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This problem cropped up today, after updating my eVGA motherboard's chipset in order to try and fix an unrelated issue. After installing the chipset update (contained SATA and Ethernet drivers), every time I've tried to start my Ubuntu VM, it reaches 95% in the web interface and then just hangs.

I'm using VMWare Server 2.0.2, running it within Windows 7 64-bit. I haven't had any issues up until now, and I suspect it has something to do with the chipset update. I've already tried reinstalling VMWare itself, removing the VM from the inventory and re-adding it, and neither has proved successful. I'm also not sure how to kill the VMware server process itself once the start-up hangs; I've only been able to try again by rebooting (as none of the VMWare Services listed kill the server process itself).

Any insights?

Edit: Uhhh...as an addendum: I have a cron job set up on my Ubuntu VM that runs every 20 minutes. The VM is still listed in the VMWare web interface as at 95% of startup, and the start/stop buttons are still disabled, but the cronjob just ran. I also tested SSH, and I was able to tunnel into the Ubuntu VM as well. Now I'm really confused.

Edit #2: I just started a thread on the VMWare Server support forums on this same topic. Hopefully between the two communities, we can come up with an answer:

http://communities.vmware.com/thread/251033

Edit #3: In lieu of a specific fix, I've switched over to VirtualBox, and all is working just fine.

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7 Answers

I've tried your suggestion about switching browsers and am now using Firefox 3.5.6 instead of 64bit IE8, there is an improvement is the consistency of the Tomcat based Web Access (so I'm going to stick with using Firefox for this app) but there's no improvement with the problem. Even creating NEW VM's hang at 95%!

There seems to be a little more info. on the VMWARE forums, this appears to of happened before with 64bit Vista...

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That's a good point; I too tried creating an entirely new VM, and it still hung at 95%. –  Magsol Dec 24 '09 at 5:47
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hurray!! Removed kvm modules and it worked!!

see this link http://communities.vmware.com/thread/157648

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Nice! Any idea how to do that on a Windows 7 host machine? –  Magsol Jan 13 '10 at 18:19
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I can't believe that I had a pop up box waiting to be answered on the vSphere client. After I answered the question - was this VM copied or moved, it went from 95 to 100% running!

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Is a problem of access to the disk by the VMWARE (access to VM files),

If you copy a VM to another location or server you need to delete all the temp and virtual memory files from the VM , and reset (in servers) the access to the file ( user that needs access is the network service or system ) and it will work.

The same problem happens to browsers that hang and create a errors , and the same solution is valid.

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Based on your latest addendum, this sounds like something that's happened to me a few times.

Occasionally the VMware Infrastructure Web Access webapp for VMware Server seems to get hung up. Try closing all instances of your web browser and reopening the VMware Infrastructure Web Access, or try using a different web browser.

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Didn't think of trying a different web browser, but I did try restarting Firefox; even tried rebooting the machine, unfortunately without any success with either. I will try switching browsers and see what happens. –  Magsol Dec 24 '09 at 5:47
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I have this same issue on Windows Vista. The only solution I have found it to reboot the host and then it works fine. I tried restarting services but could not find an order that didn't leave VMWare unusable.

I would assume that restarting VMWare services in the correct order to replicate restarting the computer should resolve this but rebooting is not an issue for me as I only use the VM occasionally.

I would be interested if this works for *nix as well. It seems like one or more of the running services is in a state where it needs to be restarted to mount the Virtual Machine successfully.

In any case I hope this helps and if a service restart is found that does not require a reboot please post back.

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@Jerome B (and original I suppose, although that was a few years ago)

You can edit the VM's *.vmx file to include the following line:

msg.autoAnswer = "TRUE"

This will allow unattended &/or headless deployment of a VM. You can also set this in your global configuration so that you don't need to do it for every VM, although the specifics depend on your environment. Are your running VM Server, as the original poster was a few years ago? Or Workstation, the sort-of successor product for Server now that it is completely unsupported? Or a full vSPhere/ESXi setup?

If it's the old Server/GSX, I don't recall the specifics of headless/autodeploy. For Workstation, just edit your config.ini, location depends on underlying platform/host OS so just check the manual for your particular VWS distro. vSphere provides for lots of options, but this should get you started: http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp#com.vmware.vsphere.install.doc_50/GUID-C9230ECB-FE74-4C5E-ABEF-2FE8040FA116.html

EDIT Hmm, it looks like Jerome B's question was removed as a non-answer. For posterity, the above answer pertains to issues where the VM is started in an unattended mode, e.g., headless or through the web interface but does no neither fails nor completed. Note: this is not the only cause of such problems. Review your logs, attempt a restart through GUI, etc to refine the identification of your issue.

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