Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Vsphere upgrade of Virtual NIC causes windows server to hang on bootup

Has anyone seen a issue whereby a upgrade to Vmware Virtual hardware 4 to 7 or the Vmware tools are updated to include a new NIC card causes the rebooted server to hang on a Windows OS..??

Lets take a closer look what happens...when the virtual hardware is upgraded the Windows plug & play service will detect the new devices (new NIC) and look for the driver, this in turn kicks of the Vmware tools upgrader service wich handles the install and upgrade process, this will remove the current NIC and save the IP configuration and apply to the NIC when VMware tools installs the drivers.

The problem you have here is Windows will sometimes hold onto the old NIC as ghost device and when Windows reboots, core services that bind to the TCP/IP stack on the card ie DNS,IIS,AD will often try to attach themselves to the ghost NIC hence the hung state.

OK whats the solution... you will ned to show the hidden NIC and then delete it.

Use start >run>set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

This will show the hidden device in Windows device manager, which you can delete

The above command will work fine in Windows 2003 for all 2008 systems  Highlight ‘Server Manager (%SERVERNAME%)’ in the left-side tree-view pane. Click ‘Change System Properties’ in the right-hand pane. Switch to the Advanced tab and click ‘Environment Variables. Create a new System variable by clicking the New button. The Variable name should be ‘devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices’ and the value should be ‘1′ as pictured below.

Reopen devmgmt.msc Click > View Show Hidden Devices and remove the ghost NIC

Good luck!


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