ESXi: Error returned by expat parser: not well-formed (invalid token) while parsing serialized value

Yesterday I was surprised by this error. It occurred after planning powered off of ESXi hosts due to building maintenance. Hosts were put in Maintenance Mode and powered off. After the scheduled time hosts were powered on, however, two of them did not reconnect to vCenter and they were visible as not responding. Manual attempt to reconnect ended up with the error:

The basic thing to do was to reboot the host again, and surprise, surprise it helped with one host, but not with the other one.

I found this VMware KB, however as I have my hosts on version 7.0 U2 where the issue should be fixed. I decided to try a workaround anyway, especially that logfile located at /var/log/ showed exactly the error form mentioned KB:

It was not successful:

As you can see there was no config.xml file in the /etc/vmeware/hostsd

There was no other choice but to call VMware. We logged the P1 case and got the engineer on call. After an initial investigation, log bungle was downloaded and the support agent told me that it is NOT an error from KB. After analyzing the logs, he found that there is a VIB that caused vpxa to stop.

The resolution for this issue was to remove VIB:

esxcli software vib list | grep -i lsuv2

esxcli software vib remove -n lsuv2-lsiv2-drivers-plugin

After the reboot, the host connected to vCenter with no issue.

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