Unable to access the admin console and host agent service does not start


  • You cannot open the server administration web page
  • The VMware Host Agent service is not running or does not start successfully
  • The Windows Event log shows the following error:

    The VMware Host Agent service terminated with service-specific error 4294967295 (0xFFFFFFFF).

  • The following messages appear in the hostd.log:

    Trying hostsvc
    error: not well-formed (invalid token)
    (backtraces not supported)
    Win32 service stopped

agent-service  cannot-view-console


The settings in the datastores.xml are required to initialize the VMware Host Agent service. When the settings are invalid, the service does not start. This service must be started for the administration web page to function.


To start the service:

1. Log on to the server as an administrator.

2. Browse to the following folder (this can be done by copying the below path into a Start > Run window or the Start menu search bar):
Windows Vista, 7, Server 2008 R2: %SYSTEMROOT%\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Server\hostd\
Windows XP: %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware\VMware Server\hostd\
Windows Server 2008: %SYSTEMROOT%\AppData\VMware\VMware Server\hostd\

3. Replace the file datastores.xml with datastores.xml.default. If the file does not exist, removedatastores.xml and restart the VMware Host Agent service. The file should be regenerated automatically.

4. If the problem persists, uninstall and reinstall VMware Server