Centos guest vmware image locks up on shutdown

I have a guest centOS image running on a windows host that during shutdown, will lock up about 50% of the time. The guest becomes completely unrepsonsive to any keyboard commands and then I have to do a hard shutdown in vmware workstation.

Here are the version #s:
CentOS 5.5 Guest
Windows 7 Host
VMWare Workstation 7.1.3
opikeAsked:
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TTauriConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This might be a tricky one to solve as you are not getting many clues as to the cause of the problem.  Some things it might be worth trying:

1. Are all updates to both VMWare and CentOs applied?
2. Is the latest VMWare Tools installed?
3. Is there plenty of free hard drive space in all partitions?
4. Force a fsck check of the hdd on reboot - from CentOS run "# shutdown -rF now" and see if it finds any filesystem errors
5. Do you have another machine with VMWare that you can copy this virtual machine to?  If it only crashes on your machine a reinstall of VMWare might fix it.

Some more questions that might help narrow the problem down:
Does the freeze happen if you reboot straight after boot or only if you have been using the virtual machine for a while?
Have you installed any programs manually (eg not using the CentOS package manager?
What are the main programs you use on the CentOS install?  Any databases, webservers etc?
When the machine freezes is it still showing a graphical screen or has the screen gone blank?
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TTauriCommented:
Are there any errors displayed on the console when it locks up?  What is the last thing printed to the console of the virtual machine?

Is this a new install and new problem or has it just started recently and was working before?  any changes to VMWare or CentOS recently?
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opikeAuthor Commented:
No error messages displayed; the sceen just freezes.

I've been using this image for over a year and I would say the problems started about a month ago.

No system level changes made recently that I can recall.
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farzanjCommented:
Is the Windows host working fine?  Did you see any processes hanging in the Windows host?
How does it hang?  When you try to shut down CentOS or Windows?

If you are talking about CentOS shutdown, which command do you use to do so?
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opikeAuthor Commented:
@TTauri:

My answers below.


1. Are all updates to both VMWare and CentOs applied?
OFP: No, there are about 22 CentOS updates that I've been holding off on applying. I guess that's at the top of the list of things to try.
2. Is the latest VMWare Tools installed?
OFP: Yes.
3. Is there plenty of free hard drive space in all partitions?
OFP: host machine has lots of space (>50%), CentOS is about 85% occupied.
4. Force a fsck check of the hdd on reboot - from CentOS run "# shutdown -rF now" and see if it finds any filesystem errors
OFP: I'll give this a try.
5. Do you have another machine with VMWare that you can copy this virtual machine to?  If it only crashes on your machine a reinstall of VMWare might fix it.
OFP: It happens on 2 diferent physical machines (laptop and dekstop both running windows 7).

Some more questions that might help narrow the problem down:
Does the freeze happen if you reboot straight after boot or only if you have been using the virtual machine for a while?
OFP: It seems to be more likely to happen after the vm has been running for a while.
Have you installed any programs manually (eg not using the CentOS package manager?
OFP: Eclipse...and I'm sure there are a few others.
What are the main programs you use on the CentOS install?  Any databases, webservers etc?
OFP: MySQL, Eclipse, Tomcat, Apache, Java...
When the machine freezes is it still showing a graphical screen or has the screen gone blank?
OFP: The GUI is still being displayed.
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opikeAuthor Commented:
@farzanj:

Is the Windows host working fine?
OFP: Yes, I've noticed no problems with the windows host. This issue occurs with the same vm on two different physical machines (both running windows 7).

Did you see any processes hanging in the Windows host?
OFP: No,the overall VM application seems to be working fine (except for the hung guest). I'm able to force a shut down in vm workstation and restart the guest image.
How does it hang?
OFP: As soon as I select "System->Shutdown..." from the top menu, whatever is displayed on the GUI at that time freezes. The interface never switches to the console (text based) shutdown window.

When you try to shut down CentOS or Windows?
OFP: This is when I try to shut down the CentOS guest image.

If you are talking about CentOS shutdown, which command do you use to do so?
OFP: I use the "Shutdown..." option from the "System" menu in the GUI.
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farzanjConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Ok. Try shutting down CentOS by the following command
init 0

And see if it still hangs.
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farzanjCommented:
Another thing that I noticed is that your partitions are little too filed up.  They should not be at 85% level.  That being said, it may not be the cause of this problem.

Did you notice only shut down problem?  Is the system running fine otherwise?  If so, I would advise you not to worry about it.
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TTauriCommented:
Well this issue is definitely a challenge.  :)  More questions I'm afraid, no solutions yet.

If you switch to the first console (Ctrl-Alt-F1), login and type "Shutdown now -h" you might get a few lines of shutdown information before the crash - if so what is the last few things printed to screen?  Alternatively it might not crash if you shutdown from the first console - if so the problem might be with the graphical shutdown script and we can bypass that fairly easily.

When the CentOS machine has crashed what is the CPU doing on the Windows 7 host?  Is VMWare using lots of CPU or is it idle?

When the CentOS install is in its crashed state can you run other virtual machines etc in VMWare?  

If you start the CentOS machine, start and close all your main programs (eclipse, mysql etc) then shutdown does it crash?  If so can you repeat with half the applications until you have found a program that always crashes if it was run?

Do you have any NFS or iSCSI network drives?  It might be locked up waiting for a response from one of those which is not available.

When it has locked up what is the longest you have left it before turning it off?  It might be stuck on a timeout of a couple of minutes then might continue to shutdown normally.
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JRoyseConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If it happens on two separate hosts, the VM's disk is probably currupt.

What version Vmware workstation?

You can probably download Vmware Player if you have an old Workstation license and see if it runs inside that.
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opikeAuthor Commented:
One thing I haven't tried yet is ssh'ing into the vm. It looks like it may just be gnome that's frozen.
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JRoyseCommented:
There are open source vmware tools (shows as unmanaged), and standard vmware tools (shows as up-to-date) for linux.  

What do you have?
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opikeAuthor Commented:
I have a paid license and I download and install the vmware tools that I am prompted for by default. I would guess that these would be the standard vmware tools.
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Samuel_MAConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I'm not much of an expert when it comes to Linux (I've dabbled with CentOS 5.5, Debian and Fedora).

However, I had a very similar issue with a completely fresh install of CentOS 5.5 on a physical host. It seemed to start when I was making changes to the network scripts (eth0). I believe that after reversing the changes the machine would shutdown properly.

Take the above with a pinch of salt. My gut instinct would be to focus on the OS rather than VMWare, though.
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opikeAuthor Commented:
This is definitely a gnome issue. I can ssh into the image and shutdown from the command line, even after the screen is frozen.

Just going to tolerate this issue for now.
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