Saturday, July 9, 2011

Trying to vMotion a virtual machine throws the error: “Migration from : No guest OS heartbeats are being received. Either the guest OS is not responding or VMware tools is not configured properly.”

I won’t go into too much detail about what this error looks like because there’s actually a public VMware KB article that can be found here:

What I would like to note is that I ran into this error today during a scheduled maintenance window and none of the following workarounds applied to me:

  • Ensure that the VMware Tools are installed in the virtual machine before performing a migration.

  • Ensure that the virtual machine has been running long enough for the operating system to be completely started before performing a migration.

  • If the Tools are already installed, reinstall the VMware Tools to ensure that you are on the latest version and that there is no corruption in the configuration.

We did not plan for having any blips for this specific ESXi blade which had several application servers running on it and while it was possible to request that we briefly shut off the VMs and migrate them over to another host, I wondered whether there was another way to get around this so what I ended up doing was try restarting the VMware Tools Service since it seemed like a logical troubleshooting step:


Once I restarted the service, this error message went away.  Hope this helps anyone who may encounter this same problem on a production server that they can’t afford to shutdown just to change hosts.


Anonymous said...

Hey. I had the same problem today. Not on all vm's just some. Very strange. Your solution really helped me out. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I found that if I momentarily opened a console session with the VM (such that I could see a logon screen) and then closed it, I could perform a vMotion without error. We have ESXi 5.5.

Patrick said...

We have ESXi 5.5. This worked great. I did this a while back (in another matter) but your blog reminded me it is a great way to nudge the VMTools. Why? I don't know, it works. Thanks!

Bawhead III said...

Worked for me too. Thanks!!