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ESXi Virtual Machine hangs

Posted on 2014-01-21
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
hi,

i am running ESXi 5.1.0 with several virtual machines. windows, Linux, etc....

now since few weeks i have Always one virtual machine running on Linux that is not accessible anymore.

also when i give the command to reset the virtual machine in esx i receive an error the the virtual machine is not responding.

then i need to restart the whole esx host so that the virtual machine is turned off.

then i can start again the virtual machine.

sometimes a few hours, sometimes a couple of days later the same problem.

any ideas?
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Question by:Rik Van Lier
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Expert Comment

by:Spartan_1337
ID: 39798219
What version of Linux?
Did you try uninstalling and reinstalling VMWare tools?
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LVL 118
ID: 39798317
is your host  server certified for running ESXi 5.x? see HCL

i think we need to look at the logs for the VM , these can be found in the Virtual Folder called vmware.log

also at time of crash we need /var/logs/vmkernel.log as well

what is the VM role?
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Expert Comment

by:Tintin
ID: 39798384
I've had instances of CentOS hosts not being accessible due to kernel audit log issues.

The box was still pingable, but effectively frozen.   It wouldn't respond to a restart as that relies on being able to communicate with VMware Tools, so doing a power off/on worked.
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Author Comment

by:Rik Van Lier
ID: 39799180
reinstalled VMWare tools yesterday. last night. server hangs... no respond anymore.

in ESX i see VMWare tools still running. I try to reset. Progress bar goes to 95% and hangs there...

after few minutes i got error: A general system error occurred: Unknow error
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by:Rik Van Lier
ID: 39799182
client virtual machine is running Ubuntu Server 12.

don't think it is a client problem as i cannot reset the client. could be wrong but must this not be a esx problem?
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Expert Comment

by:Tintin
ID: 39799188
Can you still ping the virtual host when it hangs?

Can you connect to the vhost console?
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Author Comment

by:Rik Van Lier
ID: 39799260
No ping does not work and connecting to the vhost console also does not work.
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by:Rik Van Lier
ID: 39802177
very strange. this morning another machine was hanging. same problem.

i am using Acronis vmProtect 9 to backup all my vhosts.

can this be a part of the problem?
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LVL 118
ID: 39802367
Please see my questions.

Check for Snapshots?

What disk storage are you using?
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by:Rik Van Lier
ID: 39802406
The server is a HP DL360 G6 and supported for ESX. In fact this server is running for several years without problems.

I have internal storage in that server and external storage on a D2500 from HP.

the failing vhost is running on internal storage.

the machine has snaphots.
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LVL 118
ID: 39802494
I would investigate why your virtual machine has snapshots and attend to them.

If unsure how to deal with Snapshots on VMs, please see my EE Article

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient
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by:compdigit44
ID: 39805223
You can do a test by omitting one of your VM's which has been hanging from your backup for one night and see if the server is still responsive in the mornng.
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Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 39805227
On another note, you mention that you are using local storage have you upgraded the firmware on your server recently? If not, you may want to look into this.
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Author Comment

by:Rik Van Lier
ID: 39823376
OK here is an update. When i started this question i had only 1 vhost with this problem.

few days ago i had 2 vhosts with that problem. Machines hangs sometimes 2x each day.

i phoned with HP and the also adviced me to update the firmware of the whole server and do a bios update. I did all that. But with no solution.

Still the same problem. One VM is running Linux and the other is running Windows.

i created a backup of the windows machine inside windows. then created a new vm and restored that backup. since then no problems anymore with the Windows machine.

i tought lets do the same for the Linux machine. as i have no software to backup the full Linux machine i created a clone using vsphere. This did go well and the new machine boots up fine.

but! the problem on that new Linux machine is still the same. Also here same problems.

i found out that i can stop the machine using the kill process with the cli interface. but this is no solution as the vm goes down 2 times a day...

any other bright ideas? would it help to boot the vm up with a acronis backup dvd and create a backup and then restore this to a new vm? so i wont use the clone option?

good luck!
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LVL 118
ID: 39823477
HP always tell you to do a BIOS and Firmware update!

I would look at hardware, check memory is seated correctly, heatsinks and fans are correctly fixed.

If the VMs are crashing and hanging, I would check the vmware.logs and also the logs for the host in /var/logs
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Author Comment

by:Rik Van Lier
ID: 39823566
Andrew, can this be a hardware problem if not all vm's are hanging? i have more then 30 vm's running and only 1 still has problems.
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Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 39823594
Yes, it can, we've seen issues where the fault lies in a high memory module, e.g. 32Gb+

and it was only when all the memory was starting to be used in the server a VM would crash.

Only way to prove this case was to shutdown ALL VMs, and just start this server individually, or move to a new host.
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Author Comment

by:Rik Van Lier
ID: 39823602
Andrew, yes i understand this and i will believe that this is possible. but it is strange that it would only happen to that same machine. and no other.

but i have an other esx running. i would move it to a new host and see what happens.

keep you posted!
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