CS24-SC, ESXi, and the Intel 82573V NIC

I’m sure everyone has noticed my recent posts have been about the CS24-SC servers.

Today I’m here to write about a new problem. The primary & secondary NICs on one of these machines are two different chipsets. Yes, you heard me right. The first appears to be tied directly to the Southbridge chipset. The second is attached to a PCI bus. Probably the cheaper way to go. My server contains the following NICs:

The first NIC (Intel 82566DM-2) works great but I was running into a problem with ESXi5.5 and my second NIC. My second NIC (Intel 82573V) could receive packets but not send them. Seems like it would be a bad NIC or a bad Cable. Nope, its a bad driver.

The e1000e driver that comes with VMWare ESXi 5.5 does not support this NIC fully. The simple solution is to install an updated NIC package that has the proper drivers. Technically this NIC was deprecated in ESXi 5.5 (probably why it half works). Here’s a simple 1 line solution for downloading / installing the VIB with the new package. You’ll need to SSH to your existing ESXi box and run the command

You should get a result telling you that it removed a VIB and installed this VIB. You will need to reboot for the changes to take effect. Once you reboot, check that the package is loaded.

The original source for this file was here but I mirrored it in case it ever went down. I found out about this problem from this blog post where someone needed to add NIC drivers to a new installation. I’ve adapted his instructions / file to work with existing ESXi installations.


  1. Awesome!! Thanx for the mirror as the original location does not work anymore.

    For those who have only Intel 82573V NICs in their system which do not work with the included e1000e driver, my solution was to manually copy the e1000e kernel module from an existing ESXi 5.0 to the affected system:
    – Unmount a disk (via vSphere client)
    – Plug this disk from the affected system to an ESXi 5.0 system (physically)
    – Mount the disk (via vSphere client)
    – Copy the e1000e module somewhere to the disk: cp /usr/lib/vmware/vmkmod/e1000e /vmfs/volumes/YOURDISKLABEL/some/where/here/e1000e
    – Unmount the disk (via vSphere client)
    – Re-plug the disk to the original/affected system with ESXi 5.5 (physically)
    – Mount the disk (via vSphere client)
    – Unload the e1000e kernel module: esxcfg-module -u e1000e
    – Copy the older e1000e kernel module from the disk to the system: cp /vmfs/volumes/YOURDISKLABEL/some/where/here/e1000e /usr/lib/vmware/vmkmod/e1000e
    – Load the module: esxcfg-module e1000e
    – Restart the management network (via console – may exists via vSphere client or command line as well, I don’t know)
    => THEN you have network and you can proceed with the excellent commands written in this article! 🙂

  2. Hi! Thank you for the post! I have purchased one of these wonderful little powerhouses, and I’ve been running ESXi on it for awhile now without issue. Recently, I wanted to make use of the second NIC, and my search for help in getting it to work is what brought me to your article.

    I have a question. After verifying that the server itself had a healthy connection to the internet, and verifying that the driver was still available at the link listed in the article, I tried the command. I did this through both SSH and from the system console itself. It gives no reply; just hangs there. I am unable to suspend or break. Only a kill -9 will return me to my prompt (ironic, huh?!). Have I missed a step somewhere?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. If I recall the command can take some time to execute. Are you running ESXi from hard drives? Iscsi? SD cards?

      Do you notice any running sub commands that may be stuck? Make sure you’re doing this on ESXi 5.5.0. That’s the version this was built for AFAIK. I believe later builds and patches have this problem fixed.

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