ESXi Cannot boot to ramdisk: boot image is corrupted

EfficionDave asked:

I’ve got an ESXI that’s been running for almost 3 years fine. Yesterday, I upgraded the machine’s bios, installed RAM and 2 additional hard drives. Today I added a Windows VM and changed the Gateway, Subnet Mask, and IPs. Everything was going well. A couple hours ago I started installing Windows patches on the VM. But then I couldn’t access the machine.

The tech at the colo facility took a look and said it was at the normal ESXi screen but, “The graphics are artifacting and displaying some weird red lines running top to bottom on the screen”. I had the tech reboot the server.

When it rebooted, we got:
“Cannot set up ramdisk: boot image is corrupted”
[then some error codes]
“Visor tar header is invalid for var/lib/register/providerRegister
No place on disk to dump data and after that it has the line that it is waiting for debugger”

What should I do now?

My answer:

That has all the hallmarks of defective RAM. If the server really was fine before, then perhaps one of the new sticks of RAM is defective. Test the memory and replace any defective ones you find.

One of the RAM slots on the motherboard could also be defective, but it’s easy to test for this simply by rotating the sticks around and retesting.

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