Orphaned VM in vCenter 6.5 Update 2g

By | June 27, 2019

Today I noticed a VM status found in orphaned state in the vCenter (vSphere Web Client 6.5). Found the VM status is in powered off. However, able to remote desktop to the server and has the ping response.

Then, I’ve started looking at the VM logs from the vCenter. Then found, after DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler) has initiated the migration to another host, the issue started. Since then, the backup also failing.

How to deal with orphaned virtual servers and what is orphaned VM?

The issue behind the “orphaned VM” is that virtual machines or logical machines created by a virtualization system, are typically connected to a ESXi host that manages their implementation and use. There are various reasons why the system cannot find the host for an orphaned VM.

This includes deleted configurations, unsuccessful fail over operations (DRS migration or manual storage vmotion) where backup strategies leave the machine disconnected, or even certain kinds of network stress, where the usual protocols become distorted in some way.

Steps to fix the Orphaned VM in vCenter?

Usually the orphaned state VM shows like this in the vCenter.

server name (orphaned)

If you go into Summary tab and check the orphaned VM status, it will show you in powered off state. However, it doesn’t mean that, server is powered off.
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Step 1: Find the ESXi host, where actually the orphaned VM is residing on at present
Step 2: Try to place the ESXi host into maintenance mode (orphaned VM will not get migrated to another host)
Step 3: Once all the VMs are migrated to another available host (except orphaned VM), now SSH to the host and restart the management agent service like below –

/etc/init.d/hostd restart


/etc/init.d/vpxa restart

To restart all management agents on the host, run the below command:

services.sh restart

This step should fix the orphaned VM issue. Restarting the management agent service will not have any impact to the ESXi host and virtual servers resides on the ESXi host. It is a safe bet to fix the orphaned VM issue.

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