Benjamin : Got a light?
Joel : Sure.
Benjamin : Thanks. Not in a sociable mood tonight, huh?
Joel : Guess not.
Benjamin : Me, neither. I’ve never really understood fireworks.
Joel : We used to love them. I mean, I did. Now they’re just… lights in the sky.
Benjamin : Lights in the sky.
Joel : You think…
Benjamin : What?
Joel : You think we’re ever really forgiven for the mistakes we’ve made?
Benjamin : Who do you want doing the forgiving? God?
Joel : People.
Benjamin : People never forgive. Not in my experience. They say they do, but they don’t. I’m not even sure forgiveness really matters.
Joel : Why wouldn’t it matter?
Benjamin : Well, what is it, forgiveness? It doesn’t mean anything. I mean, you still did what you did, right? Nothing’s changed. Forgiveness is a mindset. Synapses in your brain telling you to think differently about something that’s already happened. It’s amorphous. It’s not really there. And if it’s not really there, what is it?
Joel : God, I hope that’s not true. Every day, I feel like I’m getting kicked in the head a little. I know I deserve it, but I sure would like it to end some day.
Benjamin : Just do what I do, stay away from people. If you’re not around them, there are no mistakes to be made.
Joel : That’s not the answer. You know that. You need people.
Benjamin : To bum a light. That’s about it, though.
Joel : Nah. You’ll change your mind someday. Just wait. You’ll see.

Windows 10 1903 update vs VMware Workstation 12+

Windows 10 build version 1903 (19H1) comes with a Sandbox feature which relies on Hyper-V technology. If you have already installed VMware Workstation version 12 and above before the Windows 10 1903 update, the system gives an error about installing the latest updates and offer you to remove it to proceed with the update.

If you want to keep VMware Workstation solution is easy with a workaround. First you should uninstall VMware Workstation preferably without removing application settings and license information. After the Windows update installation you should first enable the Hyper-V related features under “Setting -> Apps -> Apps & features -> Programs & Features -> Turn Windows features on or off” for some cases that they are partially enabled. The system will prompt for reboot and after the reboot you should disable these features back not to conflict with VMware Workstation any more.

You can install VMware Workstation back after the final reboot and continue to use your old VMs as before.

Windows Sandbox Features

To speed up the boot sequence I prefer to keep the related VMware services startup type manual and control them with a PowerShell script below:

VMware Workstation Windows services
Enable-NetAdapter VMware* -Confirm:$false
Start-Service "VMware Authorization Service"
Start-Service "VMware USB Arbitration Service"
Start-Service "VMware NAT Service"
Start-Service "VMware DHCP Service"
Start-Service "VMware Workstation Server"
Start-Process -NoNewWindow -Wait "C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation\vmware.exe"
Stop-Service "VMware Workstation Server"
Stop-Service "VMware DHCP Service"
Stop-Service "VMware NAT Service"
Stop-Service -Force "VMware USB Arbitration Service"
Stop-Service -Force "VMware Authorization Service"
Disable-NetAdapter VMware* -Confirm:$false

Then you can change the default VMware Workstation shortcut target to run this PowerShell script:

%SystemRoot%\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -WindowStyle Hidden -File "[full_path_to_your_script]"

racing engine

“My mind is like a racing engine, tearing itself to pieces because it is not connected up with the work for which it was built. Life is commonplace; the papers are sterile; audacity and romance seem to have passed forever from the criminal world. Can you ask me, then, whether I am ready to look into any new problem, however trivial it may prove?”

VMware HA warnings on VMs with 3D Graphics and VMware Tools upgrades

Recently I’ve been busy with the upgrade of my vSphere 6.0U2 environment to 6.5U1. During and after the upgrade some of the VMs started getting rebooted by VMware HA. VMs were unresponsive at that stage and vSphere logged “OS crash” due to VMware Tools heartbeat loss. VMware HA VM monitoring naturally tried to reset the machines, however randomly for some it succeeded, for some it didn’t. All of the crashed VMs have one configuration in common: 3D Graphics enabled. At first I considered the reason was VMware Tools, but then I thought: “Is it possible to lose backward compatibility this much between vSphere versions?” Actually the running Tools versions were not updated since vSphere 5.5 and somehow it didn’t complain until this upgrade.

There were two different logs (screenshots below) on the VMs that HA failed to reset, first one recurring very frequently, almost every 20 seconds:

vSphere HA attempted to reset the virtual machine because of a heartbeat failure from VMware Tools or a guest application, depending on how vSphere HA was configured. However, the reset operation failed. The most likely reason for the reset failure is that the virtual machine was running another task at the time the reset was initiated. Action: Check to see whether the virtual machine requires attention and reset it manually if necessary.


This event is logged when vSphere HA did not reset a VM affected by an inaccessible datastore. It will attempt to reset the VM after storage failure is cleared. The VM is affected by an inaccessible datastore due to storage connectivity loss. Resetting such a VM might cause the VM to be powered off and not restarted by vSphere HA.

HA Error Type 2HA Error Type 1

I couldn’t see any ongoing activity or an inaccessible datastore. These logs seemed misdirecting so I started updating VMware Tools and virtual HW as recommended. As suspected, it solved the problem: VMs stopped crashing and found some peace.

When you don’t have the luxury to restart the systems, you may choose to “postpone” the VMware Tools and virtual HW upgrade thinking that it is not compulsory and has an extended support. Here is a good old VMware blog entry about the subject: Although the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix shows Tools from 5.5 still works on ESXi 6.5U1, my case proved that there may be exceptions on rare configurations. The system needs to be kept as up-to-date as possible, as a whole.

Let’s finish with VMware’s statement:

Although upgrading VMware Tools is optional, it is still highly recommended.   The extended support is meant to facilitate upgrades and should not be seen as an excuse to avoid upgrading VMware Tools.

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