vMotion – A general system error occurred


Updated 20170127

Apparently this applies to vSphere 6.5 as well according to a comment below.

Thanks Joe for letting us know


The other day i had an issue with vMotion migrations in my vSphere environment running the following versions:

  • vCenter Server 5.5.0 build 2183111
  • ESXi 5.5.0 build 2143827

The error i was seeing happened at the magic 14% threshold and the errors i saw were:

  • A general system error occurred: Migration to host X.Y.Y,224 failed with error Busy (0xbad0004)
  • Migration to host X.Y.Z.224 failed with error Busy (195887108)


There are a bunch of VMware KB regarding vMotion failure at 14% and here are a few:

After a lot of troubleshooting including reading a bunch of log files and a few configuration changes i came across VMware KB 1031636 which talks about “vMotion fails with the error: remote host IP_Address failed with status Busy (1031636)”.
Even though KB 1031636 is for ESX/ESXi 4.1 i decided to give the Migrate.VMotionResolveSwapType config change (use 0 instead of the default value 1) a try and after the change all vMotion processes completed successfully.

VMware will update KB 1031636 to include vSphere 5.5 as well.

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