Not able to reset or shutdown a non responsive VM

Windows 7

Today I was playing around with VMware View and tried to get Windows 7 to work with View Manager when I ran into a problem.

Some time ago I downloaded and installed Windows 7 in VMware Workstation 6.5 on my laptop. After I had played around with Windows 7 I decided it was time to try the OS in a VMware View setting so I imported the workstation VM in VI 3.

I tried to add the VM which was set to be a Windows Server 2008 type VM to the View Manager in order to assign a user to it. This did not work right away and because I did not had the time to investigate it right away I gave it a rest.

It wasn’t until tonight that I decided to give it another try. I fired up my VI-client and the admin interface of the View Manager. To add VM’s to the View Manager the VM must be configured with a client guest-OS. Because Windows 7 is not available yet as a client OS I had to try one of the other guest-os-types available. I changed the configuration of the Windows 7 VM several times before  I found the right type of guest-OS that would let Windows 7 appear in the View Manager. The OS-type is now set to “Windows Vista (64-bit)”.

Having dealt with the appearance issue in View Manager, it was the time to take it a step further. As mentioned before I installed and converted the VM some time ago. Until now I was mainly focused to let the VM appear in View Manager and therefore I did not notice the lack of (virtual) hardware configuration of the VM.

A couple of things did not seem ok to me, so before assigning users to it I first examined the VM. I checked the domain membership, which was not good. When I tried to check it I also found out the network interface did not work, some sort of driver issue in Windows needed to be fixed first. In order to fix that I decided to check VMware tools and update it.

Clicking on the “update VMware Tools” did not start up any window or wizard in the VM, which is strange because it should. I figured I clicked incorrectly so I hit the button again. Nothing happened…, or did there…, the VM I was trying to fix did not response anymore, the desktop was frozen. Even a reset or a shutdown of the VM using the VI-client did not work. I got the message as shown in the picture below stating the operation failed because another task was in progress.

operation failed since another task is in progress

So I was not able to shutdown the guest from within the guest because the OS was frozen, but I was not even able to reset or shutdown the guest using the VI-client reset/power off buttons. I started hunting for the task in progress by looking in the task section (nothing but failed operations):


The events section revealed a bit more:


The next message stated the virtual machine did not have a CDROM drive which was the root cause for the VMware Tools installation failure:


Next I tried to edit the settings of the VM in question to add the missing DVD/CDROM device


Powering off to stop the operation did not work either, so what next? Luckily my eye catched the nicest looking phrase I saw in ages : “End VMware Tools Install”


After I clicked on the “End VMware Tools Install” option the following message was displayed “Unmount Tools Installer Completed”

unmount tools installer

The OS inside the VM still was frozen, but now I was able to reset the VM.


This is where the mystery of the non responsive VM ends.

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