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Unable to Power On virtual machine with “A General System error occurred: Internal error” (1006716)

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An issue has been discovered by many VMware customers and partners with ESX 3.5 Update 2 (build number 103908) and ESXi 3.5 Update 2 (build number 103909) where Virtual Machines fail to power on or VMotion successfully. This problem began to occur on August 12, 2008 for customers that had upgraded to ESX 3.5 Update 2. The problem is caused by a build timeout that was mistakenly left enabled for the release build.

The following message is displayed in the vmware.log file for the virtual machine:

This product has expired. Be sure that your host machine's date and time are set correctly.
There is a more recent version available at the VMware web site:
Module License Power on failed.
You may also experience the following error when attempting to deploy virtual machines:

A general system error occurred: Internal Error
Module: PendingOperation
Thread: PendingOperation-/[path]
Due to an esxupdate problem prior to Update 2, you may also be affected by the licensing issue if you meet all of the following:
  • You have downloaded an ESX/ESXi 3.5 update or patch that pre-dates Update 2
  • You have downloaded the affected  ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 (build 103908/103909)
  • Both updates are in the same local depot
  • You install the earlier update or patch
The esxupdate problem is resolved with patch ESX350-200808202-UG, which is part of the reissued ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 (build 110268/110271).
Affected Products:
  • VMware ESX 3.5 Update 2 (build number 103908) & ESXi 3.5 Update 2 (build number 103909).
  • The problem will be seen if ESX350-200806201-UG is applied to a system.
  • No other VMware products are affected.


What has been done?

  • Product and Web teams pulled the ESX 3.5 Update2 (build number 103908) and ESXi 3.5 Update2 (build number 103909) bits from the download pages on August 12 so no more customers can download the affected build.
  • VMware Engineering teams have isolated the cause of the problem and are working around the clock to deliver updated builds and patches for impacted customers.
Warning: Do not install ESX 3.5 Update2 (build number 103908) or ESXi 3.5 Update2 (build number 103909) if it has been downloaded from VMware’s website or elsewhere prior to August 12, 2008.

VMware does not recommend changing the ESX host time as a workaround. Changing the time on an ESX host has a number of very serious side effects that could impact production environments. Any Virtual Machines that sync time with the ESX host and server time sensitive applications would be broken. These include, but are not limited to database servers, mail servers, & domain administration systems.

Will the product expiration issue affect running VMs?

This problem affects virtual machine Power On and Resume operations. This does not directly affect running virtual machines. Any virtual machine that is already running stays running after the expiration date until you have the chance to patch the affected systems. However, running virtual machines cannot be VMotioned onto a system affected with the problem.

Running virtual machines must be VMotioned onto ESX/ESXi hosts that meets on one of the following requirements:

  • Does not have the original affected ESX/ESXi 3.5 Upgrade 2 (build 103908/103909) installed
  • Has been patched with the Express Patch
  • Has the reissued ESX/ESXi Update 2 (build 110268/110271) installed


Reissued ESX/ESXi Update 2
VMware Engineering has reissued the ESX 3.5 Update 2 and ESXi 3.5 Update 2 to resolve the issue. Use the following downloads for new installations and upgrading versions prior to ESX/ESXi Update 2:
Express Patches
VMware Engineering has produced express patches for impacted customers that will resolve the issue. If you are running the affected versions as mentioned above please download the relevant patch from the link below:
Advisory for environments that use Update Manager for Host Remediation

Note: Prior to host remediation using Update Manager, ensure the ESX host is in compliance with the ESX350-200808202-UG bundle. This bundle has a fix that prevents superseding bundles from being installed with the bundles you have defined in a given baseline.
In Update Manager, there may be two ESX Server 3.5 Update 2 bundles: ESX350-Update02 and ESX350-Update-02 . Use the following attributes to identify the correct one to use for creating the U2 baseline:
  • ESX350-Update02 has release date of 7/25. This is the original Update 2 bundle, which has the license expiration issue. Do NOT select this bundle for inclusion in any new baseline.
  • ESX350-Update-02 (note the dash between Update and 02) has release date of 8/13. This is the reissued 3.5 Update 2 roll-up bundle. Select this bundle for the Update 2 baseline.
If a baseline has already been created with the original U2 roll-up bundle ESX350-Update02 and existing ESX hosts are already in compliance, ensure the hosts are in compliance with the ESX350-200806812-BG bundle.
For ESX hosts that have not yet been upgraded to ESX Server 3.5 Update 2, create a new baseline and select the ESX350-Update-02 bundle. Attach this new baseline to the ESX host so the host can be remediated with the reissued bundle.

FAQ for Reissued ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 (build 110268/build 110271)

  1. What are the reissued ESX 3.5 Update 2 (build 110268) and ESXi Update 2 (build 110271) for?

    The reissued ESX/ESXi Update 2 includes the required fix for solving the issue.

    Caution: Like any full ESX installation, a host reboot is required.

    Note: ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update release includes ISOs, upgrade tar and zip files, and patch bundles. ISOs and upgrade tar and zip files are for customers who haven’t installed or upgraded to ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 but wish to have a full upgrade. Patch bundles are for customers who do not wish to do a full upgrade to ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2, but apply patches that are deemed necessary to hosts running ESX/ESXi 3.5 or ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 1. Patch bundles are not the same as the express patch which is described below.

  2. Can a host installed with the previous ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 (build 110268/110271) be upgraded directly to the reissued ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 (build 110268/110271)?


  3. Can a host patched with express patches be upgraded directly to the reissued ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 (build 110268/110271)?

    Yes, but it is unnecessary as it adds no additional functionality.

FAQ for Express Patches

  1. What do the express patches do?

    There are two express patches:
    • For an affected ESX 3.5 Update 2 (build number 103908), use ESX Update 2 Express Patch (build 110181)
    • For an affected ESXi 3.5 Update 2 (build number 103909), use ESXi Update 2 Express Patch (build number 110180).

      They are specifically targeted for customers who have installed or fully upgraded to ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 or who have applied the ESX350-200806201-UG/ESXe350-200807401-I-UG patch to ESX/ESXi 3.5 or ESX/ESX 3.5 Update 1 hosts. For customers who haven’t done either, these express patches should not be applied.

      Note: These patches have been validated to work with both esxupdate and VMware Update Manager. Maintenance mode is required, but a reboot of the ESX host is not required with these patches.

      We are currently testing an option to apply the patch without requiring VMotion or VM power-off and re-power-on at the point of patch application. To immediately refresh vmx on the VM, one can VMotion off running VMs, apply the patches and VMotion the VMs back. If VMotion capability is not available, VMs can be powered off before the patches are applied and powered back on afterwards.

  2. Can a host patched with express patches be upgraded directly to the reissued ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 (build 110268/110271)?

    Yes, but it is unnecessary as it adds no additional functionality.

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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  • 18 Ratings