ESXi slow and crashing on Intel NUC Skull NUC6i7KYK

for my home lab, im using an Intel NUC NUC6i7KYK (Skull Edition). This is a superb little toy (small, fast, silent) and im using ESXi 6.5 on it.

from the beginning on, I/O was somehow laggy and installing a VM took quite some time – even using an SSD disk.

after updating ESXi to the newest build, it became even worse and i had to hard reset the machine almost every day. VM’s did “forget” their name and only the path was shown in the VMware Console.

i researched the issue and found the solution in the vmware forums. seems ESXi does provide a SATA driver which is not working really well with this hardware. changing the driver back to the older one fixed all my issues. just enable SSH and run this command. after a reboot everything was working as expected and also a lot faster!

esxcli system module set --enabled=false --module=vmw_ahci

UPDATE: this issue is fixed in ESX 6.5 Update 1 and newer.