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Windows VM hang.  What's the options?

Posted on 2013-01-26
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Last Modified: 2013-01-27
This is VM at the hosting data center facility.  Using remote hands.
Windows 2008 Svr hang and vCenter lost information about the VM and cannot vMotion it.

The only option they have without waiting for VMware support is to hard reset the host. As this is a shared ESX environment they'd be looking at multiple VM's across multiple platforms having the rug pulled out from underneath them.

As the host is currently headless due to the lack of vCenter connectivity the VM will not vMotion over to an available host because the vCenter has no information on the health of the server and hence cannot make a decision to bring it online on an alternative host.

The potential for damage is too high for us to risk taking so many servers offline, so they elected to escalate it to VMware under the highest possibe priority their support contract with them would allow.

What other methods can be explored at this point.  Does it have to be done via the vCenter only??
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Question by:Tiras25
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Expert Comment

by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
ID: 38822148
Only one VM is hung, right?

Just poweroff that VM only. No need to reboot ESX/ESXi.
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Author Comment

by:Tiras25
ID: 38822152
But they hang and non accessible.  Cannot rdp to it and vcenter cannot connect to it.
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Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 400 total points
ID: 38822161
vCenter Server just performs management and vMotion and DRS, it's not responsible for VMware HA. It does not have to be used.

Connect directly to the ESX/ESXi hosts with the root userid and password, login and take control of the VMs.

If the VM cannot be truly managed, you would have to restart network management agents on the Host Server, and then try to power off the VM.

Is it just a single VM which has Hung?
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Author Comment

by:Tiras25
ID: 38822168
Yes one single VM.
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 400 total points
ID: 38822177
the issue with a single VM, is that sometimes, it can bring a whole host down, e.g. you may have to restart the host. Because killing process rarely works.

so with that in mind, it is possible to "move" manually VMs from one server to another, but you will have to shutdown the VMs. Remove from the servers inventory, and add to the inventory on another server and power up.

What access do you have to hung VM?

1. can you ping?
2. can you rdp?
3. can you connect at console (via vSphere Client)?
4. can you shutdown inside VM?
5. can you shutdown outside of VM?
6. can you force and kill the VM from ESXi console?
7. is vmware tools reported as running with IP Address?

if 1-7 are No, and when trying tasks on VM it states task already running, and trying to kill the VM at console does not work, you will need to restart Host, and move other VMs off the server.
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Author Comment

by:Tiras25
ID: 38822237
At this point it only responds to pings and shares are accessible.   This is what I can see under my control.  Everything else I believe No.  Or maybe I don't have enough information from the data center services.
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LVL 119
ID: 38822259
what outcome do you want?
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Author Comment

by:Tiras25
ID: 38822265
Well I like the server be online and up and running by Monday morning.
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LVL 119

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 400 total points
ID: 38822331
which server?

Guest or Host, and with or without downtime to Host and or Guests?

At this point it only responds to pings and shares are accessible.

So service is okay, apart from you cannot manage it.

The VM is online and running?
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Expert Comment

by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
ID: 38822340
If the Shares and RPC etc are working then you can probably remote boot.

Also is the your virtual center? If your virtual center is not respoding then maybe you can reboot that first.
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Author Comment

by:Tiras25
ID: 38822375
Good point on remote boot.  What's the remote boot command?
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 400 total points
ID: 38822425
shutdown /[r|s] /m \\ComputerName /c "Comment" /d [u|p] <xx>:<yy>

 and then press ENTER.

see here
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc770416.aspx
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
Nagendra Pratap Singh earned 100 total points
ID: 38822443
You can use
shutdown /i
this one is a GUI


or you can use PsShutdown

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897541.aspx


and BTW you maybe able to bypass vcenter and connect directly to esx/esxi or raise a request for it.

BTW what is this server used for? and can you vmotion other VMs to other name?
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Author Comment

by:Tiras25
ID: 38822842
Data center guys haven’t considered using them in this command case as concerned about doing so without any console visibility to monitor the restart and the ability to intervene in the event of  something going wrong during POST. For this reason They they haven’t entertained their use.
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LVL 119
ID: 38822855
I would think, you would want to turn off all VMs, restart host, if you need to move VMs to another host before you restart the host they currently reside, as it looks as if your host has gone bad.
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Expert Comment

by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
ID: 38823436
Is it your DC or cloud?
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