45266: Acronis Backup for VMware: Application-Aware Backup Fails with "The guest operations agent could not be contacted"

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Last update: 06-04-2016

To fix the issue, reinstall/update VMware Tools or reboot the ESXi host


Application-Aware Backup fails with the following error message:

Failed to process guest api call of 'ListProcessesInGuest'.
Error code: 257 Module: 83
LineInfo: 8551c5c00e774fcc
Fields: faultTypeId :
140 Message: SOAP fault code: '12',
Description: 'The guest operations agent could not be contacted.'


The error The guest operations agent could not be contacted is thrown by VMware API when trying to call the ListProcessesInGuest function (this can also be a different function).

This issue is related to the VMware Tools service state inside the backed up VM running Microsoft applications (SQL/AD/Exchange) for which you enabled the application-aware processing. It may be caused by high memory utilization inside the VM or by an issue in VMware Tools themselves.


  • According to http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd... the issue is fixed in ESXi 5.1 Update 1. See PR906969 description.
  • Check the RAM consumption inside the backed up VM via Windows Task Manager when you try to run the application-aware backup of it. If the memory utilization is close to 100% then it could be the reason for VMware Tools failure. To reduce the memory consumption the easiest way is to truncate the Exchange transaction logs manually (so that store.exe process consumes less memory) or disable some of the services.
  • Another possible solution is to reinstall/update VMware Tools or reboot the ESXi host where the backed up VM runs.
  • To work around the issue, disable application-aware processing for the affected VM (so that you have at least a usual non-application-aware backup).

More information

The ListProcessesInGuest command is described in vSphere 5 Documentation: ListProcessesInGuest.

This is one of the API calls that Acronis vmProtect uses to collect applications' metadata.

See also VMware Community Thread: Invoke-VMScript "The guest operations agent could not be contacted."