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Management services on physical hosts that are running VMware ESX can fail causing the following results:

  • You cannot connect ESX/ESXi to VirtualCenter /vCenter Server
  • You cannot connect directly to the ESX/ESXi host from the VMware Infrastructure Client / vSphere Client
  • You cannot stop or start a virtual machine
  • A virtual machine is shown as running in vCenter Server when it is not
  • vCenter Server shows the error:
    • Virtual machine creation may fail because agent is unable to retrieve VM creation options from the host

There are multiple ways to restart the management agents:

Direct Console

  1. Connect to the console of your ESXi host
  2. Press F2 to customise the system
  3. Log in as root
  4. Use the Up/Down arrows to navigate to “Restart Management Agents”
  5. Press Enter
  6. Press F11 to start the services
  7. When the service has been restarted, press Enter
  8. Press Esx to log out of the system

From a Shell

  1. Log in to SSH

Note: In ESX 4.x, run this command to start the vpxa agent:

Alternatively, to restart all management agents on the host, run the command:

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