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I have a troublesome Windows Server 2008 R2 VM in a vSphere 5.5 environment which is starting up with an APIPA address (169.254.0.0/16) on its interface instead of the statically preconfigured IPv4 address. Disabling and re-enabling the interface (either through devmgmt.msc or ncpa.cpl) helps with restoring connectivity, just as does disconnecting / reconnecting the virtual adapter in vSphere:

connect / disconnect

History so far:

  • Guest has been running on vSphere 5.0 / 5.1 in the last years
  • vSphere environment has been upgraded to 5.5 2 months ago
  • Guest has been migrated to another cluster last week
  • VMWare tools have been upgraded this week

It is not restarted all that often, so it is difficult to tell when the issue actually started showing, but we noticed it this week after the tools upgrade. The first restart after Tools installation had no connectivity, subsequent restarts did not change anything in this regard. Other guests with a similar history indeed did have trouble with connectivity on the first restart after the tools upgrade, but subsequent restarts were okay.

The virtual machine is v7 and has a single E1000-type network interface, the guest's drivers are Windows' stock PRO/1000MT (E1G6032E 8.4.1.0). Tools version is 9.4.5 build-1734305.

The Windows event log shows nothing unusual or driver-related on startup apart from entries of starting services indicating that the host has no IP connectivity. The VM's "Tasks & Events" tab of the vSphere console has no suspicious entries either.

Is this really related to the Tools upgrade? How would I fix it?

Edit: I am aware of vmWare KB 2012646, it basically suggests connecting / disconnecting the adapter and checking the registry for APIPA configurations on interfaces. I have done both (no APIPA-configured entries are present in the registry on the machines in question).

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Just wondering since you have vmtools installed and upgraded - would adding a new VMXNET3 nic in place of the E1000 (with same IP reapplied of course) give the same issues? –  afx May 7 at 9:45
    
@afx it might resolve or work around the problem, the trouble however is that the network adapter has an automatically assigned MAC address and the server is running a piece of software bound to the MAC address. While we could simply ask for having the VMX file edited to have this very MAC address be set as "Manual", it would break some of our procedures, so we'd prefer not to if another resolution is available. –  the-wabbit May 7 at 9:56
    
ah righto - thought as much. keeping head on the grindstone... –  afx May 7 at 10:05
    
Please elaborate a bit on the network setup - how are your virtual switches set up, do you use VLANS? If so, how are the set up on your virtual switches? have you checked each port of the virtual switch on your new cluster to ensure every specified virtual network's VLAN has been tagged on each interface? –  Alex Berry May 7 at 12:41
2  
@AlexBerry My insight into the configuration details of the vSphere networking is limited - I only get to manage the VMs once they are configured. Of course, the switches do use VLANs and I would not expect the problem to be on the networking side however - once the interface has been disabled and re-enabled in the guest, it works flawlessly. But I will try and get the vSphere configuration details from the respective service owners. –  the-wabbit May 7 at 13:56

1 Answer 1

Try "netsh int ip reset" to reset the IP stack, re-assign the static, reboot and see if it sticks?

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