[VMware] Could not start VMX: msg.vmk.status.VMK_NO_MEMORY


Last week I had some issues with starting virtual machines on vSphere 5.5 hosts (enough capacity available), when I try to start up the VM I receive message:

Could not start VMX: msg.vmk.status.VMK_NO_MEMORY”

An error was received from the ESX host while powering on VM [name]
Head globalCartel-1 already at its maximum size of 7869288. Cannot expand
Could not start VMX: msg.vmk.status.VMK_NO_MEMORY




This issue is caused by a memory leak in the driver which fills the SWAP memory of the ESXi host, making it unable to response to any requests at all. This issue occurs with ESXi hosts running on HP hardware with these versions of AMS:

  • hp-ams 500.9.6.0-12.434156
  • hp-ams-550.9.6.0-12.1198610
  • hp-ams 500.10.0.0-18.434156
  • hp-ams-550.10.0.0-18.1198610


This is a known issue affecting ESXi 5.x. To resolve this issue, upgrade to AMS version 10.0.1.

For ESXi 5.0 and 5.1, see:

For ESXi 5.5, see:


Note: In some cases, commands running on the ESXi host fails with cant’t fork.  In this case the virtual machines running on the ESXi host needs to be powered off and the ESXi host rebooted. To verify the installed versions of AMS, run this command:

esxcli software vib list | grep ams

To remove the package on all hosts running on these AMS versions:

  1. Log in to the host using SSH. For more information, see Using ESXi Shell in ESXi 5.x and 6.0 (2004746).
  2. Run this command to stop the HP service (does not persist on reboot):
    /etc/init.d/hp-ams.sh stop
  3. Run this command to remove the VIB:
    esxcli software vib remove -n hp-ams
  4. Reboot the host.
    More information:


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5 thoughts on “[VMware] Could not start VMX: msg.vmk.status.VMK_NO_MEMORY

  1. Thanks for sharing this article. To add, situation occurs where in you don’t get access SSH/Shell. In this case it is difficult find out exact cause esp check the AMS version. you can access ESXi using https://FQDNofESXi host and review the vmkernel log. If you have vCloginsight, create a query and search for this potential error message.

  2. Hi guys, after dividing of HP company to two division, use actual links:

    HP Agentless Management Service Offline Bundle for VMware ESXi 5.0 and vSphere 5.1.

    HP Agentless Management Service Offline Bundle for VMware vSphere 5.5

    HP ESXi Offline Bundle for VMware vSphere 5.5

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