esxupdate Error Code 99

So I’ve got a VMware ESXi 6.0 host that’s been causing me pain lately. It had some storage issues, and now it won’t let VMware Update Manager scan it, throwing the error:

The host returns esxupdate error code:99. An unhandled exception was encountered. Check the Update Manager log files and esxupdate log files for more details.

A little Google action later and it’s clear there isn’t a lot of documentation, recent or otherwise, about this out there. People suggest rebuilding Update Manager, or copying files from other hosts to repair them. The VMware KB has documentation of the particular error but only in context of the Cisco Nexus 1000V, and only for ESXi 5.0 and 5.1. Here’s another thought, if you’re in my same situation.

1. First, do what it says: check esxupdate.log. Log into the console of the ESXi host (SSH or otherwise) and “tail -f /var/log/esxupdate.log”

2. Scan the host with Update Manager so that the log has fresh data in it. You should see it pop up. In my case it showed:

2016-05-27T15:54:52Z esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: An unexpected exception was caught:
 2016-05-27T15:54:52Z esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: Traceback (most recent call last):
 2016-05-27T15:54:52Z esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: File "/usr/sbin/esxupdate", line 238, in main
 2016-05-27T15:54:52Z esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: cmd.Run()
 2016-05-27T15:54:52Z esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: File "/build/mts/release/bora-3620759/bora/build/esx/release/vmvisor/sys-boot/lib/python2.7/site-packages/vmware/esx5update/Cmdline.py", line 113, in Run
 2016-05-27T15:54:52Z esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: File "/build/mts/release/bora-3620759/bora/build/esx/release/vmvisor/sys-boot/lib/python2.7/site-packages/vmware/esx5update/MetadataScanner.py", line 244, in Scan
 2016-05-27T15:54:52Z esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: File "/build/mts/release/bora-3620759/bora/build/esx/release/vmvisor/sys-boot/lib/python2.7/site-packages/vmware/esx5update/MetadataScanner.py", line 106, in _generateOperationData
 2016-05-27T15:54:52Z esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: File "/build/mts/release/bora-3620759/bora/build/esx/release/vmvisor/sys-boot/lib/python2.7/site-packages/vmware/esx5update/MetadataScanner.py", line 89, in _getInstallProfile
 2016-05-27T15:54:52Z esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: File "/build/mts/release/bora-3620759/bora/build/esx/release/vmvisor/sys-boot/lib/python2.7/site-packages/vmware/esximage/ImageProfile.py", line 627, in ScanVibs
 2016-05-27T15:54:52Z esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: File "/build/mts/release/bora-3620759/bora/build/esx/release/vmvisor/sys-boot/lib/python2.7/site-packages/vmware/esximage/VibCollection.py", line 62, in __add__
 2016-05-27T15:54:52Z esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: File "/build/mts/release/bora-3620759/bora/build/esx/release/vmvisor/sys-boot/lib/python2.7/site-packages/vmware/esximage/VibCollection.py", line 79, in AddVib
 2016-05-27T15:54:52Z esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: File "/build/mts/release/bora-3620759/bora/build/esx/release/vmvisor/sys-boot/lib/python2.7/site-packages/vmware/esximage/Vib.py", line 627, in MergeVib
 2016-05-27T15:54:52Z esxupdate: esxupdate: ERROR: ValueError: Cannot merge VIBs Dell_bootbank_OpenManage_8.3.0.ESXi600-0000, Dell_bootbank_OpenManage_8.3.0.ESXi600-0000 with unequal payloads attributes: ([OpenManage: 7807.439 KB], [OpenManage: 7809.081 KB])
 2016-05-27T15:54:52Z esxupdate: esxupdate: DEBUG: <<<

Ctrl-C will end the “tail” command.

3. It looks like during the storage issues that something about the OpenManage VIB became corrupt, and now it thinks there’s two copies with different payload sizes. You know what? I can just remove this VIB and reinstall it (rather than having to rebuild the host or do some other complicated fixes). I issue a “esxcli software vib list | grep -i dell” command to find the name of the VIB:

[root@GOAT:/var/log] esxcli software vib list | grep -i dell
OpenManage 8.3.0.ESXi600-0000 Dell PartnerSupported 2016-05-04 
iSM        2.3.0.ESXi600-0000 Dell PartnerSupported 2016-05-04

4. Then we need a simple “esxcli software vib remove –vibname=OpenManage”

[root@GOAT:/var/log] esxcli software vib remove --vibname=OpenManage
Removal Result
 Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
 Reboot Required: true
 VIBs Installed: 
 VIBs Removed: Dell_bootbank_OpenManage_8.3.0.ESXi600-0000
 VIBs Skipped:

5. Do what it says and reboot, then scan to see if it works. In my case it did, then I reinstalled the missing extension, and patched to the latest version like normal.

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