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How to fix ESXi on Intel NUC malformed Manufacturer and Model

VMware ESXi 5.x and 6.0 installed on a 5th gen Intel NUC (NUC5i7RYH, NUC5i5RYH, NUC5i5MYHE, NUC5i5RYK, NUC5i3RYH, NUC5i3MYHE and NUC5i3RYK) has a problem with SMBios system information.

  • Manufacturer and Model in the vSphere Client is displayed with replacement characters (� black diamond with a white question mark).
  • Adding host to a vCenter Server fails with the following error message

    A general system error occurred: at line number 7, not well-formed (invalid token)

To solve this problem you have to replace the BIOS. This post explains how to create a customized BIOS with changed SMBios variables and install it on your NUC.

It's not rocket science to modify the BIOS. You do not need any programming skills.

  1. Download and install Intel® Integrator ToolkitDownload-Intel-Integrator-Toolkit
  2. Open Intel Integrator Toolkit
  3. Select Download and customize a BIOS file
  4. Enter NUC in the search box[Update: It seems that sometimes NUCs can not be found in the list. In that case you have to manually download the .BIO File from Intel: Download Center -> Search for your NUC -> Select BIOS]
  5. Select your NUC model (NUC5iMYHE in this example)
  6. Select the latest BIOS
  7. Click on Download & Customize
  8. Edit SMBIOS settings bottom right corner by clicking Don't change
  9. Create the BIOS File > Save As...
  10. This will create a .bio file. Copy the .bio file to a SB flash drive (FAT32)
  11. Plug the USB device into a USB port of the NUC
  12. Power on the NUC
  13. During boot, press F7
  14. Select the USB device
  15. Select the .bio file
  16. Confirm BIOS Upgrade
  17. The BIOS update takes about 5 minutes.
  18. Reboot



23 thoughts on “How to fix ESXi on Intel NUC malformed Manufacturer and Model”

  1. Terrific post. Got my NUC 5i5RYH updated with the BIOS values similar to the SMBIOS settings you above, rather than the original black diamonds I was seeing in ESXi. Thank you.

  2. This tip was great. This fixed an issue where I could not remotely connect to the ESXi server using VMWare Fusion for Mac or VMWare Workstation for Linux.

  3. This also fixes problems with VMware Workstation not being able to use the "Shared VM's" functionality. You'll find the same "not well-formed (invalid token)" errors spewing to stderr when running VMware Workstation on a 5i5RYH.

  4. Thank you so much for this information!

    Anyone else experience the problem where after the BIOS update occurred, the NIC was no longer identified by ESXi 6? I will probably try a rebuild of the Host to see if that can correct it... Trying to get the NUC working for a lab is becoming a little frustrating :mad:

  5. Pingback: New VMware vCenter/vRealize Management Station | Cloud Jockey

  6. On NUC5i5MYHE, BIOS v0024 fixes this problem. But it also breaks VT-d, ESXi hangs on boot at "Initializing IOV ..."

    To bypass, either disable VT-d in BIOS or apply ESXi boot parameter noIOMMU.

    Or, downgrade BIOS back to v0022.

  7. I updated the bios to the newest version editing the smbios like described in this post. After the update esxi hangs at "procfs loaded successfully". So i tried 3 other previous bioses. Same thing, now the weird thing is i went back to the original bios (unedited) and it is still hanging in the same place. Any thoughts??

    Love you guys and love the community

  8. ThAnKs vErY MuChO !!!! worked like a chamr afterwards.. system failed to be injected into vCenter.. All fine now, Cheers !!!!

  9. Hi Mark,

    Sorry I am currently out of state and couldn't test it, I will update the status on Monday as I will be back home by then.

    Thanks Mark,
    Bobby Thomas

  10. Hi,

    I'm a bit late for the party. Can anyone please send me a link to the Integrator Toolkit please ?

    I have 10 NUCs RYH to flash but I lost the ITK :(

    Thanks in advance.

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