Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a standalone VMWare ESXi host on ESXi 5.1. It currently has a handful of VMs powered on, and they are running fine.

If I try to power on any other VM - any VM at all - I am receiving the following message:

enter image description here

Power On virtual machine:A general system error occurred: The virtual machine could not start

I have been through everything on KB2001005 and KB1006232 and their steps are either not applicable, or don't change anything. Nothing is generated in the virtual machine's log file.

Where can I troubleshoot from here?

share|improve this question
up vote 9 down vote accepted

There are a few steps to check... but the first thing to try is a restart of the management agents. Gain SSH access to your standalone host and run: /sbin/ restart at the prompt.

share|improve this answer
Bam. That did the trick. I did do a restart from the powershell console, but doing it via SSH has fixed this problem. Hooray! – Mark Henderson Nov 4 '13 at 21:54
It may also be related with VM Swap files location in case they are located on separate DS. And may be related on free space available in Datastores, including dedicated DS for VM Swap files. So change swap file location, check free space and availability for all DS and then run /sbin/ restart. – BBK Aug 16 '14 at 11:11

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.