Sep 14

A general error occurred

I’m not a fan of obtuse error messages. VMware’s not alone in this by any stretch. When I was an OpenVMS system manager (get off my lawn!) I would get an error message like this:

This would cause me to yell “But I AM the system manager dammit!!!”

Bottom line, stuff happens. It’s happened before and will happen again. We all learn from these things and we work to make things better. I’m writing this blog article so that when you search for “A general error occurred” and “vcenter” you’ll find the solution. I’ll also work with my VMware support colleagues to get that error message in the KB’s as well.

So, some background. I ran into a small problem the other day while building out my lab. It’s been fun for me lately because the past couple of years I’ve been so focused on vSphere security stuff that getting stick time in the lab has been understandably hard to get.

The lab environment is pretty simple. Four servers configured with VSAN and an NFS share. I had the domain controller and VCSA installed and was about to deploy a couple of OVA’s. The first one was Log Insight and then NSX Manager.

When I went to deploy Log Insight, I went through the normal “Deploy OVF Template…” workflow

After I selected the storage and clicked on Next I was presented with a strange error message. “A general error occurred”


Needless to say, this was puzzling. After trying a number of different options I posted this on our internal Socialcast site. I mentioned that I had tried numerous browsers, etc.. I got lots of great feedback and ideas from many of my colleagues. Of course, William Lam always answers these things first and he asked stuff like “Have you checked DNS resolution everywhere?” and “I’ve also seen CIP get weird at times and uninstalling/re-installing as helped in the past”. I tried all those things and more. Flushing DNS caches, etc.. William was on the right track with the CIP issue.

It was another colleague, Hany Michael, who had the solution. In a nutshell, it was an issue with CIP, the Client Integration Plugin. In Hany’s case, he had installed Update 1 and installed the latest CIP over the existing installation. In my case, I’m not entirely sure how I got into this situation but the solution was easy.

  1. Uninstall the existing CIP
  2. Reboot the system the CIP is installed on
  3. Install the U1 CIP (build 3279)

Here are the locations of the U1 CIP  (thanks William!).

Client Integration Plugin for Windows:

Client Integration Plugin for Mac OS X

By updating to this version of the CIP you’ll also sort out issues with Chrome and the NPAPI issues. See more at this VMware KB article written up by Blair. As always, the KB is the most up-to-date so always review it before committing.

When that’s all done you should be good to go. After I did it I was able to deploy OVA’s from my jumpbox in the lab. I did that someplace over the Midwest as I was winging my way to Las Vegas to catch my flight to San Francisco. Isn’t WiFi on a plane a wonderful thing?

I hope this helps.