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Windows Server VMWARE ESXI 4.0 Crashes

Hi Everyone. Have a Windows Server 2008R2 VM running on ESXI 4.0. For about 1 year everything was running fine, but there was a string of power outages that seem to have caused issues with the VM.

It sits on a 1TB drive with the ESXI host. I have a firewall VM sitting on a second drive and that doesn't crash. When the server crashes you cannot communicate with it at all. Not even a ping.
The problem I am having is that because the server must be stopped and restarted (or may even need to hard reboot) it creates no logs as to why it crashed. Diagnostics of the drive show that everything is fine.

I am looking for recommendations on whether I should clone the drive or if anyone has experienced this before?

1 Solution
Skyler KincaidNetwork/Systems EngineerCommented:
The first thing I would try is to get the server up and then use VMware converter to convert it.

This will hopefully clear up an issues caused by the power outages. You can convert it to the same host. Make sure and boot it up without the NIC so you can verify that everything went well. Be prepared for a post from Hanccocka that will be way more detailed and will be more helpful :)
JonyHoltAuthor Commented:
When you say without the NIC are you referring to its network? If so, simply disabling it should work correct? I forgot to mention this is an AD master so I would really hate to rebuild it.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Is there an issue with the datasatore, which your Windows 2008 R2 server is stored on?

check the VMware Logs in /var/log
Making Bulk Changes to Active Directory

Watch this video to see how easy it is to make mass changes to Active Directory from an external text file without using complicated scripts.

JonyHoltAuthor Commented:
No issue with the datastore. It boots up fine and sometimes can go a week without the issue. Sometimes a day. But theres nothing in the log that says theres an issue with the datastore and doesnt state that its not responding. Even though its completely dead. I also cannot RDP within VMWare control panel it is just a black screen, no cursor, etc.
Then you might want to configure a dump to be created when it crashes, You can do this in Windows.

Configure a dump.


DrWatsons is also quite good for this.


if this happens can you bring that VM back online by simply restarting it? Or do you have to reboot the esxi host to get it started again?

Is this the esxi 4 host licensed or the free variant? Ever considered an upgrade to esxi5?

I had the issues with vmfs file system having issues and going to read only mode without any notice, which killed interactive servers like DC but allowed the more static firewall systems to run.

Best Regards

JonyHoltAuthor Commented:
It seems like the host goes inactive as well. I have yet to confirm because it hasn't happened again. But I am 100% sure it will again. Since this is the free version it may just be better to have the client spring for a dedicated server as oppose to virtualizing this one server and a firewall.
if the host also goes dormant, then this sounds like a hardware problem to me.

If it is the free version, you can also create an usb drive with the most current esxi version (5.1 i think) which will have better hardware support and bug fixes.
JonyHoltAuthor Commented:
Followed your instructions and from there ran a hardware test on the drive. It failed and unfortunately would lock up before I could migrate or clone the drive. The good news is it was only holding the host and the VM AD. So rebuilt that VM and was good to go.
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