in the server BIOS, consult the hardware vendor's documentation for instructions.
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