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Generating a Windows core dump to troubleshoot unresponsive virtual machines on ESX/ESXi (1009187)

Purpose

This article provides steps for generating a Windows core dump from an ESX virtual machine, should Microsoft request it.

Resolution

Configure the Windows virtual machine to core dump as per Microsoft KB article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927069.
 
When the virtual machine goes into an unresponsive state, you can cause it to fail by sending it an nmi (Non-Maskable Interrupt) using the vmdumper utility.
This also requires that you know the world ID number for the virtual machine.
 
To cause the virtual machine to fail:
  1. Log in as root in a terminal session on the ESX host where the virtual machine is running.
  2. Run this command to determine the world ID number for the virtual machine. 

    vm-support -x

    For ESXi 5.x: To obtain a list of all running virtual machines, identified by their World ID, Cartel ID, display name and path to the .vmx configuration file using this command:

    esxcli vm process list

  3. Match the name of the virtual machine with the world ID.
  4. Run the following command to cause the virtual machine to fail:

    /usr/lib/vmware/bin/vmdumper <world_id> nmi

    For ESXi 5.x, you can run the following command:

    /sbin/vmdumper <world_id> nmi

  5. Boot the Windows virtual machine to retrieve the core dump.

See Also

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