If after ESXi upgrade the host does not see network card. You need to check the compatibility of drivers which came with a new ESXi version with your network card firmware. This example is for Emulex HP NC550SFP (Part Number 581201-B21) and ESXi 6.0 U1b HP custom image.
- Check the current BIOS version for Emulex 10GB card (version 4.9.416.2)
2. Check VMware Compatability Guide for the specific network card (i.e. HP NC550SFP http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/detail.php?deviceCategory=io&productid=17123)
3. SSH to host and check the firmware version installed: esxcli software vib list | grep elxnet
VMware ESXi 6.0 U1b comes with 10.5.121.7-OEM.600.0.0.2159203 driver for elxnet. This driver does not support the NC550SFP card’s firmware version. Need to downgrade the drivers.
4. Download the driver version required (10.2.298.5)
5. Remove the elxnet vib: software vib remove -n elxnet
6. Install the required driver version: esxcli software vib install -d “/vmfs/volumes/datastore/tmp/VMW-ESX-5.5.0-elxnet-10.2.298.5-offline_bundle-2263089.zip”
7. Reboot the host: esxcli system shutdown reboot -r ‘Downgrade Emulex HP NC550SFP driver (elxnet) to 10.2.298.5’
VMware kb2008939: Installing patches on an ESXi 5.x/6.x host from the command line (2008939)
The upgrade stalls on Scanning system…. Gathering additional system information. This may take a few moments.
On the background screen: ValueError: Cannot merge VIBs Mellanox_bootbank_net-mst_184.108.40.206-1OEM.5220.127.116.112560, Mellanox_bootbank_net-mst_18.104.22.168-1OEM.522.214.171.1242560 with unequal payloads attributes ([net-mst: 8.250 KB], [net-mst: 8.242 KB])
1. Login to ESXi via SSH
2. Check All VIBs:
~# esxcli software vib list
Check All VIBs with net in name
~# esxcli software vib list | grep net
List Network Uplinks Installed on Server (Check that Mellanox is not used by any of uplinks)
~# esxcli network nic list
Remove net-mst VIB/offline bundle driver
~# esxcli software vib remove -n net-mst
You should receive the following confirmation after you run the above command:
Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
VIBs Removed: Mellanox_bootbank_net-mst_126.96.36.199-1OEM.5188.8.131.522560
3. Restart host
4. Boot to HP Custom ESXi Installation Image/CD
The Installation should not give error now