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URGENT - vmware server 2, SBS 2003 guest, install vmware tools, guest takes forever to logon

Posted on 2010-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
P2V of SBS2003 server using BESR, convert to vmdk.

Created new VM, added converted disks - not a straight P2V conversion.

Guest was running fine for 3 reboots.  Installed vmware tools.  Reboot

It's been 20 minutes and it's still sitting at "Applying Computer settings" at the first reboot after installing the tools.

What is the deal?

Do I have to install the tools if it's otherwise running fine without them?

HELP?!?!?!
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Question by:snowdog_2112
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Expert Comment

by:himanshut
ID: 33614233
I had the same issue few months back and unfortunately I had to reinstall VM. It looked like I did shutdown incorrectly so there was some issues in login back in.
It would be "maybe" an hour or so depending on the size, but you may end up re-installing it.

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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33614239
You should always install tools

Change NIC type to vmxnet2 or 3
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33614267
bgoering - how do I cange that?  This is vmware server 2.x on windows host remember...

Thanks for quick reply!!!
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33614570
Ok - there are lots of references that say vmxnet3 is supported in 2003 32-bit guests (vmware kb 1001805 for one), but nowhere that I can find does it say *how* to change the bloody adapter type.

Any clues?  Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33614602
Go to edit settings, remove the existing NIC, then add a new NIC specifying the type as vmxnet3

Good Luck
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33614616
There is no option in  vmware server 2.x to choose a type when adding a nic.

I had seen something about editing the vmx file directly (virtualdev = "e1000" or "vmxnet"), tried that, it doesn't work.
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33614922
I guess it might be tricky getting vmxnet3 to work on VMware Server 2.x

See this article: http://sanbarrow.com/vmxnet3.html

It explains the process for Workstation 6.5.x - you will need to upgrade the virtual hardware version to 7 and change the ethernet0.virtualDev="whatyouhavenow" to ethernet0.virtualDev="vmxnet3"

you will also have to extract the driver from windows.iso file that comes with ESX(i) 4.x.

Good Luck

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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33622091
I'm not sure if this is the same thing that's been happening all along, but I noticed with this attempt (trying to install the vmxnet3 driver in 32-bit Windows 2003 guest on a VMware Server 2.x host) that after installing the VM Tools and *before* the reboot - the wmiprvse.exe process has spiked the cpu.

Could this be the same issue as before and I'm just now seeing the process causing the sluggish guest, or is this a new and exciting problem unrelated to my old and frustrating problem from above?

Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33622545
I am running out of options on this conversion. SOMETHING in the SBS 2003 server is causing the Tools to misbehave.  It appears that on restart, the gues CPU spikes, and I can never get to the desktop to see what the deal is.

I really don't know where else to look.

Is there ANY other option I have on this?
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33622605
I believe you said it worked OK before you installed tools. Can you uninstall them to get a fresh start? Possibly a RDP session if the console isn't responding.
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33622676
i can revert to a snapshot before the tools installation.  So I can get back to pre-tools state.  Without the Tools installed, I have a Base System warning the in the Device Manager.

I'm letting it log on right now.  It's 17:32 local time and this bootup started at 16:54 - it's at "Applying personal settings..." right now, and ahs been for about 10 minutes.

Not sure if I mentioned, but from the pre-Tools snapshot, it boots and gets to desktop in under 5 minutes.

There is something in the Tools that is making the guest unresponsive.  I think it's the wmiprvse.exe process, but I can't tell until I get to the desktop.

(BTW - I have the NIC set for Host Only, since the live box is still running on the network until I can sort out the VM craziness.  Is there an issue with Tools and the Host Only network perhaps?)
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33622784
The only issue I can think of is that the vm won't be able to get to any resources it may require such as DNS and Active Directory - that could certainly slow things down, but I wouldn't think it would slow them down to the extent you are describing.

The wmiprsrv process is part of the Windows Management Instramentation (WBEM) stuff --- unless its not. There have been a few viruses that have hijacked that process name. Read more about issues with wmiprsrv at http://www.neuber.com/taskmanager/process/wmiprvse.exe.html
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33623535
Thanks a bunch for your help - I'm trying everything you're throwing at me.

This is an SBS 2003 server - it's self contained DNS and AD.

The WMI process does not "go crazy" until the Tools are installed.  It's running fine on the physical box, and runs fine as a VM until the tools are installed.

In fact, I installed the vmxnet3 driver and rebooted twice before installing Tools.  Only then does it "hang".  In fact, it's now 20:40 local time, and I *still* don't have the desktop from the 16:54 power on.

