Partition table fails to update active partitions
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Partition table fails to update active partitions

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Article ID: 302130

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Updated On:

Products

VMware

Issue/Introduction

Symptoms:

You are experiencing these issues:

  • Partition tables on an ESXi/ESX host fail to update
  • Datastores are missing from the VI/vSphere Client.
  • Datastores are missing from /vmfs/volumes/
  • In the /var/log/vmkernel log file, you see entries similar to:
    Partition vmhbax:x:x is active: partition table was not updated
    Aug 7 10:17:52 esx1 vmkernel: 3:23:17:21.756 cpu9:4119)WARNING: Partition: 806: Partition 1 is active, failure to update partition table for naa.60a9800057396d4b566f4b356e48774b
  • In the /var/log/vmware/hostd.log log file, you see entries similar to:
    [10:17:48.626 F59A1B90 verbose 'FSVolumeProvider'] RefreshVMFSVolumes called
    [10:17:48.626 F59A1B90 verbose 'FSVolumeProvider'] RescanVmfs called
    [10:17:49.425 F59A1B90 verbose 'FSVolumeProvider'] LookupVmfs: Cannot find VMFS volume with id <unset>, path, /vmfs/volumes/4926c7f4-24110dac-c02e-0015177d1c0b, or name <unset>
    [10:17:49.425 F59A1B90 verbose 'Hostsvc::DatastoreSystem'] ExpungeMissingDatastore: Removing datastore VMFS3-10k.
    [10:17:49.425 F59A1B90 verbose 'DatastoreBrowser'] 4926c7f4-24110dac-c02e-0015177d1c0b-datastorebrowser::Destroy
    [10:17:49.425 F59A1B90 verbose 'Hostsvc::Datastore'] DatastoreImpl 4926c7f4-24110dac-c02e-0015177d1c0b Stopped
Note: The timestamps of these error messages represent the time at which log rescans discovered the missing partition tables for the VMFS datastores and not the time when the partitions themselves were removed or cleared. Since the exact time of the partitions being removed or cleared is not shown in the logs, understanding what previous changes were made in the environment can help to identify a root cause.

Resolution

These errors occur when partition tables for VMFS volumes are removed while ESX/ESXi is using them. This can result from other systems clearing partition tables from visible LUNs to prepare them for use.

For example:

  • During installation of a new operating system on a physical server, it may delete or overwrite partitions on those LUNs as part of the installation.
  • After an operating system is installed, it can be directed to overwrite partitions of LUNs it has visibility to.
  • The ESX installer can be directed to overwrite an existing VMFS Datastore, though it will warn against possible data loss.
  • Unattended or automated installations, such as kickstart, jumpstart, and FAI, or full-disk imaging processes may overwrite contents of LUNs that they have access to.
  • Utilities such as fdisk, parted or dd may be invoked on any server with LUN visibility, and remove or alter the partition table on the LUN.
  • Storage array issues may impact contents of LUNs.

These or similar situations may accidentally occur if LUNs are presented to a mixture of ESX/ESXi and non-ESX/ESXi servers. To prevent against the above situations, restrict LUN visibility to only servers which are trusted and which require access to the VMFS Datastores.

To recreate a partition table, see:

Warning: If changes beyond the compromised partition table are made to a disk, data may not be recoverable and need to be restored from backup.


Additional Information

Recovering a lost partition table on a VMFS volume
Partition table fails to update active partitions
Using the partedUtil command line utility on ESXi and ESX
Recreating a missing VMFS datastore partition in VMware vSphere 5.x and 6.x