DL380 BIOS Configuration for VMware

One more post to wrap up the nonsense with my DL380 G3 ESX servers….

Vincent Vlieghe noted that you must make a couple changes to your DL380 G3’s for ESX to work correctly.  His post was written back in 2006 when we were still working with ESX 2.x, but the same appears to be true of ESX 3.5 RTM (Updates are not supported on this hardware per the HCL).  The changes you must make to BIOS are:

For stable operation on these systems, ESX Server requires a BIOS MPS Table Mode setting of Full Table APIC. With the exception of the specific systems referenced below, the following BIOS settings must be applied in order if available:

  1. System Options > OS Selection: Select Windows 2000.
  2. Advanced Options > MPS Table Mode: Select Full Table APIC.
  3. When presented with multiple Windows options (Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows .NET, and so on) select Windows 2000. If both BIOS settings are available and can be modified, both must be set correctly. You should confirm these settings after any BIOS upgrade operation.

I have seen other references that say that you should also disable hyperthreading on this platform, but I was able to successfully run with Hyperthreading enabled with no performance degradation or stability issues.  I hope this information is helpful to those of you still running these dinosaurs!


  1. Benedek Rakovics says:

    Did you have a health status page for the HP DL380 G3 ESX 3.5 server, if yes, how could you configure it? I have trying to fix this and havent got any progress since ages.

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