PCI Passthrough – “Module ‘DevicePowerOn’ power on failed”

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Slightly deviating from the NSX focus, thought I should share this resolve, to help the wider community.

Use case:

  • The PCI device in my case is a NVIDIA GTX 1080 TI graphic card.
  • ESXi 6.7 U2

After, you configure PCI Device passthrough on the ESXi host and add the device to the VM. The VM would not power on, get stuck at 80% and then result in an error “Module ‘DevicePowerOn’ power on failed” (screenshot below):

The VM’s event details, shows the following description:

“Failed to register pciPassthru0 for 3:0.0 due to unavailable hardware or software support”.

This issue is related to the “I/O MMU” feature available on “Virtual Machine Hardware Version 14” for Windows 10 deployment, introduced with vSphere 6.7.

I/O MMU can be enabled in two ways:

  1. By selecting it explicitly, under the CPU options of the VM:
  1. By selecting the “Virtualization Based Security” during the deployment of the VM:

or in the “VM Options” Tab by editing the settings after deployment:

If you are not using Virtualization Based Security (VBS) within the guest OS, you could uncheck this option and the VM will power on successfully.  

Note:

  1. You cannot disable I/O MMU feature, if you have VBS enabled
  2. If you disable VBS after enabling it, you would need to explicitly go back into the VM settings and disable “I/O MMU” manually. This operation requires the VM to be powered off.

For more Information on Virtualization Based Security (VBS) feature of Windows 10, follow this Microsoft link here

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