21 Mar 2009

VMware Tools reports incorrect status after VCB Backup

Last week we started having problems with VCB Backups. Normally while a VCB backup job is in progress the VI Client will report that the VM tools is not running on the VM that's being backed up. When the VCB backup job completes, the status of the VMware Tools changes from "Not running" to OK.

However, I've seen cases where even after the VCB job completes, the VMware Tools status fails to change from "Not running" to "OK". If you then try to run a VCB job on the same VM, the job will fail if the VCBMounter is set to look for the virtual machine IP rather than virtual machine name or UUID.

I first noticed this problem on Monday, 16 March, but a couple of days later I found a VMware KB article dated 18 March 2009 which describes the exact same issue. The problem seems to be occurring only on hosts with patch bundle ESX350-200901401-SG. However, instead of offering a fix to the issue, VMware is only offering a few workarounds. I hope they release a patch to fix this issue soon.

Some workarounds given by VMware are:

        1. Restart the mgmt-vmware service immediately after the backup job is done. This changes the Tools status to OK. You can write a cron job to do it periodically.

  1. Log in and log out, or log out if you are already logged in, from the virtual machine. This changes the Tools status to OK if it was showing as Not running.

  2. Use VCBMounter to look for virtual machine name or UUID rather than virtual machine IP. Virtual machine IP only works when the status of tools is OK, but virtual machine name and UUID works even if the Tools status shows as Not running.


My preferred workaround: 

I find that restarting the VMware Tools Service in the guest OS always gets by the problem, but loggin into every single VM that reports the wrong status for it's VMware Tools could be a bit of a drag. So I choose to do this remotely rather that logging on to each VM.

From any Windows workstation/server, open a command pompt and run:

sc \\{vm-name-or-ip-address} stop "VMTools"
sc \\{vm-name-or-ip-address} start "VMTools"


Information on this issue can be found on the VMware Knowledge Base article: KB1008709

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Last modified on Sunday, 22 March 2009 21:08
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