These days, I am working on a project involving VMware Capacity Planner.  Part of its deployment means that one has to troubleshoot access issues, in order to get successful inventory and performance scans.  I am planning to write a couple of posts to document tips that one generally doesn’t find in documentation.  In the meantime, though, I just thought of posting this quick one.  If you’re not here because you love my blog, it’s probably because you’ve hit this problem and therefore I can assume basic knowledge of VMware Capacity Planner and its operations.

When you do a “Test Collection”, the collector goes and checks for access on the target machines, using the account information it already has.  For some machines, you might see the following message:

Connect to perfmon failed

There is an excellent document by VMware on troubleshooting this (and other) problems.  However, I’ve found that despite having access to the machine and registry, you might still not get access to the performance counters.

Restarting the “Remote Registry” Service on the target machine could help and immediately fix the problem.  Sometimes the service gets in a funny state and just requires a restart in order for the collector machine to get access to performance counters.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, a good idea is to go to the target machine itself and check if “Perfmon” runs at all.  If it does, the next thing to check is if you can add counters.  When you do, it’s possible to see this:

Blank Perfmon

This screenshot is from a Windows 7 machine but you will get something similar in other OSes i.e. when you go to “Add Counters”, there aren’t any present to add!

Reason for that is that two files need to be present in the C:\<System Root>\System32 folder, named:

  • perfc009.dat
  • perfh009.dat

Sometimes, those files could disappear from the system or go corrupt.  If that happens, you would see the symptom shown above.

Fortunately, the fix is simple: Get those files either from the installation CD or from another machine.  Ideally, the replacement files should be from the same OS but I’ve used files from Windows 2003 SP2 on a Windows 2000 Advanced Server without ill effect. Just make sure you keep the old ones in a renamed state just in case!

Once done, restart perfmon and the counters should appear.  I’ve found that sometimes the error message above, actually means the counters are missing (rather than a “connection failure”) and the test/fix mentioned above, should work in that case.

Hope this helps!