VMWare ESX Server – Server Crash – Purple COS screen


This morning I got a purple screen on a VMWare ESX 4.1.0 running on Dell R510 load with 32 GB RAM and 8 300GB 15K SAS drives. The machine had been up and running without issues for 65 days. It has been hosting 7 virtual machines consisting of 3 heavy weight VMs.

Since this was the first time I got the purple screen I did a bit of digging. Here’s the some info on the crash screen:

ESX 4.1.0 Release Build 260247
COS Panic: Lost HeartBeat @ esxsc_panic +0x43/0x4f
cr0=0x8005003b cr2=0x5c619634 cr3=0xcf60000 cr4=0x660
cpu0: 4096 VMLinux: (0)kernel panic, not syncing, lost heartbeat

A little bit of research on the VMWare KnowledgeBase and found the following links explaining the situation.

Understanding a “Lost Heartbeat” purple diagnostic screen
Understanding an “Oops” purple diagnostic screen

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