I'm running Vmware ESXi 6.5 on an Xserve 3.1 and due to the power saving settings it puts the internal drives to sleep a short while after boot which prevents ESXi from saving settings.

I've tried booting into OSX and disabling there but the problem persists in ESXi. I've also tried the usual SMC and NVRAM resets.

The symptom is a 'disk timeout' for all internal and FireWire attached drives (same for SSD and HDD) after about 15 minutes.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    There’s no power setting within the NVRAM that spins down the drives. That’s within VMWare. I’ve installedFreeBSD on these many times and I have never encountered persistent power management settings
    – Allan
    Apr 9, 2019 at 13:05
  • Thanks @allan. I'm getting disk timeouts in ESXi for all internal drives after 15-20 minutes. I tried FireWire 800 but same issue. I've tried two Xserves with different SATA backplanes and same issue. I'm definitely missing something. Apr 9, 2019 at 17:07
  • What version of ESXi is running here?
    – bmike
    Apr 9, 2019 at 17:33
  • 1
    @bmike 6.5 with all the latest updates (latest supported version due to CPU age). Apr 9, 2019 at 20:42

1 Answer 1


This isn't an answer as such but a fudge/hack that stops the timeout issue by writing regular random data to each drive (static data doesn't appear to work).

Create a shell script as below (mine is called .bmreadloop) on VMFS attached boot storage:


while [ 1 -lt 2 ]

</dev/urandom sed 's/[^[:digit:]]\+//g' | head -c10 > /vmfs/volumes/bonoboBoot/.blah

</dev/urandom sed 's/[^[:digit:]]\+//g' | head -c10 > /vmfs/volumes/bonoboTwo/.blah

</dev/urandom sed 's/[^[:digit:]]\+//g' | head -c10 > /vmfs/volumes/bonoboHDD/.blah

</dev/urandom sed 's/[^[:digit:]]\+//g' | head -c10 > /vmfs/volumes/bonoboThree/.blah

sleep 10


Add run it on startup in /etc/rc.local.d/local.sh:

/vmfs/volumes/bonoboBoot/.bmreadloop >> /dev/null &

It's ugly but it works!

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