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Snapshots, checkpoints, and VMotion actions of virtual machines with Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 not compatible with ESXi hosts implementing different versions (2033723)

Details

Due to changes in Microsoft's virtual machine generation counter specification that was introduced in the Window 8 Release Preview and Windows Server 2012 RC, corresponding changes were also required in the virtual machine BIOS. Snapshots, checkpoints and VMotion actions of virtual machines with these versions of Windows are not compatible between ESXi hosts that have implemented different revisions of Microsoft's virtual machine generation counter specification.

Snapshots and checkpoints of virtual machines with Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 that are taken on a host running ESXi 5.0 Update 1 or ESXi 5.0 P03 will not resume on a host running later versions of ESXi ( ESXi 5.0 Update 2, ESXi 5.1, etc.) and the reverse.

VMotion is prevented between hosts running ESXi 5.0 Update 1 or ESXi 5.0 P03 to and from hosts running later versions of ESXi .

The following error message is received from the vSphere Web Client:
Failed to receive migration.
An error occurred restoring the virtual machine state during migration.


The following messages are logged in hostd.log from the destination host:

2012-11-08T07:30:42.441Z [FFF83D20 verbose 'vm:/vmfs/volumes/505c3190-b80d5c00-c79b-005056014028/VM-2012/VM-2012.vmx'] Handling message _vmx1: An error occurr
ed restoring the virtual machine state during migration.
--> Failed to receive migration.
-->
...
...
2012-11-08T07:30:42.537Z [53E81B90 info 'VMotionDst (1352359796413352)'] ResolveCb: VMX reports needsUnregister = true for migrateType MIGRATE_TYPE_VMOTION
2012-11-08T07:30:42.537Z [53E81B90 info 'VMotionDst (1352359796413352)'] ResolveCb: Failed with fault: (vmodl.fault.SystemError) {
-->    dynamicType = <unset>,
-->    faultCause = (vmodl.MethodFault) null,
-->    faultMessage = (vmodl.LocalizableMessage) [
-->       (vmodl.LocalizableMessage) {
-->          dynamicType = <unset>,
-->          key = "msg.checkpoint.mrestoregroup.failed",
-->          message = "An error occurred restoring the virtual machine state during migration.
--> ",
-->       },
-->       (vmodl.LocalizableMessage) {
-->          dynamicType = <unset>,
-->          key = "msg.checkpoint.migration.failedReceive",
-->          message = "Failed to receive migration.
--> ",
-->       }
-->    ],
-->    reason = "Failed to receive migration.
--> An error occurred restoring the virtual machine state during migration.
--> ",
-->    msg = ""
--> }
2012-11-08T07:30:42.538Z [53E81B90 verbose 'VMotionDst (1352359796413352)'] Migration changed state from MIGRATING to UNREGISTERING

The following is the error sequence from vmware.log for the affected virtual machine when VMotion fails:

2012-11-01T15:39:00.158Z| vmx| DUMPER: Item 'CtrCountX' [-1, -1] not found.
2012-11-01T15:39:00.158Z| vmx| VMGenCtrCheckpoint: Failing restore from old Win8 checkpoint

Solution

To migrate virtual machines with Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 between hosts running ESXi 5.0 Upate 1 or ESXi 5.0 P03 to or from hosts running later versions of ESXi, perform the following steps:
  1. Shut down the virtual machine.
  2. Migrate the virtual machine to a new host.
  3. Restart the virtual machine.

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