ESXi 4.1 Patches Applied...VMware Tools disappear!

I ran into an issue today when patching a couple of standalone ESXi hosts. There were no VMs built out on these hosts yet so I took the quick second to update the hosts with the latest patches before the 4.1 Update 1 patches.


Went to deploy a virtual machine and install VMware Tools, no go! Was presented with the wonderful:

Unable to install VMware Tools. An error occurred while trying to access image file “/usr/lib/vmware/isoimages/windows.iso” needed to install VMware Tools: No such file or directory. If your product shipped with the VMware Tools package, reinstall VMware ESX, then try again to install the VMware Tools package in the virtual machine.

This has actually been an issue that, from searching, seems to be something that likes to poke its head out from time to time. The cause is typically from a botched bundle installation. Some of the goofy things I saw were the /productLocker directory was not accessible and neither were any of the directories in which it was symlinked to. After a few minutes of poking around I decided to run the bundle installation one more time. Installed the bundle and rebooted and VIOLA…the symlinks were accessible and mounting of the VMware Tools installer ISO was working again.

If you run into this problem I would try the following:

  1. Reboot the ESXi host and see if this rectifies the situation.
  2. If the above does not resolve the issue, reapply the patch bundles you just got finished applying.

This may not resolve the issue for everyone but it seem to work on the two ESXi hosts that I had this happen on.  If it doesn’t sound off in the comments and we can see if we can get you moving along!