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Troubleshooting remote console connection problems in VMware Server (1008436)


  • When trying to access a virtual appliance on a VMware Server host through the VMware Server Console or Remote Console, the following error message might appear:

    There was a problem connecting. Cannot connect to host <name>: No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it.
    Unable to connect to remote host: Connection refused.

  • The remote view of the virtual machine console appears black however other functions appear to work


Each step below provides instructions and a link to a document, for performing the step and taking corrective action as necessary. The steps are ordered in the most appropriate sequence to isolate the issue and to identify the proper resolution. They are also ordered in the most appropriate sequence to minimize data loss. After completing each step, try connecting via remote console again. Work through each troubleshooting step in order, and do not skip a step.
To successfully make a remote console connection:
  1. Confirm that you are able to communicate with the destination server's port 902 using telnet. For more information, see Testing port connectivity with the Telnet command (1003487).

  2. Verify that the user account you are using to log in with on the destination server has an account set up on that server with sufficient permissions to connect to the remote console. The user account must also have the correct permissions for the virtual machine files in order to access the virtual machine's console. This issue can cause a power on problem. For more information, see Investigating power on permissions for hosted virtual machines (1003847).

  3. If you are connected to the server via remote desktop or terminal services, disconnect the RDP session and use the VMware Remote Console application or website to connect to the virtual machine. Accessing the console applications over RDP may cause unexpected behavior such as black consoles or failures when trying to create new virtual machines.

  4. Verify that the DNS name resolution to the server is resolving correctly using ping. For more information, see Testing network connectivity with the Ping command (1003486).
If these steps do not resolve your issue, see the Additional Information section for one more resolution.
If the issue continues to exist after trying the steps in this article, including any appropriate steps in the Additional Information section:
  • Collect the VMware Support information. For more information, see the Running the Support Script section of the Workstation 7 User Manual.
  • File a support request with VMware Support and quote this Knowledge Base article ID (1008436) in the problem description. For more information, see How to Submit a Support Request.

Additional Information

If the server is running a Linux operating system, also see this article: Problem connecting to VMware Server (1007477).

See Also

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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  • 41 Ratings