Guest VM on VMware ESXi 4.1 host has state powered off but is running fine?


After a restart of the management agents on a VMware ESXi 4.1 host, some of the VM guests came up as state 'Powered Off' but were actually running fine (see below – can ping, can remote desktop on to the guest, …)


To get the VM guest back without recourse to having to shut down or reboot the guest, the fix is simple:

1: vMotion off the affected host the VM guests that correctly show power state as being on
2: restart the management agents again ( /sbin/ ) to get the affected guests back (may have to do this process more than once if have more than 3 VM guests affected.)


The question was originally posed in

A couple of reasons as to why this happens:

i: Thank you to Chris Wahl (ChrisWahl00) for -

This issue occurs due to exhaustion of VMkernel socket resources on ESXi hosts. It occurs more frequently on hosts where OEM CIM providers have been installed, which may be caused by additional CIM Providers loaded under sfcbd. To ensure the stability of the OEM CIM providers, ensure that they are updated to the latest release.

ii: Thank you to Andre Pett (DSTAVERT) for -

Virtual machine appears powered off after restarting the management services on the host

Appendix – some useful ESXi 4.x commands

/sbin/ restart
vm-support -x
vm-support -X