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ESXi 5.5 host fails with a purple diagnostic screen and the error: Usage error in dlmalloc (2063672)

Symptoms

When using Broadcom NC382i Gigabit network adapters for software iSCSI and the NICs are configured for jumbo frames (MTU 9000), you experience these symptoms:

  • Rebooting an ESXi host fails.
  • You see a purple diagnostic screen.
  • You see a backtrace similar to:
@BlueScreen: PANIC bora/vmkernel/main/dlmalloc.c:4892 - Usage error in dlmalloc
Code start: 0x418037800000 VMK uptime: 1:00:07:01.024
0x41238151dbf0:[0x41803788ccd9]PanicvPanicInt@vmkernel#nover+0x575 stack: 0x412300000008
0x41238151dc50:[0x41803788cf1d]Panic_NoSave@vmkernel#nover+0x49 stack: 0x410a0c43d000
0x41238151dc70:[0x4180378422ef]DLM_free@vmkernel#nover+0x67b stack: 0x20
0x41238151dcc0:[0x418037858017]Heap_Free@vmkernel#nover+0x107 stack: 0x410a2093a0b0
0x41238151dce0:[0x418037fadb1d]ooo_free_buf_single@com.broadcom.cnic#9.2.2.0+0x3d stack: 0x410a2093
0x41238151dd20:[0x418037faf3e5]cnic_free_resc@com.broadcom.cnic#9.2.2.0+0x16d stack: 0x41238151dd80
0x41238151dd50:[0x418037fac74a]cnic_stop_hw@com.broadcom.cnic#9.2.2.0+0x102 stack: 0x410006762000
0x41238151ddb0:[0x418037fb38a2]cnic_ctl@com.broadcom.cnic#9.2.2.0+0x1a6 stack: 0x1
0x41238151de50:[0x418037f99b8c]bnx2_cnic_stop@com.broadcom.bnx2#9.2.2.0+0x7c stack: 0x417ff7b2b2e0
0x41238151de90:[0x418037f9a784]bnx2_close@com.broadcom.bnx2#9.2.2.0+0x20 stack: 0x412300001018
0x41238151ded0:[0x418037eb05d5]dev_close@com.vmware.driverAPI#9.2+0xa5 stack: 0x41090687fc30
0x41238151def0:[0x418037eb06b4]CloseNetDev@com.vmware.driverAPI#9.2+0x7c stack: 0x41092d38c840
0x41238151df30:[0x418037a3a923]UplinkAsyncProcessCallsHelperCB@vmkernel#nover+0x223 stack: 0x0
0x41238151dfd0:[0x418037860f8a]helpFunc@vmkernel#nover+0x6b6 stack: 0x0
0x41238151dff0:[0x418037a53242]CpuSched_StartWorld@vmkernel#nover+0xfa stack: 0x0

Cause

This issue occurs during the host power down sequence, the CNIC driver frees all allocated DMA memory unexpectedly.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, download and install the Broadcom BNX2 driver, version bnx2-2.2.4f.v55.3 or later. This driver is part of the Broadcom NetXtreme driver bundle 1.78.58.v55.1.
 
You can download the latest Broadcom driver bundle for ESXi 5.5 from the VMware Download Center.

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