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VMware ESXi: VMware Tools Installed but not running

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/06/04

Sometimes you get this situation on a Windows VM, usually after a reboot but not logging on:

Networking No network information
VMware Tools Installed but not running

“Windows” “VMware Tools” “Installed but not running” – Google Search mostly gives results about the VMware tools installation ISO being malformed, the registry not being correct, or having Linux as guest:

In practice though, there is a really good change that your default power settings allow Windows to go to sleep after some time of activity. The Windows VM then really sleeps, including services and network adapters. Then VMware ESXi thinks the machine has no VMware tools running:

I have noticed this on ESXi 6.5 and 6.7 with both Windows 7 and Windows 10. It is broader though, as others have seen this in ESXi 5.x as well: [WayBack] VMware Communities : All Content – VMware ESXi 5.

Verifying sleep is enabled

This little trick shows you the various possible sleep states:

C:\>powercfg /availablesleepstates
The following sleep states are available on this system: Standby ( S1 )
The following sleep states are not available on this system:
Standby (S2)
        The system firmware does not support this standby state.
Standby (S3)
        The system firmware does not support this standby state.
Hibernate
        Hibernation has not been enabled.
Hybrid Sleep

Disabling sleep

If you search for “sleep” in the [WayBack] Powercfg command-line options | Microsoft Docs, you have a hard time finding these:

/change or /X

Modifies a setting value in the current power scheme.

Syntax:

/change  setting  value

Arguments:

setting
Specifies one of the following options:

  • monitor-timeout-ac
  • monitor-timeout-dc
  • disk-timeout-ac
  • disk-timeout-dc
  • standby-timeout-ac
  • standby-timeout-dc
  • hibernate-timeout-ac
  • hibernate-timeout-dc
value
Specifies the new value, in minutes.

Examples:

powercfg /change monitor-timeout-ac 5

in order to disable sleep, you hav disable the standby timeouts (suffix -ac means “Plugged in” and -d means “On battery”) by setting their values to 0 (zero) minutes as UAC elevated Administrator:

powercfg /change standby-timeout-ac 0
powercfg /change standby-timeout-dc 0

This is far less than in WayBack – FutureMark forums – windows 7 – how do i disable SLEEP mode via command line ? (via [WayBack] Disable Sleep mode using powercfg – it.megocollector.com), but this is really all you need, as it correctly disables sleeping:

Later I found that [WayBack] windows 7 – How to disable sleep mode via CMD? – Super User also shows this shorter solution.

Note you need to run those on as UAC elevated user, which you can check for using the net session trick in [WayBack] windows – Batch script: how to check for admin rights – Stack Overflow.

–jeroen

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