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vSphere Client does not open on any Windows operating systems with the error: parsing the server "<servername>" "clients.xml" file (1022611)

Symptoms

  • vSphere Client does not open on any Windows operating systems.
  • When trying to launch the vSphere Client you receive errors similar to:

    Error parsing the server "<servername>" "clients.xml" file.

    The type initializer for VirtualInfrastructure.Utils.HttpWebRequestProxy' threw an exception.

Resolution

You cannot use vSphere Clients prior to the Update 1 to access the vCenter Server or ESX hosts because of a Microsoft update that targets the .NET Framework released on June 9th 2010. For more information, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 980773.
 
Perform one of these two options to resolve the issue:
  • Download and install vSphere Client 4.0 Update 1 (build 208111) or Update 2 (build 258672) depending on your environment:

    • To download and install vSphere Client for ESX, ESXi (paid version) and vCenter Server:
      • Go to the vSphere Download Center.

        Note
        : The vSphere Client .exe is part of the ESX, ESXi, or vCenter Server download binaries.

      • Click Download next to your ESX, ESXi, or vCenter Server edition.
      • If prompted, log in to My VMware. If you do not have a profile, you must create one. For more information, see Creating a My VMware profile (2007005).
      • Click Yes to agree to the EULA.
      • Click the .exe link next to vSphere Client and Host Update Utility.

        Note: You do not need to download the entire vSphere suite, only the vSphere Client.

      • Follow the on-screen instructions to install the updated vSphere Client.

    • To download and install the vSphere Client Update 1 for ESXi (free version):
      • Click Download for VMware ESXi 4.0 Update 1
      • If prompted, log in to My VMware. If you do not have a profile, you must create one. For more information, see Creating a My VMware profile (2007005).
      • Click Download next to vSphere Client and Host Update Utility.
      • Follow the on-screen instructions to install the updated vSphere Client.

  • Remove the Microsoft update from your Windows operating system. The vSphere Client works after the update is removed.
Note: This affects Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows 2008, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.
 
If the build number for your vSphere Client is 208111 or higher, then you have vSphere Client 4.0 Update 1 or later, and should not be affected by this issue.
 
You can determine the version of vSphere Client by reviewing the build number located in the first line of a viclient.log file.
 
Note: This file is located in: 
  • %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\VMware\vpx for Windows XP or 2003
  • %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\VMware\vpx for 64-bit Windows Vista/7 or 2008.
For example:
 
2010-05-19 03:08:58.508 Log for vSphere Client Launcher, pid=4756, version=4.0.0, build=build-208111, option=release

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