Troubleshooting a virtual machine that appears as invalid for VMware ESX and ESXi


  • A virtual machine shows as invalid in the VMware Infrastructure or vSphere Client.
  • A virtual machine is not accessible.
  • You cannot ping or remotely access a virtual machine guest operating system.


If the virtual machine is powered on and you can remotely log in to the guest operating system on the virtual machine, shut down the virtual machine from within the guest operating system. For information about how to check the status of the virtual machine and how to power off the virtual machine, see Powering off a virtual machine hosted on ESX host from the command line (1004340).

Virtual machines can show up as invalid if the datastore UUID changed due to resignaturing. Finding the .vmx file of the virtual machine in the datastores presented to your ESX host and adding it back into inventory may provide a solution. This can be performed as follows:
  1. Right-click the virtual machine and choose Remove from Inventory.

    : Do not choose Delete from Disk.
  2. Click on the ESX host and, using the Summary tab, locate the appropriate datastore in which the virtual machine exists.
  3. Right-click the datastore and click Browse Datastore.
  4. Browse to the directory of the virtual machine.

    : If you have renamed the virtual machine in the VMware Infrastructure Client, use the original name given to it.
  5. Right-click the .vmx file of the virtual machine and choose Add to Inventory.
  6. Power on the virtual machine.



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