Troubleshooting vm not responding issues
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Troubleshooting vm not responding issues


Article ID: 343132


Updated On:


VMware Cloud Director VMware vCenter Server VMware vSphere ESXi


Virtual machines can become unresponsive or not responding in the same way as a physical machine. For this reason, it can be difficult to determine whether the ESXi or the Guest Operating System itself is the cause for the unresponsiveness. This article provides some basic steps to help identify the source of the issue. Also, it provides links to some issues known to affect the guest operating system.

  • Virtual machine fails to respond to keyboard or mouse activity.
  • Virtual machine is not responding to network communication.
  • Virtual machine does not allow access via RDP, vCenter Server virtual machine console screen, or other connection methods.
  • Virtual machine screen is black, and does not refresh.
  • You may see one or more of these errors similar to:

    /init: /init: 151: Syntax error: 0xforce=panic

    Kernel panic - not syncing: Attempted to kill init!


    Error codes 6005, 6008 in Windows Event Viewer


VMware vSphere 7.0.x
VMware vSphere 6.7.x
VMware vSphere 6.x
VMware vSphere 6.5.x


Before proceeding, validate that each troubleshooting step below is true for your environment. Each step provides instructions or a link to a document, in order to eliminate possible causes and take corrective action as necessary. The steps are ordered in the most appropriate sequence to isolate the issue and identify the proper resolution. Do not skip a step.
Confirm that the virtual machine is unresponsive. It is possible that the virtual machine is not responding via one interface but is functioning correctly over the network.Perform a Ping test to the VM or connect via RDP session. For more information, see:
Verify no messages are received during the boot process that identify the cause of the virtual machine's unresponsiveness.Observe the boot process on the Guest OS. If, during boot the operating system loading information is displayed, the virtual machine can access the hard drive and is bootable. When the guest operating system can load, the issue lies within the operating system.
Verify sufficient disk space for proper virtual machine operation.One of the most common causes for a virtual machine to become unresponsive is that the hard drive has run out of space. Without sufficient space for logging and IO, the virtual machine may be unable to continue to function. For more information, see Investigating operating system disk space (1004007).
Verify the virtual machine has sufficient resources to ensure proper operation.A virtual machine may be appearing unresponsive due to exceedingly high load on system resources. However, since the machine is virtual, the resource monitoring tools contained within the guest operating system may not accurately reflect the resource utilization of the guest.

use the tools provided with the ESXi host and VMware vCenter Server. For more information, see the Using the esxtop utility and Using the resxtop utility section of the vSphere Monitoring and Performance Guide.
Verify information logged to the Microsoft Event Viewer does not report an issue that can cause an unresponsive virtual machine.A Microsoft Guest Operating System contains a utility for viewing system related logs. The Event Viewer contains Application, Security, and System logs. These logs record information specific to the operation of the guest operating system. For more information, see Using Windows Event Viewer to identify the cause of an unresponsive or failed virtual machine (1007866).
Verify the Microsoft registry's configuration is not causing the virtual machine to appear unresponsive.For more information, see Advanced troubleshooting for Windows-based computer freeze issues.

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Additional Information

For related troubleshooting information, see: