ESXi cmd addnode failed for secondary node: /opt/vmware/aam/bin/ft_startup failed to complete within three minutes

In the past few weeks, I had been hit by many calls of many of my colleagues & customers being hit by the following error when trying to configure VMware ESXi HA:

“cmd addnode failed for secondary node: /opt/vmware/aam/bin/ft_startup failed to complete within three minutes”

After investigating the error for sometime & searching on the internet I found many misleading trial and error solutions for this error around Google results. The resolution which seems to work for everyone of my colleagues & customers is below.

1- Disable HA for the affected cluster

2- Delete the User Worlds Swap file called uwswap from all the nodes in the problematic cluster.

3- Enable HA for the affected cluster again.

Note: If its possible to move the uwswap file to the local harddisk do it by all mean, as its much better than putting it on the shared storage & will save you a lot of headache.

Recommendation: Add all the host short names & fully qualified names to the host files of all the ESXi servers in that cluster. If you have a doubt on how to do so let me know & I will make a post on how to do this :).  <== Well as many requests had hit my mailbox the following link is another article I posted on here to show just that:

VMWare ESXi editing the Hostfile

I thought I will document this as I am sure many of you will hit it one day or another. I hope to save all you of you some time resolving this issue. I would appreciate if you leave me your feed back

Comments

  1. Showtime says:

    please provide instructions for adding all the host short names & fully qualified names to the host files of all the ESXi servers.

  2. Hi Showtime,

    Thanks for your comment & I has just added a post on how to add all the host short & fully qualified names to the host files of ESXi Server. You can find it at:
    http://www.virtualizationteam.com/virtualization-vmware/vmware-esxi/vmware-esxi-editing-the-hostfile.html

    I hope that help :).

  3. How do I delet the User Worlds Swap file ?

    Thanx in advance!

    Kris

  4. vmbloggie says:

    If you remove the HA from the server, it will delete your old User Worlds Swap file usually. Another option, you can click on the server then go to the summary tab. Browse your Datastore and delete the User Worlds Swap file from where you had placed it at. I hope that help.

  5. In order to delete the User World Swap file, do you have to have the VMs all shut down? I tried to delete them through the Datastore browser and it fails.

    Scott

  6. Hi sguerrieri,

    Try to disable HA on that host or the cluster the host is and and then try to delete the User World Swap file. If that does not work then try to get that host in maintainance mode, where you will have to evacuate all running VMs from it and try again.

    Please let me know if that fix your issue.

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