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

Having just rebooted my laptop, I clicked on the link to open VMWare Infrastructure Web Access in the my browser and was slightly puzzled by the "page cannot be displayed" error. I figured it was probably the VMWare Server Web Access service not starting for some reason, so I opened services.msc and checked it out. The Web Access service was actually running, but the Host Agent service was not, so I tried to start it – it failed. Dutifully opening Event Viewer for some more information I found the error:

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

Great. Thanks for the elaboration. Time to check the VMWare logs, (c:\ProgramData\VMWare\VMWare Server\) – the most recent of which contained the following entry:

[2009-02-18 10:55:27.908 'App' 4408 info] Trying hostsvc
[2009-02-18 10:55:27.948 'App' 4408 panic] error: not well-formed (invalid token)
[2009-02-18 10:55:27.948 'App' 4408 panic] backtrace:(backtraces not supported)
[2009-02-18 10:55:27.948 'App' 4408 info] Win32 service stopped

 A bit of Googling pointed me in the right direction, "not well-formed" refers to the XML config files which are stored in c:\ProgramData\VMWare\VMWare Server\hostd, after that it was just a case of opening each one in turn until I found the malformed one. I backed it up and replaced it with a default version, and lo and behold, my services started!

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007: [0x80070533] Logon failure: account currently disabled.

Just a quick note on a little error I had installing OCS 2007. We have a lot of users that are set up to run services for applications – as such we have a fairly tightly controlled group policy regarding the permissions required to run as a service. This causes the error above to occur because the newly created users aren't given permissions to run a service. The solution is to add the newly created users to our Application Service group.

I added the RTCService user after the first installation failed, and ran again. It will fail a second time because the RTCComponentService is not created at the time the RTCService user causes the installation to fail the first time. Add the RTCComponentServiceto the group and it will install without any issues.