8

I pulled an old ASA5550 off the shelf, which had 8.4(2) loaded on it. When I tried to boot it, I got the following error...

-----------------------------------------------
Traceback output aborted.
Flushing first exception frame:
Abort: Assert failure
    vector 0x00000000
       edi 0x00000002
       esi 0x0973a2dc
       ebp 0x09fceef8
       esp 0x09fceeec
       ebx 0x00000187
       edx 0x09fcef30
       ecx 0x00000006
       eax 0x00000000
error code n/a
       eip 0xdd6a62a1
        cs 0x00000073
    eflags 0x00003246
       CR2 0x00000000
Nested traceback attempted via signal, from:
Abort: Assert failure
    vector 0x00000000
       edi 0x09fce92c
       esi 0x09fce9cc
       ebp 0x09fce7f8
       esp 0x09fce7ec
       ebx 0x00000187
       edx 0x09fce834
       ecx 0x00000006
       eax 0x00000000
error code n/a
       eip 0xdd6a62a1
        cs 0x00000073
    eflags 0x00003203
       CR2 0x00000000

An internal error occurred.  Specifically, a programming assertion was
violated.  Copy the error message exactly as it appears, and get the
output of the show version command and the contents of the configuration
file.  Then call your technical support representative.

assertion "_vf_mode_init" failed: file "vf_api.c", line 99

What is the problem when you get assertion "_vf_mode_init" failed: file "vf_api.c", line 99?

Google searches turn up a lot of GNS3 discussion, and this Cisco Support Forums Case, but nothing gets to the root cause of the issue AFAICT.

10

The ASA5550 requires the SSM-4GE-INC module to be plugged into the chassis1 when it is booted; if it is not, then you get assertion "_vf_mode_init" failed: file "vf_api.c", line 99 printed to the console.

I discovered this2 after opening a case with TAC (who did not catch this problem), RMA'ing the original chassis, and then unplugging the SSM-4GE-INC module from the RMA'd chassis (so I could send it back to Cisco).


NOTES:

1 The support forums link I referenced claims that you can't remove SSM-4GE-INC from the chassis; however, my ASA5550 allows the SSM-4GE-INC to be unscrewed from the chassis like other pluggable modules. One of my coworkers subsequently confessed to "borrowing" the module when he had to get some more interfaces on an ASA5510.
2 I'm answering my own question in hopes of helping future googlers.

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