An unexpected error was received from the ESX host while powering on VM

This is about the issue that I encountered while I was trying to power ON the Virtual Machine in the cluster. The ESXi cluster has sufficient resource to power ON the virtual Machine on any of the ESX Hosts, where the ESXi hosts were having 50% free resources. The error message that I have received was :

An unexpected error was received from the ESX host while powering on VM vm-name

Though there is a KB article 1006232  to troubleshoot the issue but none worked as I couldn’t be able to manage the ESXi server using ssh.

This is because of memory leak issue caused by the hp-ams agent running on the ESXi host running vsphere 5.1 update 1. In my ESX environment the agent that was running was the following:

  • hp-ams 500.9.6.0-12.434156


All the hosts in the cluster has this unsupported version of hp-ams version installed.

There are two options to fix this issue:

  1. We need to upgrade the hosts to the vSphere 5.1 update 3, which will also upgrades the hp-ams package. where the hosts have the vSphere 5.1 update 1 running
  2. Uninstall  the hp-ams package from the ESX hosts.

KB2085618 KB article which was mentioned about the HP-AMS incompatibility with the vSphere 5.1

One of the easiest way to fix the issue was to uninstall the hp-ams agent and here are the steps:

Verify the installed versions of AMS, run this command:

esxcli software vib list | grep ams
One the package is confirmed for its incompatibility with vSphere 5.1, then remove the package on all hosts running on these AMS versions:
  1. Log in to the host using SSH. ( I rebooted my hosts since ssh was not working and enabled SSH)
  2. Run this command to stop the HP service
    /etc/init.d/ stop
  3. Run this command to remove the VIB:esxcli software vib remove -n hp-ams
  4. Reboot the host.

Then I was successfully able to power ON the virtual machine.

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