Tag Archives: VMWare

VMware A general system error occurred: Timed waiting for vpxa to start

If you receive the error below while adding a host to your vCenter server:
A general system error occurred:Timed waiting for vpxa to start

All you need to do is update your vCenter instance. For example, if you are running vCenter Server 5.0, you cannot add an ESXi v5.1 host to your vCenter instance.

VMware View Composer Installation Error - Unknown Software Exception

When installing VMware View Composer, I was receiving the following error:
"Application Error, The exception unknown software exception (0x0000409) Occurred"

Turns out this was an issue with installation privileges. Rather than installing the software as a domain administrator, I simply logged into the local Administrator account on the machine and installed it.

VMware - Host sensor data is not updated. The Query Service is not available or was restarted, please retry.

Host sensor data is not updated. The Query Service is not available or was restarted, please retry.

I have run across this issue a couple of times now when shutting down a few of our hosts (including vCenter) and them booting them all back up at the same time in the lab.  Due to the way that the VMs were booting back up, some of the VMware services were not starting properly and would result with the inability to view the Hardware status tab in vSphere.

To resolve this issue, simply go through and restart the services on your vcenter box and you should be back in business.  Restarting the VMware VirtualCenter service specifically should take care of things (it might ask to restart VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices as well... that's fine).

As a side note, I did try going through ADSI and changing some values, however I feel this is more of an issue due to the way your VMs come alive and associated dependencies (SQL backend, DCs, etc.)

Hope this helps!

Powering off an unresponsive VM in ESXi

Today I had an issue with a VM not wanting to power off. I found an excellent article from http://markvansintfiet.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/forcefully-kill-a-virtual-machine-in-esxi/ that I am reposting in case the website ever goes down.

One day you’ll run into a  not responding virtual machine that won’t power off in the vSphere client. If you don’t want to reboot your ESXi host, here is how to forcefully kill the bastard leaving all other virtual machines peacefully running.

Method 1: Use the vmware-cmd command in the vSphere command-line interface (CLI)

  1. Download and install vSphere command-line interface(http://www.vmware.com/download/download.do?downloadGroup=VCLI40)
  2. CD to C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware vSphere CLI\bin>
  3. List Virtual Machines
    vmware-cmd.pl -H <ESXi host name> -l
  4. Get state:
    vmware-cmd.pl -H <ESXi hostname> “<vmx file path>” getstate
  5. Kill Virtual Machine:
  6. vmware-cmd.pl -H <ESXi hostname> ”<vmx file path>” stop hard

When method 1 fails move to method 2.

Method 2: Find the VM’s process identifier and forcibly terminate it (or use SSH if you are lazy and don't mind opening security holes)

  1. List active virtual machines: vm-support -x
  2. On the ESXi console, press Alt-F1.
  3. Type the word unsupported and press ENTER
  4. Type root password and press ENTER
  5. Look up the VM process pgid: ps –g | grep
    (The number you are looking for is the one that is right before and after mks: and vcpu)
  6. Kill the process: kill -9 <pgid, the number you just found>
  7. Wait a minute and check if the machine is not running anymore: vm-support -x

How to power off a hanging VM in ESXi

So to do this in ESXi, see this tutorial: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=1014165

I found out that the commands from ESX are completely different, so if you are receiving the "vmware-cmd" not recognized, you are probably running ESXi and need to use the commands from the KB article above.

VMWare Lockdown Mode

Here is how to enable it:

To enable Lockdown mode via console:
Log in directly to the ESXi host.
Open DCUI on the host.
Press F2 for Initial Setup.
Toggle the Configure Lockdown Mode setting.

To enable Lockdown mode via vSphere:
Log in to vSphere
Click on the Home->Inventory->Hosts and Clusters
Click on the host you want to manage
Click on the Configuration manager
Click on "Security Profile" on the left side
Click the Edit... link next to Lockdown Mode
Enable it!

Preparing Server 2008 R2 for vCenter Server 5

If you are installing VMware vCenter5 and you notice that their are no connectors for connecting to a remote msSQL database, here is how to add a new ODBC connector to get things up and running.

  1. 1. Install .NET framework tools 3.5 (Can be done by adding a Feature and in the Server Manager of Server 2008 R2)
  2. Download and install the Microsoft SQL Server Native Client for Server 2008
    1. http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=123718&clcid=0x409
  3. Create a new ODBC connection
    1. To do this, try installing the ODBC connection through the control panel by going to: Control Panel ->Administrative Tools -> Data Sources (ODBC)
      1. NOTE: If you notice later on that vServer doesn't find an ODBC source, try opening the configuration manager with an elevated command prompt and type in
        1. c:\Windows\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe
  4. Click on the System DSN tab
  5. Click Add
  6. Click on SQL Server Native Client 10.0
  7. Click Finish
  8. Type in the name, description, and server to connect to.
  9. Click Next
  10. Fill out how you want to authenticate
  11. Click Next
  12. Change the default database to whateveryourdatabaseiscalled
  13. Click Next
  14. Click Next
  15. Finish
  16. Test Data Source...