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VMware: Exiting hung maintenance mode on ESX Server (9639912)

The following solution describes how to exit a hung maintenance mode from Virtual Infrastructure Client or from the command line on the service console of the ESX Server host.

Note: Before you begin please refer to KB1003490 for important information on restarting the mgmt-vmware service.

To exit from a hung maintenance mode, try the following: 

  • Disconnect the Virtual Infrastructure Client (by closing it) and reconnect to the ESX Server system, to see if the option exit maintenance mode appears. If this works, there was a problem refreshing the information known to the Virtual Infrastructure Client.
  • Try restarting the management agent. This shouldn’t affect any running virtual machines and often clears hung tasks.  However prior to ESX Server 3.0.1 (and in ESX Server 3.5.x issuing this command will cause virtual machines to restart if the option "autostart on boot" is set inside VirtualCenter Server.  From the service console of the ESX Server host, type:  # service mgmt-vmware restart
  • Try exiting maintenance mode using the vimsh command.

  1. Log into the ESX Server service console as root, either using your favorite SSH program or directly on the physical console.
  2. Run the following command:  # vimsh    You might see some messages similar to the following, which you can safely ignore:
    [2007-04-02 13:17:30.031 ‘App’ 3076472960 info] Current working directory:
    /usr/lib/vmware/hostd
    [2007-04-02 13:17:30.033 ‘BaseLibs’ 3076472960 info] Using system libcrypto, version 90709F
    [2007-04-02 13:17:30.057 ‘BaseLibs’ 11213744 warning] [Vmdb_Unset] Unsetting unknown path: /vmomi/
  3. When you get to the vimsh command prompt [/]$ type the following command:  [/]$ /hostsvc/maintenance_mode_exit
    You should see a confirmation that the command was valid and the task was initiated, similar to the following:
    ‘vim.Task:haTask-ha-host-vim.HostSystem.exitMaintenanceMode-1610715’
    At this point, the ESX Server host should exit maintenance mode.
  4. Exit the vimsh session when you return to the command prompt:  [/]$ quit Alternate commands to run for vimsh:
  • Enter maintenance mode (turn on): vimsh -n -e /hostsvc/maintenance_mode_enter
  • Exit maintenance mode (turn off): vimsh -n -e /hostsvc/maintenance_mode_exit
    If you are unable to get out of maintenance mode there may be an issue due to authd, as shown by messages in /var/log/vmware/hostd.log similar to the following:

[VpxVmdbCnx] Authd error: 514 Error connecting to hostd-vmdb service instance.
[VpxVmdbCnx] Failed to connect to host :902. Check that authd is running correctly (lib/connect error 11) In this situation, try the following commands on the ESX Server service console command-line, step by step:

  1. chkconfig vmware-authd off
  2. service xinetd restart
  3. chkconfig –level 3 vmware-authd on
  4. service xinetd restart
Source: 9639912
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