Recently saw the message outlined in the title from an ESXi host. Logged into the host via ssh and checked out the logs. Here is what I saw:

/var/log # grep -i audit messages
Sep 26 18:22:28 vmkernel: TSC: 1899066536 cpu0:0)BootConfig: 110: auditMode = TRUE

It looks like AuditMode was set to true. Checking out the ‘boot.cfg’ file, I saw the following:

~ # cat /bootbank/boot.cfg
modules=k.z --- s.z --- c.z --- oem.tgz --- license.tgz --- m.z

For some reason this line got in there:


After some research found VMware Communities 160722 page. They mentioned that the fix is to remove that line. Here are the instructions from that page:

  1. enable console support option
    1. F2 -> Troubleshoot options -> enable local TSM support
  2. ALT+F1 log into console
  3. vi /bootbank/boot.cfg
    1. press i (for insert)
    2. remove the line that has auditMode=TRUE
    3. press ‘esc’ then :w :q (to write changes and quit vi)
  4. reboot server to take it out of audit mode

Remove that line per the instructions above and the server rebooted without going into Audit Mode again.