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VMware Tools on a Windows virtual machine fails with the error: Exception 0xc0000005 (access violation) (2012572)

Symptoms

  • After upgrading VMware Tools on a Windows virtual machine running on an ESX/ESXi host, the VMware Tools service repeatedly fails
  • You see the error:

    VMware Tools unrecoverable error: (vthread-3)
    Exception 0xc0000005 (access violation) has occured
    A core file is available in
    "C:\Windows\system32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Roaming\VM\vm
    toolsd-4612.dmp". You can request support and include the contents of the core file.
    To collect data to submit to VMware support, choose "Collect Support Data"
    from the Help menu
    You can also run the "vm-support" script in the Workstation folder directly.
    We will respond on the basis of your support entitlement.

Cause

This issue occurs if there are multiple versions of a shared DLL file.

For example, by default, the hgfsUsability.dll DLL file from VMware Tools build 381511 is installed at C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools\plugins\vmsvc\. This .dll file has the version 8.3.7.4937.

When upgrading to a VMware Tools build from an ESXi 5.0 host, the file hgfsUsability.dll is installed at C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools\plugins\common\ and the .dll file has the version 8.6.0.6261.
 
Though the VMware Tools upgrade process attempts to delete the older version of the DLL file, in some cases the DLL may not be deleted due to permission related problems or custom user changes on the Windows operating system.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, you must identify if multiple DLL files of the same name, but different versions, exist on the system and then remove the older the version of the DLL.

To identify and delete the older version of the DLL:
  1. Enable debug logging for VMware Tools. For more information, see  Enabling debug logging for VMware Tools within a guest operating system (1007873)
  2. Start the VMware Tools service to capture logging.

    To start the service:
    1. Click Start > Run, type services.msc, and click OK. The Services window opens.
    2. Locate and right-click VMware Tools Service and click Start.

  3. Search the VMware Tools log file and look for DLL files with the same name, but different versions.

    Note: The location of the log file depends on the path that you have set in Step 1.

  4. Remove the DLL file with an older version or unregister the DLL from the operating system.

    To unregister a DLL, run this command from the command prompt of your Windows system:

    regsvr32 /u filename.dll

  5. Reboot the virtual machine. VMware Tools should now start properly.
If the preceding steps do not resolve the issue, see Unable to upgrade existing VMware Tools (1001354).

If the problem still persists or if you have difficulty isolating the offending DLL, contact VMware Support and open a Support Request. For more information, see How to File a Support Request.

Additional Information

For more information, see the VMware Communities thread Exception 0xc0000005 (access violation) has occurred when starting VM.

See Also

Update History

09/17/2012 - Added a note to Step 3 and a link to Communities Thread in Additional Information section. 09/25/2012 - Added a link to KB 1001354

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