Crashing VMware licensing service

While working on a VMware implementation at a client site, we came upon a problem when we wanted to start HA for the ESX cluster. The notification we received was “Unable to aquire licenses because license source is unavailable”. The notification in itself is clear enough, but we did configure the license server and the ESX servers reported to the License server before. So what then could be wrong?

After having a look at the licensing server we noticed that the service kept crashing. Every time we started it, it ran for a few seconds and then it stopped again. The windows event viewer showed us the following event every time the service crashed:

Faulting application lmgrd.exe; version; faulting module lmgrd.exe, version; fault address 0x00002440

After some browsing on the internet we found some ideas we could try. The solution that worked for us was the following:

  1. Go to the properties of My computer
  2. Select the Advanced tab
  3. Open the settings of the Performance section
  4. Select the Data Execution Prevention
  5. Add the following 3 files to the exclusion from the “c:\program files\vmware\vmware license server” directory. VMwarelm.exe, lmgrd.exe and lmtools.exe

After these steps we started the license service again and it kept running. Now the command to start the HA on the ESX servers worked too and a few minutes later HA was running whithout any problems.