VMware Workstation : "Internal Error"

Richard Douglas

Published On: May 6, 2016

Categories: Virtualization, vmware, troubleshooting 3

VMware Internal ErrorEvery so often I need to access a virtual machine using VMware Workstation, but unfortunately it decides that it doesn't want to do any work today and just pops up with a rather unhelpful "Internal Error" message. Thanks for that VMware; most enlightening. I guess I should at least be thankful that it was not an "unexpected error" but then, on the other hand, they must have expected it, so back to square one.

As this has happened quite a few times over the years I thought I should probably document it somewhere to save some poor soul that moment of panic. The more it's documented the easier it is to find; it will also help me as I have a memory like a, like a, you know, one of those thingies. Anyway, the first time I had this error was 30 minutes before a session and a two-word error doesn't give you much to go on.

In my case the fix was a really easy one; your mileage may vary. I can only assume that there is more than one type of internal error in the product, and that they expect it.

My internal error appeared to be due to a service not running. Again, your mileage may vary, but these are the steps I took:

  • Open up Services: Start - Run - Services.msc
  • Order Services by Name
  • Press "V" to go to the VMware set of services.
  • Check to see if there is a VMware service that is not running
  • Start the Service

In my case this has always solved the problem. The image below shows that in my case it is the VMware Authorization Service that was not running.

VMware Services

Some might say that "computer said no." If you have never heard that phrase before then check out this Little Britain sketch on YouTube. Usual workplace disclaimers apply.

If you are suffering from performance problems with any of your VMware vSphere guests, then you might want to check out our new Performance Advisor for VMware solution. Click on the link for a free 15 day evaluation or to request a demo.

Richard (@SQLRich) is a Principal Solutions Engineer at SentryOne, specializing in our SQL Server portfolio offering in EMEA. He has worked with SQL Server since version 7.0 in various developer and DBA roles and holds a number of Microsoft certifications. Richard is a keen member of the SQL Server community; previously he ran a PASS Chapter in the UK and served on the organizing committee for SQLRelay.


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