The other day I got a strange case regarding a “frozen” VM in vCenter.
The machine in question was a Lotus Notes Server that had crashed because of a failed snapshot task.
vCenter said that the machine in question was running, but inaccessible. Console showed an error regarding its vmx file.
When trying to power down the VM an error popped up: “Cannot power Off: Another task is already in progress.”.
That was strange as there were no running tasks in the vSphere client.
Next stop was Tech Support mode as this was a ESXi 4.0 Host.
Next command was :”vmware-vim-cmd vimsvc/task_list”. That informed me that there was an active task on the host that had the VM. See kb.vmware.com/kb/1013003
PID or ESXTOP showed that the VM was not running. So no-go on the kill command as there was nothing to kill. See kb.vmware.com/kb/1004340.
vCenter = Machine running < Host = Machine not running
So there was nothing left but to restart the vCenter MGMT agent on the host.
To sum it up: vCenter agents don’t always show the correct state of a VM. Confirm VM state at a host level.