VMWare Tools “Spew” – Their Words, Not Mine

Today I noticed one of my event logs was flooded with events that I had not seen before upgrading to VMware tools 5.1.  VMware so kindly describes it as such in KB 2036350, shown below.  *Update* This issue is resolved in Patch ESXi510-201212402-BG. To download this patch see, VMware ESXi 5.1., Patch ESXi510-201212402-BG: Updates tools-light (2035778).

Upgrading to VMware Tools 5.1 causes log spew in the Windows Event Log: Error in the RPC receive loop


After upgrading a Terminal Server or Terminal Server-based Citrix XenApp virtual machine to VMware Tools 5.1:

  • In the Windows Application Event log, you see this error reported multiple times in quick succession (log spew):

    Error in the RPC receive loop: RpcIn: Unable to send.

  • In the vmware.log file for the virtual machine, you see log spew of this error:

    GuestRpc: Channel X reinitialized.

  • User instances of vmtoolsd.exe crash with the error:

    Access violation (0xC0000005)


This is a known issue, and is currently being reviewed by VMware.

To work around this issue and alleviate the symptoms, you can disable VMware Tools logging to the Event Log and general virtual machine logging to the vmware.log file for the virtual machine.

To disable VMware Tools application event logging:

  1. Edit the tools.conf file in a text editor.

    Note: To locate the tools.conf file, see the Configuration File Location section in Enabling debug logging for VMware Tools within a guest operating system (1007873).

  2. Add this section to the tools.conf file:

    vmusr.level = error

  3. Save and close the file.
  4. Restart the VMTools Service (Administrative Tools > Services).

To disable general virtual machine logging:

  1. Click the virtual machine in the Inventory.
  2. On the Summary tab for that virtual machine, click Edit Settings.
  3. In the virtual machine Properties dialog box, click the Options tab.
  4. Under Advanced, click General and deselect Enable logging.
  5. Click OK to save the change.
  6. To make the change take effect, power off the virtual machine and power it back on again.

    Note: If you do not want to power off your virtual machine to disable logging, you can also vMotion the virtual machine after changing this setting.

Note: This issue may also occur on non-Terminal Servers, such as Windows 2008 and Windows 2003.

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