Thursday, November 5, 2015

Cannot Start a VM - A general system error occurred: Connection refused

The error referenced in the title was one I ran into today while trying to start some VMs.  I finally found a KB somewhat related to this issue and the workaround did the trick for me.

Basically, the vCenter Workflow Manager service had stopped on my vCenter server.  In my case, I'm running the 6.0.0 vApp so I had to open an SSH session and enter the following:

shell.set --enabled true
service-control --status vmware-vpx-workflow
   (this command confirmed the service was stopped)
service-control --start vmware-vpx-workflow

Once running, I was able to start VMs again from vCenter.

Not sure why this was so hard to find in a web search but hopefully the search engines will pick up this blog post and save people some time!

See also:

VMware KB: VMware NSX for vSphere 6.x Controller deployment fails the error: Failed to power on VM NSX Controller
VMware KB: Stopping, starting, or restarting VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 services


  1. Thanks! This worked for me although I had a different issue but same symptom. vmware-vpx-work service was already running so I checked the logs and for some reason, vcenter was attempting to connect to localhost instead of wsxhost when powering on. Restarted the service and its now connecting to the correct host.

  2. Thank you for posting this! This was exactly what I needed

  3. Thanks for the post, very helpful!

  4. Thanks u its helps us to resolve the issue.

  5. Thanks John, it works!

  6. Just had an issue where I couldn't power on VM's in vCenter. I was able to start the VM via an SSH session to the ESXi host it was on, but that didn't address the root cause. Your article did. Thanks!

  7. Perfect! This worked for me as well

  8. Fantastic. Running vCenter on a Windows server, had this same problem, and checked to see if this service had stopped. The full name of the service in Windows is "VMware vCEnter workflow manager" - started it and works perfectly.

    Thank you!

  9. TADA, brilliant. solved my problem.

  10. for me just worked when i rebooted all the ESX nodes in the cluster, as the service in the vCenter was running, and the restart didn't make it.

  11. In my case it didn't worked, I have an error code 1, some help is appreciate!!!

  12. This saved me an agonizing phone call and follow up discussions as to what happened. Thanks!