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VMFS Datastores Are Inaccessible After Upgrading the PERC 4 Firmware on Systems with ESX Server 3.0.x (1001577)

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Users who have installed ESX Server and configured virtual machines on systems with a PERC 4/DC, PERC 4e/DC, or PERC 4e/Di card running firmware version 351X or 521X (or lower) or 352B or 522A lose their VMware file system (VMFS) datastores on the local storage after upgrading to PERC 4 firmware version 352B or 522A, or 352D or 522D, respectively.

Note: The firmware upgrade affects only ESX Server 3.0.x and not ESX Server 2.5.x.


The workaround involves the resignaturing of VMFS datastores on the local storage attached only to a PERC 4 card and adding virtual machines on those volumes back to the inventory.

Warning: To avoid running into this issue, do not upgrade the firmware version to 352B or 522A.

Table 1: Firmware Configurations and Their Implications

Current Firmware Version

Upgraded Firmware Version

Recommended Firmware Version


351X/521X or lower


351X/521X or 352D/522D or higher

Warning: Upgrading from firmware version 351X/521X to 352B/522A makes your VMFS datastores inaccessible.

To regain your VMFS datastores without resignaturing, either roll back to the previous firmware version 351X/521X or upgrade to firmware version 352D/522D. Resignaturing is required only if you insist on staying with the upgraded firmware version 352B/522A.


352D/522D or higher


Warning: Upgrading from firmware version 352B/522A to 352D/522D or higher or rolling back to any previous version such as 351X/521X makes your VMFS datastores inaccessible. You must resignature the datastores to make them accessible.




If you perform a fresh installation of ESX Server 3.0.x on a system running PERC 4 firmware version 352B/522A, the newly created VMFS datastores are not affected. Therefore, no resignaturing is required if you decide to stay with this firmware version.

Procedure for Resignaturing
  1. Before upgrading, check the vmhba datastore associated with your local storage. To do so, run the following command from the service console:

    $ vmkchdev –L | grep –A1 vmhba

    Sample Output:

    002:12.0 1077:2312 1077:0100 vmkernel vmhba0
    QLogic Corp. QLA2312 Fibre Channel Adapter
    002:14.0 1028:0013 1028:016c vmkernel vmhba1
    PCI device 1028:0013 (Dell Computer Corporation)

    The sample output shows that vmhba1 is associated with the local storage.

  2. Note down the names with which your VMFS datastores are addressed.

  3. Upgrade your PERC firmware. After upgrading, the vmhba local storage volumes are no longer visible to the ESX Server system. When the system reboots, you are instructed to resignature the datastores. See the VMware SAN Configuration Guide at for detailed information about resignaturing.

  4. Check /vmfs/volumes to confirm that the vmhba local storage volumes are inaccessible.

  5. From the service console, run the following command:

    $ esxcfg-advcfg –s 1 /LVM/EnableResignature

    This enables VMFS datastore resignaturing. VMFS datastore resignaturing involves resignaturing the UUID of the VMFS datastore.

  6. Rescan the vmhba local storage volume from the service console:

    $ esxcfg-rescan vmhbaX

    X is the value associated with your vmhba datastore.

    After rescanning, the vmhba local storage volume appears as /vmfs/volumes/snap-<DIGIT>-<old-label> . ESX Server logical volume manager sees the VMFS datastore as a snapshot of the original datastore.

    Perform a rescan from the service console only. Do not use the VI Client for this task because the process will rescan and therefore resignature all the VMFS datastores including the ones on shared storage. This creates a snapshot of the datastores on the shared storage and makes them inaccessible.

  7. Rename your VMFS datastore (now visible as a snapshot) to the original name associated with your storage from the VI Client.

  8. Disable resignaturing by setting its value to 0:

    $ esxcfg-advcfg –s 0 /LVM/EnableResignature

  9. Using VI Client, browse the local VMFS datastores and add your virtual machines to the inventory.

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