Understanding Exception 6 purple diagnostic screens
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Understanding Exception 6 purple diagnostic screens


Article ID: 304474


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi




The purple diagnostic screen contains one of these messages, depending on the product version that you are using:

VMware ESX 4.0, VMware ESX 4.1

VMware ESX [Releasebuild-164009 X86_64]
#UD Exception(6) in world 4234:hxge @ 0x418001086455
frame=0x4100c0457db8 ip=0x418001086455 cr2=0x0 cr3=0x7f59a000
err=6 rflags=0x10202 cr4=0x16c
rax=0x6c rbx=0xb2 rcx=0xc0457ca3
rdx=0x6c rbp=0x4100c0457ec0 rsi=0x4100c0457d30
rdi=0x0 r8=0x10 r9=0x4100c0457d50
r10=0x0 r11=0x0 r12=0x4100b6005570
r13=0x0 r14=0xffff r15=0x2964a5
0:4096/console 1:4097/idle1 2:4098/idle2 3:4099/idle3
*4:4234/hxge 5:4101/idle5 6:4102/idle6 7:4103/idle7
8:4104/idle8 9:4105/idle9 10:4106/idle10 11:4107/idle11
12:4108/idle12 13:4109/idle13 14:4110/idle14 15:4111/idle15
@BlueScreen: #UD Exception(6) in world 4234:hxge @ 0x418001086455
Code starts at 0x418000c00000
0x4100c0457ec0:[0x418001086455]reclaim_tx_ring+0x5c stack: 0x400
0x4100c0457f60:[0x418001087f7b]reclaim_thread+0x6a stack: 0x41000000001e
0x4100c0457fa0:[0x418000fb4fc2]LinuxStartFunc+0x51 stack: 0x1e
0x4100c0457ff0:[0x418000c96cff]vmkWorldFunc+0x52 stack: 0x0
0x4100c0457ff8:[0x0]Unknown stack: 0x0
VMK uptime: 0:07:32:07.408 TSC: 68550556360975
FSbase (0x0) GSbase (0x0) kernelGSbase (0x0)

VMware ESX 3.5

VMware ESX Server [Releasebuild-163429]
Exception type 6 in world 1047:helper1-2 @ 0x8b35a9
frame=0x3a5fe24 ip=0x8b35a9 cr2=0x0 cr3=0x3f6a3000 cr4=0x16c
es=0x674028 ds=0x2854028 fs=0x2884028 gs=0x4028
eax=0x0 ebx=0x2255100 ecx=0x41502000 edx=0x0
ebp=0x3d641078 esi=0x3d6011f4 edi=0x3d6011e8 err=0 eflags=0x10246
0:1024/console 1:1025/idle1 2:1026/idle2 *3:1047/helper1-2
4:1028/idle4 5:1029/idle5 6:1030/idle6 7:1031/idle7
8:1032/idle8 9:1033/idle9 10:1034/idle10 11:1035/idle11
12:1036/idle12 13:1037/idle13 14:1038/idle14 15:1039/idle15
@BlueScreen: Exception type 6 in world 1047:helper1-2 @ 0x8b35a9
0x3d641078:[0x8b35a9]aacraid_esx30+0x75a8 stack: 0x0, 0x0, 0x0
VMK uptime: 0:10:48:56.626 TSC: 72683955512532
0:10:46:53.446 cpu0:1047)NMI: 1625: Faulting eip:esp [0x6402a7:0x3a5fe2c]
0:10:48:53.446 cpu1:1025)Heartbeat: 470: PCPU 0 didn't have a heartbeat for 180 seconds. *may* be locked up
0:10:48:53.446 cpu0:1047)NMI: 1625: Faulting eip:esp [0x6402ab:0x3a5fe2c]
Starting coredump to disk Starting coredump to disk Dumping using slot 1 of 1... using slot 1 of 1... log


VMware ESXi 4.0.x Installable
VMware ESXi 3.5.x Embedded
VMware ESX 4.1.x
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Embedded
VMware ESX Server 3.0.x
VMware ESXi 3.5.x Installable
VMware ESX Server 3.5.x
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Embedded
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Installable
VMware ESX 4.0.x



An Operation Code (Opcode), is part of a machine language instruction that specifies an operation to be performed. An Opcode is a specific instruction, for example add, subtract, copy, or compare.

The specification and format of an Opcode is specified in the instruction set architecture of the processor(CPU) or in a component of the processor.

Another part of the machine language instruction is the Operand, which specifies the data that needs to be manipulated.

For example, an instruction for a CPU can be written to add (the opcode) a number (an operand) and another number (another operand) together.

There are other elements required for a complete instruction, however, such as CPU registers and memory addresses. Details on additional elements fall outside the scope of this article.

Exception 6: Invalid Opcode

In ESX, the #UD Exception(6) or Exception Type 6 purple diagnostic screen results from a CPU attempting to execute an undefined or invalid instruction (Opcode). These may be caused by, but not limited to:

  • Driver errors:

    • A device driver may have mishandled instructions involving a problem peripheral device.
    • A device may not be fully-supported by the device driver.
    • The device driver may have software issues.

  • Firmware errors: A device may have malfunctioning or unsupported firmware which results in incorrect hardware initialization or utilization. This may potentially manifest as an error in the device driver.

  • Hardware failure: An exceptional condition has been encountered by a hardware component either partially or completely. This may include system memory, CPUs, the system motherboard, or a peripheral.

  • Memory corruption:


  1. Take a screenshot from your System Management Interface (such as iLO, iLOM, DRAC, RSA, or an IP KVM), and wait for the server to generate a core dump.

    Note: The core dump process can take up to an hour to complete. Its completion should be indicated by a Disk dump successful message towards the end of the diagnostic screen's printed output.

  2. Reboot the server.

  3. Collect diagnostic information from the affected VMware ESX host and submit a support request. For more information, see Collecting diagnostic information for VMware products (1008524) and How to Submit a Support Request.

Additional Information

For more information on the analysis and interpretation of an ESX host purple diagnostic screen, see: Interpreting an ESX host purple diagnostic screen (1004250).

VMware ESX 3.5

If you have received an Exception Type 6 purple diagnostic screen that exactly matches the symptoms outlined in the second example under Symptoms, see:

Note: If you encounter an error has not been documented within the knowledge base, collect diagnostic information from the ESX host and submit a support request.

Understanding Invalid Opcode messages
Interpreting an ESX/ESXi host purple diagnostic screen
Collecting diagnostic information for VMware products
Understanding Exception 13 and Exception 14 purple diagnostic screen events in ESX 3.x/4.x and ESXi 3.x/4.x/5.x/6.x
VMware ESX/ESXi 4.1 host with Broadcom bnx2x (in-box driver version 1.54.1.v41.1-1vmw) experiences a loss of network connectivity and a purple diagnostic screen