Heads Up! If you’ve updated to ESXi 6.0 U1b, build 3380124 and you have lots of templates, you may run into some problems if you update VMware Tools to the latest version. I just upgraded my environments to the latest VMware patches ESXi 6.0 U1b (build 3380124), that has just come out. As you do usually when there is a new hypervisor build you upgrade VMware Tools. Well that proved to be a big problem for my VM templates that I use to provision new systems. But I’ve got a workaround.
As soon as VMware Tools is updated on any templates you will no longer be able to clone those templates. If you’ve updated any templates with the version of VMware Tools that comes with ESXi 6.0 U1b then you need to uninstall it and reinstall the prior version that came with ESXi 6.0 build 3247720. After the couple of reboots that you have to go through with an uninstall and reinstall of VMware Tools you will find that you can now clone VM’s and have them automatically customized. I ran into this problem on Windows 2008 R2 Server. So I know it will impact this guest OS. I haven’t tested other OS’s yet, but others could be impacted. I’ve logged a support call with VMware to address this problem. In the meantime, the workaround is fine. The Official VMware KB Article 2142982 explains the situation.
[Updated 14/01/2016] After further testing I have narrowed down the problem area to new installs where the complete option is selected, and any upgrades where the complete options was previously selected, or where the VMCI / NSX Guest Introspection Driver is included. I have been able to successfully clone from a new VM Image that has had a fresh install of Windows 2008 R2 and VMware Tools without the VMCI / NSX Guest Introspection Driver, or where VMware Tools was installed twice / installed and repaired on the same VM, when the complete option was previously selected. This seems to be similar to what other of you have also reported. I have completed the Upgrade Scenario testing as well and confirmed that after an upgrade, if the complete install option was previously selected the VM will not clone due to the same VMCI driver problem. If VMCI driver is removed by running VMware Tools Install again and selecting Modify and unselecting VMCI, then you will be able to close the VM.
This update just in from VMware Support “VMware Engineering have confirmed that the issue is dependent on the install/upgrade sequence. Specifically, the issue is aligned to the version of deploypkg.dll in the vmtools package. GSS and Engineering are mapping the ESX and vmtools update versions to the deploypkg.dll versions to confirm which upgrade sequences are problematic. A KB article will be published once this information is finalised.“
I guess someone has to take the risk and patch their systems to the latest versions first, especially as these were security patches with a critical severity. Fortunately like all good IT environments I only did my test systems first. This is the whole point of having infrastructure test systems. You can test infrastructure hardware and infrastructure software changes first before putting them into production. The old saying goes that software eventually works and hardware eventually fails, but these days a lot of your hardware is also software, especially in a virtualized software defined datacenter. It pays to have appropriate test systems and test plans to mitigate the risks associated with software updates and changes of all types, including infrastructure software. Thanks to all of you in the community that contributed to this effort and commented on this blog post. I have been relaying your feedback during my discussions with VMware Support.
This post first appeared on the Long White Virtual Clouds blog at longwhiteclouds.com. By Michael Webster +. Copyright © 2012 – 2015 – IT Solutions 2000 Ltd and Michael Webster +. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission.