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VMware ESX/ESXi 4.0 host with Broadcom bnx2x Async Driver Version 1.52.12.v40.3 experiences a loss of network connectivity and a purple diagnostic screen (1028091)

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If you are using VMware ESX/ESXi 4.0 and Broadcom's ESX bnx2x async (independently-released) driver version 1.52.12.v40.3 or lower, you may experience these symptoms:
  • A loss of network connectivity from the host.
  • A purple diagnostic screen occurs on the ESX host (this may not occur in all cases)
  • The Broadcom bnx2x driver panics and dumps backtraces, with these messages that precede the dump output, in /var/log/vmkernel logs (/var/log/messages for ESXi):

    Jun 29 23:12:23 vmkernel: 10:09:29:13.768 cpu8:4127059)<3>[bnx2x_stats_update:4640(vmnic1)]driver assert
    Jun 29 23:12:23 vmkernel: 10:09:29:13.768 cpu8:4127059)<3>[bnx2x_panic_dump:658(vmnic1)]begin crash dump

  • This issue has occurred with, but is not exclusive to, HP Proliant and Integrity Bladeservers using BCM57711E interfaces.


This is a known issue with the bnx2x driver version 1.52.12.v40.3.

This issue is related to transmission of LSO packets with a very large TCP payload in a single continuous memory buffer.


The updated bnx2x Async Driver Version 1.52.12.v40.8 resolves this issue. You can download the officially certified driver CD at
  • This driver has the same content as the interim hot patch which was released to some customers to test.
  • Any systems currently using the hot-patch should apply the updated driver at the earliest opportunity as the hot-patch is no longer supported.
Please refer the "Additional Information" section for similar symptoms. It is recommended to upgrade to the latest version of Broadcom bnx2x driver - version 1.64.32.v40.1

Determining the running driver version

To determine the version of the driver ESX/ ESXi host terminal and run this command:
# vmkload_mod -s bnx2x |grep Version

For additional instructions on logging into an ESXi 3.5 or 4.0 server host terminal, see Tech Support Mode for Emergency Support (1003677).

Note: If above command does not return any results then you are not using the bnx2x driver on the ESX/ESXi host and this issue is not applicable.

Additional Information

See Also

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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  • 7 Ratings