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vSphere 6

Expecting 2 bootbanks found 0 VMware ESXi 6

I ran into a pesky issue yesterday when rolling through a slew of host updates in a few production clusters.  I had one host that presented with some odd issues during the update manager remediation phase.  After rebooting the particular host I received an error that you don’t want to see – Expecting 2 bootbanks found 0.  This was on an ESXi 6 host going from update 1 to update 2.

Expecting 2 bootbanks found 0 VMware ESXi 6

So from above, you know that I was trying to update a host in particular using update manager.  One odd thing that I saw with the host that was peculiar – it was on the same patch level as the other hosts in the cluster, however, it showed more updates that needed to be applied – hmmm.  I proceeded with the remediation wizard.  After kicking off the update, the update failed with the error:  esxupdate error code 15.  After looking at this VMware KB, I did discover that the /store looked corrupted somehow.  However, it was worse than that, the /altbootbank directory was also empty.  After taking a config backup of the host in question, I decided to see what happened when rebooting.

No dice!  After rebooting, I received the errors /bootbank and /altbootbank not found, hypervisor not found.  So this wasn’t good.  Instead of trying to troubleshoot the issues with the bootbank and altbootbank, I decided to just perform a fresh install of ESXi 6 and then restore my config.  This is where the issues started.

Each time I tried to perform a clean install of ESXi 6, I received the “expeciting 2 bootbanks found 0“.


Things Tried:

  • Found multiple posts about this issue from VMware and blog posts, however, most had to do with booting from SAN and which NIC cards were uplinked.
  • Since I wasn’t booting from SAN I knew I needed to look elsewhere
  • Tried various install media just to rule out any weirdness coming from the media I was using.
  • Booted from gParted and manually wiped out the partitions manually to rule out any corrupted files or partitions that the installer was not able to get rid of
    • Booted and same issues
  • Unmirrored the SDCARDs and then remirrored to let it rebuid

What worked

I had a couple of spare SDCARDs that I changed out into the box with issues and all the issues went away.  It seems as though there was a problem with one or both of the SDCARDs in the server causing the installer to fail.

If you happen to run into this issue and aren’t booting from a SAN, and nothing else seems to explain the issue, you may want to rule out a hardware issue with your boot device – in my case a pair of SDCARDs.


Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee is the Senior Writer, Engineer and owner at and has over two decades of experience in Information Technology. Having worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as in various industries, Brandon has extensive experience in various IT segments and is a strong advocate for open source technologies. Brandon holds many industry certifications, loves the outdoors and spending time with family.

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