How to Kill a Stuck VM in ESX 3.5

This morning my VM’s decided to become schizophrenic and stop opening consoles. Virtual Center showed the VM’s as still running but some weren’t responding to pings, some were but all had this error when trying to connect via console:

error connecting to vmfs volumes

Ok, well luckily this was a test environment VM so I tried hard restarting it and I got this lovely message:

Operation failed since another task is in progress.

Really?!? Crap, ok time to head to the oracle of all knowledge Google and BLAM-O I found this thread in the VMware Communities forum with my solution. I learned some nice new things including nice commands via the vmware-cmd as well as the vm-support commands which ended up helping me in the end. Here’s the solution from the thread, thanks to users Duncan Epping and Kim Rubeck for these commands/tips.

vmware-cmd -l = list all the vm’s running, copy and paste the full path to the below command.vmware-cmd <config> stop trysoft
if trysoft doesn’t work you could always kill the process ->
ps -ef | more
find the proces related to the world
kill it.

ps -auxwww | grep -i <vmname>

Find the PID and kill -9 pid


vm-support -x – to list vmid’s
vm-support -X <vmid> to kill it.

For the record my solution wound up being identifying the vm’s PID and killing the process directly. After doing that Virtual Center shows the VM as not running. Once that happens simply power it back up like you normally would.


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