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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33623753
Update - after doing a "stop hard" on the vm, I started it in safe mode, and it boots as expected.  This leads me back to a conflict with Tools and something else on this server.  I can't uninstall apps in safe mode however, so again I'm looking for suggestions.  

I set the Tools service startup to disabled and booted normal - and it boots normal.

It HAS to be something conflicting with Tools.  I'm getting closer!!!
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33627282
Instead of safe mode please try a boot - hit F8 and specify VGA mode. Lets see if the display driver is hanging something. Also I am including a post from another Expert (Bestway) on some P2V best practices. Look it over and see if anything catches your eye.

"BestWay:Hi

I just finish almost 50 P2V(all cold migration) servers. I see many type of issues in the P2V.

This is why I create a script for pre and post P2V.

And one of the things that can create issues is the NICs.

1º Create some txt files with all the Network settings in save on the physical server for future use
2º Use msconfig to stop all non windows services
3º Never power up the VM after the P2V and dont use the power on, on the NICs to migrate
4º Before any changes on the new VM create a Snapshot for the Initial State for possible rollback
5º Before start the VM clean all usb, serial port, disk drives etc
6º Remove also any adapters created by the P2V. Create new ones(vmxnet for 3.x or vmxnet3 for 4.x)
7º Start your VM for the first time in safe mode
8º In safe mode, remove all phantom hardware(i have a script for this), and uninstall all Software for Hardware Management(like RAID, Storage agents etc)
9º Use the txt files to config your Network settings according to the old server(do not connect the adepter yet)
10º After this changes reboot the server in normal mode(dont change msconfig yet)
11º After new boot check all the software and services.If you see no issues, or and phantom hardware, then msconfig and choose normal boot. Reboot the server
12º After rebooting the server, check if all services are running, and after all is running, then shutdown the physical server(or disconnect the cable) and connect to the network the VM
13º Reboot on more time the server will all runing(services and network) and test all the network connection and use a domain account

This are some of the tasks that we need to create to have a good P2V sucess

Hope this can help you"
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33713656
- Cold imaged the source server using BESR 2010 to a UDB disk.
- moved USB disk to destination vmware server (server 2003 64bit)
- besr 2010 1-time vm conversion to vmserver 2.x vmdk
- created new vm with around the vmdk
- booted
- install vm tools
- reboot

As soon as I run an RDP session to the guest, I start getting "application failed to load" errors in the RDP session and the VMRC to the console starts acting funky.

- uninstalled vmware server 2.0.2
- reinstalled server 2003 sp2
- reinstalled vmware server 2.0.2
- same results


- uninstalled vmware 2.0.2
- installed vmware server 2.0.1
- same issue

- moved the VM files to another vmserver 2.0.1 on server 2003 64 bit
- same issue.

I am running out of options and my users are running out of patience.

please help?!?!?!
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33713707
Any event log messages with the application failed to load? I generally see that if trying to run something after a shutdown has been issued.
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33722266
Nothing other than the event saying the same thing.  I'm just logging on - not shutting down.

I can seem to get the VM running fairly stable...*until* I make an RDP (administrative, of course, it's SBS, so no TS) connection. The RDP connection gives me the application errors, and then the system generally destabilizes even in the console session until I restart the guest.

I've moved the vmdk files to another vmware server 2.0.1 host, and run a non-destructive repair (again...), and it booted up with the CPU at 100% in the guest (again..)

Anything else I can try?
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33723215
Another update: I ran the vmware converter on the vmdk file hosted by vmware server 2.0.1 to an esxi 4.0 box - SAME FREAKING THING!!!

The CPU in the guest flatlines at 100% if I boot in normal mode.  Booting in safe mode works fine - but I can't add/remove vm tools.

Please help....thanks.
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Accepted Solution

by:
bgoering earned 500 total points
ID: 33723845
Try boot to safe mode, then disable any vmware services
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Author Closing Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33726365
THANK YOU THANK YOU for sticking with me on this one - it's been open for a long time!  I really appreciate it.

I had booted in safe mode, then ran MSCONFIG, and disabled a bunch of non-essential services.

On the reboot, I could get into normal mode with the CPU at normal levels!!!!!

One of the disabled services (SEPM, SMSMSE, BESR...hmmm...all symantec products...) is hosed.

Also, I had an issue with the Activation.  It was forcing me to activate at the logon, but the activation wizard never came up, leaving me with a blank blue desktop - no choice but to hard power off.

I found a post somewhere (I don't have the link), that suggested removing IE7 in safe mode.

So...I booted in safe mode again, then went to c:\windows\ie8\spuninst  (I have IE8, obviously).  On the reboot - BANG, I got activation wizard.
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