Tag Archive for fix

NanoLab – Part 6 – Keeping Your NUCs Cool (Quick Tip)

Just a very quick tip I discovered this weekend.

If you are using your Intel NUCs with any anger, they will likely run reasonably hot to the touch and typically you would just place them horizontally on a surface as per the pictures above. For optimum performance and lifespan, we all know it’s always important to keep your NUCs as cool as possible!

The NUCs are also designed to be mounted vertically on the back of a monitor/stand/wall/desk or similar, using the VESA mount. What I didn’t realise is that whether mounted or not, if you run them on their side, they seem to actually maintain lower temperatures.

I’m not sure if the same would apply for the newer generation of NUCs with the 2.5″ drive cages, which also have small vents down the side, but it certainly works on the standard models.

Vertical running of NUCs

Vertical running of NUCs

This seems to work pretty well for me, but as always, I take no responsibility if your NUC explodes with the fire of a thousand suns!

That is all.

NanoLab – Part 5 – Intel NUC BIOS Update Issues FwUpdateFullBuffer

Having taken delivery of a new Intel NUC D34010WYKH this week, I followed the usual (and Intel recommended process) of upgrading the firmware / BIOS to the latest version. As it happens, this was version 0030 (WY0030.BIO). This was installed using the standard USB with a .BIO file, and press F7 method as there was obviously no OS installed.

Unfortunately having installed this version, building and booting the ESXi host, I was getting some very strange network issues. Specifically no DHCP address being picked by the host, but a manual IP would ping intermittently (around 10-15% of the time). Not good. In addition there were some very odd behaviours observed in the BIOS such as not booting from USB consistently, hanging when I hit ctrl-alt-del and others.

My guess was that this was a firmware related issue, so I decided to roll it back to an earlier version. I started with 0026 by installing the firmware using the same F7 method above. This is when I got an error message which stated FwUpdateFullBuffer followed by several numbers (no screenshot I’m afraid). At this point, the firmware update bombed out. Really not good!

Repeating the activity only achieved the same result, even with different firmware versions and install methods (such as a bootable USB drive with FreeDOS and iFlash2.exe).

After a bit of searching I found the following BIOS recovery mode instructions for situations when you have a screwed up BIOS:

  1. Copy the recovery file (*.bio) to a bootable USB device.
  2. Plug the USB device into a USB port of the target Intel NUC.
  3. Shut down the computer and unplug AC power.
  4. Open the chassis and remove the yellow BIOS Configuration Jumper. See the Technical Product Specification for the location of this jumper.
  5. Power the system on.
  6. Wait 2-5 minutes for the update to complete.

    Intel NUC BIOS Recovery from 0030 to 0025

    Intel NUC BIOS Recovery from 0030 to 0025

  7. The computer will either turn off when the recovery process is completed or it will prompt you to turn off the computer.
  8. Remove the USB device from the USB port.
  9. Replace the BIOS Configuration Jumper.
  10. Restart the computer.

Following the above, I have updated my Intel NUC D34010WYKH to version 0025 and have found it to be reasonably stable so far, and definitely works with ESXi.

Obviously follow any of the above suggestions at your own risk. I cannot be held responsible if your NUC becomes a BRICK, but hopefully this will save people some time and frustration, as this was several hours of messing around in my case!

propertyCollector Error When Editing Virtual Machine Swapfile Location

Today I came across the following propertyCollector error message whilst trying to modify the VM Swapfile location for two hosts in my lab cluster. This pops up as soon as you select the Virtual Machine Swapfile Location settings under the Configuration tab for your host. Once you click Close, you then see Swapfile Location: as Getting Data… for an infinite period of time, and the Edit… option becomes greyed out and cannot be selected.

The same error occurred on both an ESX and ESXi host in the came cluster, both using the latest vSphere 4.1 build 582267. I am going to assume this can appear on older versions too.

The object has already been deleted or has not been completely created

Call "PropertyCollector.RetrieveContents" for object "propertyCollector" on vCenter Server "<servername>" failed.

You can see the error in the following screenshot:

Call "PropertyCollector.RetrieveContents" for object "propertyCollector" on vCenter Server "<servername>" failed.

This seems to occur because the host does not have any record, even a default, for the snapshot location. This only affected half the hosts in my cluster, where the other half were showing their defaults just fine.

The fix for this is very simple. I’m sure it could be implemented by multiple methods, but I used PowerCLI. Simply:

  1. Connect to the faulty host, e.g.:
    Connect-VIServer <servername / ip>
  2. Validate that you can see your preferred datastore from that host:
  3. Manually set the datastore to your preferred DS:
    Set-VMHost -VMSwapfileDatastore <datastorename>
  4. Go back to vCenter and you will find the new value reflected, and you can now edit the Virtual Machine Swapfile Location settings under the Configuration tab for your host:

If you have multiple hosts with the same issue, or indeed when simply making swapfile location changes across your cluster, you could of course script the above.

I’m not sure whether this applies to vSphere 5 as I have not come across it there to date.

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