Tag Archives: VMware

Converting template to a VM fails on “This Host or Cluster is not Valid Selection”


So here I am, sitting at 10PM converting templates (.vmtx) to VMs (.vmx) – nothing simpler to do right? Wrong! It fails on “This Host or Cluster is not Valid Selection” as soon as you click next on cluster selection… Great, just great. Exactly what I wanted before heading off to bed.. Here is the error:


And the solution (as usual, very simple) is to manually remove any entries to .iso files referenced in .vmtx file. I had one to volume where the .iso used to sit that was no longer connected as storage to my ESXi host:


Now you can happily click your favorite ‘Next’ button just to see it completing without problems.

Life is awesome!

“Expected user input parameters missing. Check answer file for host.”


Error message in title comes up when you create a new host profile and want to check compliance against cluster of hosts including the host profile was based on. Kinda strange as you would expect the source host to be compliant with its own profile! It turns out its not. Here is how the error looks like:

To get us out of trouble here, right click on the host and choose “Update Answer File…” fill in what’s missing (domain creds) and click update to complete the task. Domain credentials are normally not stored by default and are required for compliance to work (that’s only if you joined your hosts to the domain!)

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ESXi 4/5: “SSH for the host has been enabled”


Here is one hell of annoying error message (to look at, if you have OCD that is!)

Symptoms – yellow exclamation mark on the host icon and error in “Summary” tab. This only happens after you enabled SSH on ESXi host (which you want to).

Quick screenshots from vShpere client showing the ugly:

To get rid of the above you can proceed in two ways:

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Dell R720 12G – ‘No network adapters were detected’ error pops up while installing ESXi 5.0 Update 1b


This week I took the delivery of 4 x Dell R720s at work for our Dev environment. Lovely kit this new 12G line of servers is, 96GB of RAM each, 10 NICs, dual SD cards with 2 x 2GB cards for local install of ESXi etc. Fast forward few hours later after all cabling up was done I pop the CD in to actually install ESXi 5.0 and guess what?

I’m like what’s not detected?!? When we did install last 11G servers (R810s only few months back) there was no messages like that at all! In each of the new servers there is a daughter card (NDC, 4 ports based on Broadcom BCM5720), PCI-E card (4 ports, Broadcom BCM5719) and another PCI-E card but this time with 2 ports based again on BCM5720 chip by Broadcom. Unless I’m completely unlucky there must be driver(s) included for at least one of them cards? It turns out there is not.

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“Windows could not parse or process the unattend answer file for pass [specialize]”


Today I got this interesting error when deploying new VMs from a pre-defined template with customizations. Its basically failing on Setup is applying system settings part and to be precise on specialize pass of Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup of unattend.xml file.

Here is the screenshot:

At this point the only option is to press OK which will cause the VM to reboot, needless to say it will be constantly rebooting never taking you back to the actual login screen. Trick to get us out of this one is dating back to old XP days and SCCM troubleshooting during task sequence issues – press F8! You should now have nice cmd window, navigate to C:\Windows\Panther\UnattendGC and look for file called setuperr.log, use notepad to open it up.

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Well, what do you know! I’m a VCP… 5!

Back in December 2011 I have passed my VCP4 exams and was trying to avoid taking classroom training by passing VCP5 before end of Feb 2012. Guess what – it didn’t happen!

Last week on Tue-Wed I was sitting in a classroom for two days (hurray not!) following VMware vSphere: What’s New [V5.0] course objectives. Not great already knowing what’s new in vSphere 5 but it had to be done. For me this was the only prerequisite needed before taking my exam and being officially certified on version 5.

Fast forward few days and today I have passed my VCP5 certification with rather respectable score (again!) Very pleased with that. I’m now a double VMware Certified Professional – already on version 4 and now on version 5.

Exam itself wasn’t too much different from VCP4 really, in fact I do recall some questions from previews exam but in tweaked form i.e. vSphere 4.x became 5.x but the question was exactly the same etc.

Next logical step is to either self study and/or attend VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale [V5.0] (not compulsory) course in order to properly prepare for VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 exam. Currently there is a choice of two paths leading from VCP5:

VMware Certified Advanced Professional on vSphere 5 – Datacenter Administration (VCAP5-DCA)

VMware Certified Advanced Professional on vSphere 5 – Datacenter Design (VCAP5-DCD)

There is no restrictions in place for not allowing you to take both exams and be certified on both VCAP’s – its perfectly fine to have both certifications. For me though its all about VCAP5-DCA for the time being and I shall carry on the momentum of studying from my recently passed VCP5!

What I really like about the VCAP exams is that they are 100% practical exams. No more ridiculous configuration maximums or other meaningless numbers – VCAP is all about pure practice and experience. Examples of problems to solve – vMotion is broken and VMs aren’t migrating between host A and B, go fix it. I can’t wait to sit the exam!

vCMA Appliance – Hostname Won’t Survive Reboot


So in order to change the actual hostname of vCMA virtual appliance, from default localhost/localhost.localdom, we have to edit these files:




My vCMA is called SPN-vCMA-01 on Alex.com domain so after session with vi we should have this:

Nothing major you might think and quite rightly so. BUT the settings are not surviving a reboot! It all gets reverted back to localhost/localhost.localdom once you give the VM a kick…

The trick here is to add a pointer (PTR) record in your reverse lookup DNS zone (the same that vCMA points for name resolutions) and viola, tt suddenly remembers the correct hostname!

Once more thing you might want to do is to add A record for you applicance in forward lookup zone.

Well, what do you know! I’m a VCP… 4!

That’s right, you’re reading this correctly – I managed to pass my VCP-410 certification exam about a week ago with a very respectable score! Very pleased with myself to be honest.

Exam itself was a bit on the hard side due to me not having all the kit to play with – you can read this primarily as a FC SAN and all that goes with it I suppose.

In order to properly prepare I had to take a week off from work but it was well worth it. I mean not like I had to study from scratch, it was more of a revision week rather than learning the product from ground up which always helps.

Another stressing factor during the exam was the dreadful clock ticking against me, 85 questions in 90 minutes is pretty tight, 1 minute and few seconds to read the question, understand it, read all the answers and eliminate the less obvious ones is TIGHT.

5-10% of questions had only 1 answer, rest had either 2 or 3 possible answers. Questions were constructed in a very crafty way (some of them at least) so had to be on top of my game in order to don’t be caught “clicking too fast”.

Now that VCP-510 is out and if you take, and pass, the exam before end of Feb 2012 there is no need to take any classroom training. As I’m on VCP-410 already I would have to take the VMware vSphere: What’s New [V5.0] course, if I wasn’t then its start from scratch by taking the VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.0]. Not that I mind but as I, most likely, would end up paying from my own pocket – every little counts! So the plan is to try to pass the VCP-510 before end of Feb and studying shall commence asap.

Diagram courtesy of VMware.com explaining available career paths:

Wish me luck then as I’m going to need it to upgrade to VCP-510!

VMware vDR – Default Username and Password


After installing VMware Data Recovery appliance and navigating to:


you’ll be asked for credentials to login, these are as follows:

Username: root

Password: vmw@re

Not the rocket science to remember but I often find myself wondering why admin/admin doesn’t work! 🙂

Hello world!

Hey there! Welcome to my vBlog.

As you have probably guessed by now, its gonna be me vs VMware flagship bare metal hypervisor – ESX/i… [not all the time though!]

Second part of entertainment will be provided by System Centre Configuration Manager or vNext in later releases.

Strong advice:

Grab the RSS feed and sit tight awaiting updates! :)