Running VM shows “Unable to connect to the MKS: VMX connection handshake failed for the mks of… ”

While trying to open the console of a running Windows VM, nothing appears except a message “Unable to connect to the MKS: VMX connection handshake failed for the mks of… ”. Google, found this interesting blog post and also VMware KB 1002001,”Powering on a virtual machine or accessing the console fails with a handshake error”.

The VM is also reported as non responsive by the end users. So it is decided to reboot this Windows VM. While conducting a Power Off using the vSphere Client, the action stopped on 95%. After a few minutes waiting, there is only one solution imho, that is following VMware KB 1004340 “Powering off a virtual machine  (on a ESX host)”. Follow KB 1014165 if it is an ESXi host.

In this case, I succeeded at this step under section “Using the ESX command line to kill the virtual machine”:

# ps auxwww |grep -i <VMNAME>.vmx

Followed by:

# kill <PID>

Although, I thought I knew the ps command pretty well, I was a little bit surprised by the use of the option www in auxwww. Try the same command with this option and see the difference:

# ps auxw |grep -i <VMNAME>.vmx

Enjoy reading and as always, I welcome your comments.

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2 Responses to Running VM shows “Unable to connect to the MKS: VMX connection handshake failed for the mks of… ”

  1. Joey says:

    Thank you for sharing these information. I managed to get an important VM back to online status on an ESX Host 🙂

    Best regards,
    Joey

  2. sat says:

    Very useful

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