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

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  • 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.


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


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:


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