Heads Up! HP Smart Array Driver Issue

hp-logoWe’ve seen a spate of incidents recently related to the HP Smart Array Drivers that are shipped as part of ESXi 5.x. Worst case scenario – this is leading to out of memory conditions and a PSOD (Purple Screen of Death) on the ESXi host in some cases. The bug is in the hpsa driver and all Smart Array controllers that use this driver are exposed to this issue. For details on the symptom, check out VMware KB article 2075978.

HP have also released a Customer Advisory c04302261 on the issue.

This was a tricky one to deal with, as one possible step might be to roll back/downgrade the driver to an earlier version. Unfortunately, not only is this not supported (or documented), but you might also find that an older driver may not work with a newer storage controller. The good news is that HP now have a new version of the driver available which fixes the issue. Customers should upgrade to HP Smart Array Controller Driver (hpsa) Version (ESXi 5.0 and ESXi 5.1) or Version (ESXi 5.5). Details on where to locate the driver and how to upgrade it are located in their advisory. Think about doing this as soon as possible.

8 Replies to “Heads Up! HP Smart Array Driver Issue”

    1. Nah – its working. It’s just that HP’s KB/advisory site is soooo sllooowwww. Alternatively, just google for the HP advisory number.

  1. If you’re trying to figure out how to check the driver version, “vmkload_mod -s hpsa”.

  2. We currently use http://vibsdepot.hp.com/hpq/hpq-index.xml as a download source in Update Manager. I saw that several June 2014 updates were added to the patch repository, so I applied them to a host but the host was still running the old driver.

    Does anyone know if HP drivers are supposed to be updated via Update Manager? Or do we have to apply them in a one-off fashion like this one?

    I now see that there’s a second xml file in the vibsdepot called hpq-index-drv.xml; do we need to add that as a download source in Update Manager to keep up-to-date with the current HP drivers?

    Any help is appreciated!

  3. Hi,

    Can a diskless ESXi still encounter this issue?
    If the SmartArray is on board and is loaded on boot (even without disks), it can cause an issue. Does it?

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