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Monthly Archives: November 2009

An update to the Update1 KB: more info

A quick note: The problem with U1 is now known to be limited to HP Proliant systems and HP Insight Management agents are running.

Link to the updated KB: Upgrading ESX 4.0 to 4.0 Update 1 on HP Proliant systems can fail or time out and leave the host in an unusable state if the host has HP Insight Management Agents running (1016070)

Upgrading ESX 4.0 to Update 1 using Update Manager

We learned today of a particular set of circumstances which, when updating to Update 1, can lead to PSODs (purple screens). 3rd party agents are a key component of this problem.

To avoid this potentially nasty problem please read the following Knowledgebase article for details:

Upgrading ESX 4.0 to 4.0 U1 using Update Manager fails or times out and rebooting host results in a purple diagnostic screen (1016070)

 Note: This KB continues to be updated. Re-visit page for latest information.


When attempting to upgrade ESX 4.0 to ESX 4.0 Update 1, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Update manager (VUM) upgrade operation fails or times out at 33%.
  • Upon reboot, the host that was being upgraded displays a purple diagnostic screen with the following error:
    COS Panic: Int3 @ mp_register_ioapic

TCP and UDP Ports for management access

Here’s a new KB that covers a very common question, and relates to a number of different VMware products as well. The question I’m referring to is: What ports does my VMware software require for management?

TCP and UDP Ports for vCenter Server, ESX hosts, and other network components management access discusses all of the network services and the ports and protocols used by all of the these products:

Products Services and agents commonly present in a vSphere environment

VMware Consolidated Backup
VMware Converter
VMware Data Recovery
VMware ESX
VMware ESXi
VMware View Manager
VMware Virtual Desktop Manager
VMware VirtualCenter
VMware vCenter Lab Manager
VMware vCenter Orchestrator
VMware vCenter Server
VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager
VMware vCenter Stage Manager
VMware vCenter Update Manager

CIM HTTP server (insecure service)
CIM HTTPS server
FTP client (insecure service)
FTP server (insecure service)
iSCSI software client
NFS client (insecure service)
NFS server (insecure service)
NIS client
NTP client
SMB client (insecure service)
SNMP server
SSH client
SSH server
Syslog client
Telnet client (insecure service)Telnet server (insecure service)

Other supported management agents that you install

The KB provides a comprehensive table of ports/protocols for products going back several versions.  The table includes Product, Port, Protocol, Source, Target, and Purpose. A great one to bookmark for future reference.

vSphere Client on Windows 7 now supported

In case you didn’t notice, Update 1 for VMware vCenter Server 4.0 was released last week. This is great news for all of you who wish to run the vSphere client on Windows 7 machines.

While we had a KB article (Cannot launch vSphere Client after installing in Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 (1011329)) which went through a couple of different incarnations as new information became available, we can now put this problem behind us. No work-arounds are necessary, it just works now.

Here’s a quote from the release notes:

Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 support — This release adds support for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 as well as 64-bit Windows 2008 R2 as guest operating system platforms. In addition, the vSphere Client is now supported and can be installed on a Windows 7 platform.

We highly recommend reading the entire set of release notes, they contain valuable information.

Understanding Snapshots in VMware ESX

One aspect of virtual machines that often leads to confusion is the snapshot. What is a snapshot? How do snapshots work? What products use the snapshot feature? What files are involved in snapshots?

These questions and more are all discussed in the new Knowledgebase article: Understanding virtual machine snapshots in VMware ESX. This is a fairly big topic so many links are provided to other relevant information.

Understanding virtual machine snapshots in VMware ESX

vCenter Client in Windows 7

Ever Since Windows 7 has come out we’ve been seeing a lot of customer interest in running the vSphere Client on it. The same goes for Windows 2008 R2. The trouble is, Microsoft changed the .Net loading mechanism in these releases, breaking our vSphere Client.

We have just posted a Knowledgebase article which outlines how to deal with this change and make the client work.

One caveat: watch for the warning that one of the workarounds is not officially supported.

Read: Cannot launch vSphere Client after installing in Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 (1011329).

ESX 4.0, ESXi 4.0, and vCenter 4.0 Licensing Video KB

Licensing is by far, the most misunderstood, confusing, and sometimes frustrating part of vSphere and vCenter, and generates a ton of calls into support. And we’ve noticed. Today the Knowledgebase Team released another video KB: Licensing ESX 4.0, ESXi 4.0, and vCenter 4.0  We anticipate this KB will become a heavy-hitter before long.

If you are:

  • Unable to remove ESX 4.0/ESXi 4.0 from Evaluation Mode
  • Unable to upload the license file for vSphere
  • Unable to connect vSphere 4 to vCenter Server
  • Unable to activate vSphere

…proceed directly to Licensing ESX 4.0, ESXi 4.0, and vCenter 4.0 (1010839). The KB guides you through steps to add, assign, and remove the licenses of  ESX 4.0, ESXi 4.0, and vCenter 4.0, in video form with accompanying detailed test instructions.

Licensing ESX 4.0, ESXi 4.0, and vCenter 4.0

You are welcome to leave your Star rating and/or feedback in any KB including this one.  Enjoy!!

Two Fusion KBs to take note of

All VMware Fusion users take note, two new KB articles we just posted today deal with two common problem customers are currently experiencing with upgrades from Windows XP to Windows 7, as well as the creation of new VMs using media. This is generating a spike in calls to our call center. If other customers are running into these problems, there’s a good chance you are too.

If you are experiencing this:

On the other hand, if you are experiencing these symptoms:

Top 20 articles for October 2009

Here is our monthly update of the Top 20 KB articles for the month of October, based on use by customers.

  1. Upgrading to ESX 4.0 and vCenter 4.0 best practices (1009039)
  2. Restarting the Management agents on an ESX or ESXi Server (1003490)
  3. Downloading and Installing VMware Fusion (1005466)
  4. Uninstalling, reinstalling, and upgrading VMware Fusion (1014529)
  5. Best practices for using and troubleshooting VMware Converter (1004588)
  6. Enhanced VMotion Compatibility (EVC) processor support (1003212)
  7. Powering off a virtual machine on an ESX host (1004340)
  8. Upgrading an ESX 3.x virtual machine to ESX 4.0 (1010675)
  9. Increasing the amount of RAM assigned to the ESX Server service console (1003501)
  10. Virtual machine does not power on because of missing or locked files (10051)
  11. Recreating a missing virtual disk (VMDK) header/descriptor file (1002511)
  12. Troubleshooting VMware High Availability (HA) (1001596)
  13. Installing ESX 4.0 and vCenter 4.0 best practices (1009080)
  14. Decoding Machine Check Exception (MCE) output after a purple screen error (1005184)
  15. A CPU of the host is incompatible error appears and VMotion stops working after upgrading to vSphere 4.0 (1011294)
  16. Virtual machine memory usage alarms triggered for virtual machines when guest operating system memory usage is low (1013206)
  17. Resignaturing VMFS3 volumes from VMware Infrastructure Client (9453805)
  18. FAQ: Supported/Unsupported Devices and Configurations (1184)
  19. Pegasus (cimserver) memory leaks reported in ESX 3.5 Update 2 and later (1009607)
  20. Committing snapshots when there are no snapshot entries in the snapshot manager (1002310)