Required MPS Table BIOS Settings for ESX Server on ProLiant
search cancel

Required MPS Table BIOS Settings for ESX Server on ProLiant


Article ID: 341443


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


HP ProLiant servers (and pre-merger Compaq ProLiant servers) require specific BIOS settings in order to be fully compatible with VMware ESX Server. Use of BIOS settings with values other than those identified below might result in operational instability.
If the MPS Table Mode setting within the ProLiant BIOS is not properly configured for ESX Server, the BIOS might not fully populate the PCI interrupt routing entries in the MP Configuration Table (part of the Intel MultiProcessor Specification). An incomplete MP Configuration Table might result in failure of an initial installation of ESX Server, failure to complete the boot process, or instability during normal operation.


VMware ESX Server 2.1.x
VMware ESX Server 2.5.x
VMware ESX Server 2.0.x
VMware ESX Server 3.0.x


ESX Server requires a BIOS MPS Table Mode setting of Full Table APIC. With the exception of the specific systems referenced below, the following BIOS settings must be applied in order if available:

  1. System Options > OS Selection: Select Windows 2000.
  2. Advanced Options > MPS Table Mode: Select Full Table APIC.

When presented with multiple Windows options (Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows .NET, and so on) select Windows 2000. If both BIOS settings are available and can be modified, both must be set correctly. You should confirm these settings after any BIOS upgrade operation.

For the HP ProLiant DL 740 and DL 760 servers specifically, set the OS Selection BIOS setting to Linux to allow for proper operation when hyperthreading is enabled. The remainder of the BIOS settings, and the order in which they are applied, are as specified above.

If any BIOS setting is incorrect, you might see one or more messages in /var/log/messages or /var/log/vmkwarning on the Service Console similar to the following:

May 11 22:36:30 esx101 vmkernel: 0:00:00:00.00 ALERT: Chipset: 303: no PCI entries - Check BIOS Settings

May 11 22:36:30 esx101 vmkernel: 0:00:00:00.000 cpu0) ALERT: Chipset: 433: no PCI entries in MPS table - check BIOS settings

May 11 22:36:30 esx101 vmkernel: 0:00:00:00.000 cpu0) WARNING: IOAPIC: 986: no PCI entry for busID 2 busIRQ 8 - trying ISA irq 15

You might also see unnecessary hardware interrupt sharing, which is explained in detail in knowledge base article 1290 at

You might need to use the ROM-Based Setup Utility (RBSU), SmartStart CD, or other BIOS configuration tool to make these adjustments. Hewlett-Packard's Web site includes extensive documentation on how to adjust BIOS settings on HP and Compaq systems, including generalized RBSU guides which may be found at

The "OS Selection" section of the HP RBSU User Guide notes that, in certain circumstances, adjusting the OS Selection BIOS setting might result in an automatic change of the MPS Table Mode BIOS setting (emphasis added):

The OS Selection option allows you to select the primary OS for the server. A list of supported OSs for the server displays on the menu, with the ROM defaulting to Microsoft Windows 2000 when the server supports it. Default server Multi Processor (MP) settings and PCI Hot Plug reservation settings are automatically set based on the OS selected.

Although an automatic change might occur, the individual BIOS settings should be confirmed explicitly. For additional assistance in making these changes, please contact HP Technical Support.