Why is VMware ESXi 5.5 crashing?

Mark Allison asked:

I have a ESXi 5.5 box. I’ve been using VMware for several years and it has been rock solid stable. However I’ve had a few crashes today. I am building lots of VMs and doing a lot of I/O with databases, and I’ve had four pink screens. Here’s one as an example. Any ideas on how to troubleshoot? Should I just grab the latest build? I’m using 1331820.

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My answer:

Yes, you should update.

That is a bug which is fixed in VMware ESXi 5.5 Update 1.

PR 1073615: ESXi host experiences a purple diagnostic screen with errors for E1000PollRxRing and E1000DevRx when the rxRing buffer fills up and the max Rx ring is set to more than 2. The next Rx packet received that is handled by the second ring is NULL, causing a processing error.

I should probably also add that it’s a good idea to keep your systems up to date to resolve a variety of bugs and security issues.

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