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I am trying to add a new host to a VMWare Cluster.

I get the error: A general system error occurred: Timed waiting for vpxa to start"

enter image description here

When I look on the host, I get many events of

Refresh service information
11/19/2012 4:49:48 PM
11/19/2012 4:49:48 PM
11/19/2012 4:49:49 PM

enter image description here

But the first error is the problem:

Create user
specified key
, name, or 
11/19/2012 4:00:20 PM
11/19/2012 4:00:20 PM
11/19/2012 4:00:20 PM

On the vmforums, the suggested solution to this does not work: To resolve this issue:

 1. rename /etc/vmware/hostd/authorization.xml to /etc/vmware/hostd/authorization.xml.old.
 2. Restart the host management services. For more information, see Restarting the Management agents on an ESX or ESXi Server (1003490). 

The version is 5.1, and I have Essentials license.

On the new host there are no clients running

The new host version is 799733, and it has 2 other hosts running on it, which are still 5.0.0 - Should I upgrade them first?

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Does this host have any VMs running on it yet? Also, does your cluster already have other running hosts that are working? Are the other hosts also the same version of ESXi 5.1 (same build #)? – sjw Nov 19 '12 at 13:04
added info to the question – Saariko Nov 19 '12 at 14:56
up vote 3 down vote accepted

This question is old, however I came across this exact scenario today. Issue was that the vCenter server was running 5.0 and the ESXi host being added was 5.1.

Solution: upgrade vCenter from 5.0 to 5.1 prior to adding the host. As per the VMware Compatibility matrix, 5.1 hosts cannot be added to 5.0 or earlier vCenter servers.

The symptoms I experienced were identical to the ones listed in the original question. REF:

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just a quick idea, try to unregister the troubled ESX host from vCenter Server then register it back again.


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Read the question: I can't add it (unless register and add are 2 different things) – Saariko Nov 19 '12 at 15:09
well you right, my bad... – Vladimir Nov 19 '12 at 15:14

I saw this happen today. In my case, it happened after making an editing mistake to the /etc/vmware/vpxa/vpxa.cfg file. I had mismatched two XML tags. After I restarted the server I was unable to connect to it in vCenter, and I got the message shown above.

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