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Installing ESXi 6.5 on Apple MacPro 6.1 fails (2149537)

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Symptoms

  • Installing ESXi 6.5 on Apple MacPro 6.1 fails.
  • In the /var/log/vmkernel log file, you see entries similar to:

    2017-01-10T01:49:06.948Z cpu6:65789)vmw_ahci[00000e00]: LogExceptionSignal:Port 0, Signal:  --|--|--|AB|--|--|--|--|--|--|--|-- (0x0008) Curr: --|--|--|--|--|--|--|--|--|--|--|-- (0x0000)
    2017-01-10T01:49:06.948Z cpu5:65939)vmw_ahci[00000e00]: LogExceptionProcess:Port 0, Process: --|--|--|AB|--|--|--|--|--|--|--|-- (0x0008) Curr: --|--|--|AB|--|--|--|--|--|--|--|-- (0x0008)
    2017-01-10T01:49:06.948Z cpu5:65939)WARNING: vmw_ahci[00000e00]: ExceptionHandlerWorld:AHCI_SIGNAL_ABORT_REQUEST signal.
    2017-01-10T01:49:06.948Z cpu5:65939)vmw_ahci[00000e00]: ExceptionHandlerWorld:Abort scan took 0 (us) to complete, 0 commands aborted.

    Note: This log excerpt is an example. Date, time, and environmental variables may vary depending on your environment.

Purpose

This article provides a workaround for the ESXi installation issue.

Cause

This occurs due to known issues with the native ESXi AHCI (vmw_ahci) driver introduced in vSphere 6.5 with the Apple MacPro 6.1 storage controller.

Resolution

This issue is resolved in ESXi 6.5 U1, available at VMware Downloads.

To work around this issue, install the ESXi 6.5 host with the vmklinux AHCI driver. After the first boot, enable the ESXi native drivers and disable the default driver vmw_ahci.

Notes
  • This workaround is applicable only for installing or upgrading to ESXi 6.5 on a stateful systems using the ESXi 6.5 installation media.
  • These steps enable ESXi native drivers for all devices with the exception of the storage controller using the vmklinux_ahci driver.
  1. Ensure the system firmware version is MP61.88Z.0116.B17.1602221600 (dated 02/22/2016) or later.
  2. Boot the ESXi host using the vSphere 6.5 installer media.
  3. Press Shift + O on the first blank screen to open the boot options.
  4. Add this parameter to the boot options:

    prefervmklinux=True

  5. Completed the installation.
  6. After the system reboots open the Shell console and run these commands:

    esxcli system settings kernel set -s preferVmklinux -v FALSE

    esxcli system module set --enabled=false –m vmw_ahci  

    reboot

Update History

7/27/2017-Updated 6.5 U1 download link in Resolution

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