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Citrix PVS 6.1 Target Device fails to start on VMWare ESXi 5.1 with a blue screen

19. February 2013

One of our customers recently upgraded his VMWare enviroment from Version 4 to Version 5.1 He is using Provisioning Services to deploy some of his servers.

In the past it was necessary to use the "E1000” Network-Adapter to start the PVS Target Devices. With release 5 of VMWare this changed and it’s now necessary to use the VMXNet3 Network-Adapter. Thus we changed the network adapter (which are saved in the image) from E1000 to VMXNet3 – following these steps:
1. Re-image the PVS-vDisk to a local Hard-Drive from a Virtual-Server
2. Uninstall Citrix PVS Target Device Tools
3. Update of the VMWare Tools
4. Remove the E1000 Network Adapater and add the VMXNet 3 Adapter
5. Reboot the server
6. Install PVS 6.1 Hotfix 16 Target Device Tools
7. Create a new PVS-vDisk (with the updated settings and drivers)

Until now everything worked fine – but if we tried to start any server (except of the master) with this PVS vDisk a blue screen was displayed. Unfortenately we were not able to read the full message because the server was directly rebooted. To stop this you have to press F8 before Windows boots (to get the selection menu with “Safe Mode” and so on) and select “Disable automatic restart on system failure” – now the system is not automatically restarted and you can read the full blue screen message. Interestingly the blue screen only displayed a stop 0x0000007B error – with no further details.

We started to check why this error occured. The vDisk was neither created using a Static IP nor something of the E1000 Adapter was left in the image. Furthermore it didn’t help to activate the “Interrupt Safe Mode” in the Bootstrap settings of the PVS-Servers (which should be ok because it was only needed for VMware 5.0).
Even a clone of the original master crashed with a blue screen while booting from the vDisk.

In Citrix KB125361 exactly our problem “Target Device Fails to Start with VMXnet3 Drivers” and “The target device fails with a STOP 7B Blue Screen error.” is descripe. Inside of this article a Microsoft Hotfix is mentionend which fixes the following problem “0x0000007B" Stop error after you replace an identical iSCSI network adapter in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or in Windows 7 SP1“ – sounds like our problem.

We removed the PVS Target Device Tools, installed the mentionend Microsoft Hotfix (KB 2550978), installed the PVS Target Device Tools again and created another image and tried to boot our PVS-Targets. Again a blue screen – except of the cloned servers which worked fine.

Oh ok?!? – But where is the difference? After checking the VM-Settings we found an interesting difference:
The cloned servers had the same “Ethernet???.pci” value (you can find these settings under VM-Properties => General => Configuration Parameters) – the new created servers had a different value. After changing this to the same value on the newly created servers they booted withoud any problems.

Conclusively we had two problems to fix:
1. Install a Windows Hotfix to solve a problem with changing iSCSI Network Adapters
2. Change the Network Adapter ID inside the VM-Settings to the same number

One Comment
  1. Joëlle YI permalink

    Thank you for your page! It completely worked us out.

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