Solved: WARNING: Link is up but PHY type 0x3 is not recognized – Can cause ESXi 6 purple screens

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The Error >> When running an Intel x710 NIC with the ESXi i40e driver you notice your vmkernel.log completely full of the error “WARNING: Link is up but PHY type 0x3 is not recognized”

The Solution >> Ensure X710 firmware is at 17.5.11 (aka 5.04 in ESXi) and ESXi i40e Driver to 1.4.26 or 1.4.28 and these errors stop

The Follow-up >> Check out your NIC on the VMWare HCL for the Correct driver/firmware guidance. This is the link I used.

Other notes…

Sending Millions of the PHY errors to your event logs could be causing other issues for your ESXi host. Look for local boot disk latency or Networking errors in your ESXi host event logs. Once you apply this solution these issues should stop. If not, then you may have other issues impacting your boot disks.


  • After applying this solution we then noticed the vmkernel started to populate with ‘driver issue detected, PF reset issued’ the solution for this is to disable TSO/LRO.  VMWare KB 205140.
  • 04-10-2017 There is a new VMware driver listed for the X710, will be testing soon and will post up results.  Release notes indicate fixes for the following:
    – Fix duplicate mulicast packet issue
    – Fix PSOD caused by small TSO segmentation

If you like my ‘no-nonsense’ blog articles that get straight to the point… then post a comment or let me know… Else, I’ll start writing boring blog content.

6 thoughts on “Solved: WARNING: Link is up but PHY type 0x3 is not recognized – Can cause ESXi 6 purple screens

    Ariel said:
    February 10, 2017 at 7:43 am

    I hope this fixes the issue! VMware still has this listed as a known issue, but I ran across this and gave it a try last night.


      Matt Mancini responded:
      February 10, 2017 at 8:29 am

      Thanks for the comment. You mentioned VMware still lists this as an issue. Can you please send me the context (KB, URL, etc.) that you are referring to? I’ll be glad to look at it. My advice on the X710 is, keep that firmware and drivers up to date. If you are current on your VMware licensing you might check out Log Insight, its free up to 25 objects and its the tool I used to find and solve these issues.


        Ariel said:
        February 10, 2017 at 8:49 am

        Here is the URL to the KB –

        The error message you speak of isn’t mentioned there, but this is the KB I was sent when I was having that issue.


        Matt Mancini responded:
        February 10, 2017 at 8:54 am

        Thank you for the quick response. The KB you mentioned (KB 2126909) is correct, this still is an issue for the x710. Without this workaround you might notice PF Reset errors in your logs and PSOD issues. To remove both issues (1 – PHY and 2 – PFResets) I updated my firmware/drivers and applied this KB. From there we have been rock stable, no issues. I hope this helps, and if you are still having this issue, I’d recommend opening a VMware service request and have them look at your system.


    Matt Ashley said:
    July 10, 2017 at 10:27 am

    How is the April release of the driver? Are you still seeing errors or have you had any problems?


      Matt Mancini responded:
      July 10, 2017 at 10:32 am

      Hey Matt – We should be testing this soon. I’ll post up if I find out whether or not disabling Off-loading will be needed with the new driver.


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