Inaccessible virtual machines are named as Unknown VM (2172)



Virtual machines show in VMware VirtualCenter/vCenter Server as Unknown VM.


When an ESXi/ESX host is rebooted or a host agent is restarted, it needs to reload the host agent configuration of each registered virtual machine (.vmx file). If the .vmx file is inaccessible, the ESXi/ESX host is unable to read the configured name of the virtual machine, and it defaults to Unknown VM.

Temporarily losing access to storage does not cause a virtual machine’s name to be permanently set to Unknown VM. For more information, see Identifying Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and NFS storage issues on ESX/ESXi hosts (1003659).

When storage problems are addressed, restart the management agents on this host. For more information, see Restarting the Management agents on an ESXi or ESX host (1003490).

If the virtual machine is still renamed as Unknown VM, examine the /etc/vmware/hostd/vmInventory.xml file on the host showing which virtual machines were formerly registered. Make a note of the virtual machines and the datastores on which they are located and then re-register the virtual machines.

To re-register a virtual machine:

  1. Right-click the Unknown VM entry and click Remove From Inventory.
  2. Browse to the appropriate datastore for the virtual machine and open the folder.
  3. Right-click the *.vmx file and click Add to Inventory.
  4. Power on the virtual machine.
  5. Repeat Steps 1 to 4 for all unknown virtual machines.

Source :

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Phuong Nguyen
Hi, Nguyen Van Phuong is the owner of the website I 've been working in the IT sector since 2008. With nearly 11 years experience in the fields of design development, Governance, operating system enterprise network infrastructure.. I'm now a senior Infrastructure Administrator for the Enterprise network. Achivements: IT Project management IT management System and Network IT Security and data protection. Plan and bugged for Infrastructure and Security Deployment system Server (HP, IBM, Lenovo, Dell..), Network (Cisco, Juniper, Enterasys,..), PABX system, Firewall (Cisco ASA 5525-x, Juniper SSG520,..) Network system administration and maintenance: +Management all network configure IT system: AD, DNS, DHCP, Cores switch, Access switch, Router, Firewall, etc. Design & implement IT system, project management and manage IT operation, I also have extensive experience of ERP System base SQL , HRM, etc. Vendor/external system integrator management: support other department in terms of technical specifications for cost optimize, business process efficiency, procurement spend compliance. Virtualization System Deployment on Microsoft Windows Server 2016 (Hyper-V) and VMware ( Vmware vSphere 5.5, 6.5,6.7 vCenter) Backup and restore management on Symantec backup products (Veritas Backup 16, 20, 20.1, 20.2 ), Veeam Backup & Replication 9.0, 9.5U1, 9.5U2 U3, U4


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