Quiescing Backup causing BSOD in Windows OS’s on Current VMware Tools


I got notified of this problem earlier today thanks to my awesome BCS engineer.  You can read VMware’s week old KB here.  Essentially certain versions of tools can cause a BSOD when a quiescing operation is done.   This is a big problem for API based backups since when possible they use this method.   There are three solutions provided by VMware at this time:

  • Disable quiescing
  • Do not select Quiescing guest file system when taking a snapshot
  • Downgrade the VMware Tools to previous version not affected

Good news… the latest version of VMware Tools in 6 and 5.5 is affected.  I was notified that a few specific version were affected.  The KB does not specify them.   You can track versions to build numbers via this table: http://packages.vmware.com/tools/versions

I have been told the following are affected:

  • 8399 – 8.6.15
  • 9231 – 9.0.15
  • 9355 – 9.4.11
  • 9216 – 9.10.0


Here is a powershell snippet to locate the machine that are affected:

 $VMS = get-vm |get-view | where {$_.powerstate -ne "PoweredOff" } | where {$_.config.tools.toolsVersion -eq "8399" -or $_.config.tools.toolsVersion -eq "9231" -or $_.config.tools.toolsVersion -eq "9355" -or $_.config.tools.toolsVersion -eq "9216"}


I am not sure if there is a scripted way to downgrade the tools.  Here is VMware method to download older tools version.   As with all my articles you should open a VMware ticket to get specific production assistance.   Let me know if you know a scripted way to downgrade tools.


8 Replies to “Quiescing Backup causing BSOD in Windows OS’s on Current VMware Tools”

  1. We use vSphere replication with VSS and got severely affected on our production. Very poor QA from VMware… We didn’t bother with downgrading tool, simply disabled VSS, not ideal.

    1. Sorry to hear it’s affected you. We have not seen it on our environment yet. I do seem to run into VMware bugs about a week after the KB is posted. It’s a pain. Thanks for reading.

    1. You will need to run this command from a PC with access to vCenter (or ESXi host) with VMware PowerCLI tools installed. You would need to connect the the target vCenter or ESXi host using commands from my other blog post: http://blog.jgriffiths.org/?p=532 . Once connected then you could issue something like this:

      $cluster=get-cluster “clustername”

      $cluster | rest of command to produce output

      Let me know if you have additional questions and thanks for reading.

  2. Any news if this version has the issue
    9537 esx/6.0p01 9.10.1 2809209

    Does anyone know where you can find the release notes from the VMware tools?

    1. Evening,

      The tools release notes are included with ESXi patch notes. Version 9537 esx/6.0p01 9.10.1 2809209 is ESXi 6.0.0b

      Looking at the linked KB it shows that the issue is resolved in VMware ESXi 6.0 Patch ESXi600-201507403-BG which is included in 6.0.0b so if you are running that version of 6 you should be good. There is no resolution for 5.5.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.