Virtual Machines “Inaccessible” after Datastore Outage


If you ever had to take a NFS datastore down to perform updates on an early release of vSphere 5.1 then you may have seen  (inaccessible) following the grayed and italicized virtual machine name in the vSphere Client.

This is a know issue and is identified in VMware ESXi 5.1u1 release notes as:

Virtual machines residing on NFS datastores are inaccessible in ESXi 5.1 host after vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA) 5.1 exits maintenance mode

The hostd agent reports the status of virtual machines incorrectly to vCenter and the ESXi host after you disconnect the NFS storage as it goes over the Misc.APDTimeout value. This issue is observed on powered off virtual machines.

This issue is resolved in this release.

This issue is commonly seen when an ESXi hosts loses connectivity with an NFS datastore.


Methods for correcting the issue is as follows:

Power CLI:

#Get Inaccessible Virtual Machines
$VMs = Get-View -ViewType VirtualMachine | ?{$_.Runtime.ConnectionState -eq "invalid" -or $_.Runtime.ConnectionState -eq "inaccessible"} | select name,@{Name="GuestConnectionState";E={$_.Runtime.ConnectionState}}write-host "---------------------------"
write-host "Inaccessible VMs"
write-host "---------------------------"


#Reload VMs into inventory
Get-View -ViewType VirtualMachine | ?{$VMs} | %{$_.reload()}

#Show new state of reloaded VMs
$ReloadedVMs = Get-View -ViewType VirtualMachine | ?{$VMs} | select name,@{Name="GuestConnectionState";E={$_.Runtime.ConnectionState}}

write-host "---------------------------"
write-host "Reloaded VMs"
write-host "---------------------------"



vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms >grep skip
Skipping invalid VM '118'
Skipping invalid VM '127'
vim-cmd vmsvc/reload [NUMBER] 

Articles Cited:

Using Power CLI:
Using vim-cmd:
VMware ESXi 5.1u1 Release Notes:

How to disable IE Enhanced Security in Windows 2008

Have you installed Windows 2008 and tried using Internet Explorer only to find that everything that you go to has to be added to an approved list?

Have you installed another browser just to get around this problem?

Well, you probably don’t need to install another browser if you don’t want to because there is a quick way to turn this security feature off.

In the taskbar you can click on the Server Manager icon as depicted below:

In the Server Manager main window under Server Summary -> Security Information you will find a link named Configure IE ESC. Click on Configure IE ESC.

The Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration will appear. This window is where you can shut-off the Enhanced Security feature by clicking the Off radio button for Administrators and/or Users account and clicking OK.

Note – you will need to close and re-open Internet Explorer to see the effects of this changed setting.

VMware I Moved It / I Copied It

The Problem

In our environment we use virtual machines on a nested hypervisor for testing. When clone or move the nested hypervisor virtual machine to another machine, the internal virtual machines all had the icon next to them indicating that they could not power up and needed attention. Upon opening a remote console session to the virtual machine, I am prompted with the following:

Of course this can be rather annoying if you must manually alter the settings for these machines on a large scale.

The Resolution

Found in the VMware KB article  “I moved it” or “I copied it” selection really just specifies whether or not the virtual machines UUID is kept or recreated.

This question can be answered automatically in the virtual machines VMX file.

To always keep the UUID add the following line to your VMX file:

uuid.action = “keep”

Note there are other circumstances that can affect the popup box appearance. I will defer to the VMware KB article for additional explanations regarding specific circumstances.