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Remediating an ESX host fails with the error: A general system error occurred: Invalid argument (1020432)

Symptoms

  • Remediating an ESX host with VMware vCenter Update Manager fails.
  • You can scan and stage an ESX host using vCenter Update Manager but upon remediation, you see the error:
A general system error occurred: Invalid argument
  • The vmware-vum-server-log4cpp.log file (located in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\Update Manager or C:\Users\All Users\VMware\VMware Update Manager\Logs) contains the entry:

[2010-04-09 09:14:46:265 'VciRemediateTask.RemediateTask{3}' 4944 INFO]  [vciTaskBase, 1275] SerializeToVimFault fault:
(vmodl.fault.SystemError) {
   dynamicType = <unset>,
   faultCause = (vmodl.MethodFault) null,
   reason = "Invalid argument",
   msg = " A general system error occurred: Invalid argument",
}
Converted fault:
(vim.fault.ExtendedFault) {
   dynamicType = <unset>,
   faultCause = (vmodl.MethodFault) null,
   faultTypeId = "SystemError",
   data = (vim.KeyValue) [
      (vim.KeyValue) {
         dynamicType = <unset>,
         key = "dynamicType",
         value = "",
      },
      (vim.KeyValue) {
         dynamicType = <unset>,
         key = "dynamicProperty",
         value = "",
      },
      (vim.KeyValue) {
         dynamicType = <unset>,
         key = "faultCause",
         value = "",
      },
      (vim.KeyValue) {
         dynamicType = <unset>,
         key = "faultMessage",
         value = "",
      },
      (vim.KeyValue) {
         dynamicType = <unset>,
         key = "reason",
         value = "Invalid argument",
      }
   ],
   msg = " A general system error occurred: Invalid argument",
}

Resolution

This issue can be caused by an invalid or unknown virtual machine on the ESX host.
 
You can see virtual machines labeled as invalid vm or unknown by logging directly into the ESX host using VMware vSphere Client.
 
To resolve this issue, remove all invalid virtual machines by right-clicking on the virtual machine and selecting Remove.
 
If removing the invalid virtual machines does not resolve this issue, you can remediate the host after placing it into maintenance mode and removing it from the cluster.
 
To place the host into maintenance mode and remove it from the cluster:
  1. Migrate all virtual machines and templates off of the host. 
  2. Place the ESX host in maintenance mode by right-clicking on the host and selecting Enter Maintenance Mode
  3. Disconnect the ESX host in vCenter Server by right-clicking on the host and selecting Disconnect.
  4. Drag the ESX host outside of the current cluster so that it becomes a standalone host.
  5. Reconnect the ESX host to vCenter Server by right-clicking on the host and selecting Connect.
  6. Remediate the host using Update Manager.
  7. After remediation has completed, and the host has come back into vCenter Server, disconnect the ESX host again in vCenter Server by right-clicking on the host and selecting Disconnect.
  8. Drag the ESX host back to its original cluster.
  9. Reconnect the ESX host to vCenter Server by right-clicking on the host and selecting Connect.

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