When attempting to export the system logs for an ESXi 4.1 Update 1 Embedded host you may generate a missing error as shown in the following image. The error generated by vCenter may be “A general system error occurred: Internal error” and on the host the error may be recorded as “Cannot create a diagnostic bundle.”
The problem seems related to the inability of the host to properly set the /scratch folder. In the case of the host that I experienced this on, the scratch folder was set to a datastore location in the vSphere client (Configuration > Advanced Settings > ScratchConfig. However, the VMkernel log file (/var/log/messages) was recording the following error when the export function was run:
Apr 18 09:10:44 Hostd: VMware ESX Support Script 1.33
Apr 18 09:10:44 Hostd: Could not set working directory to ‘/usr/lib/vmware/hostd/docroot/downloads/’.
I took a look at the path in the error message and found that the downloads folder could not be accessed. In the docroot folder the downloads entry was a link to /scratch/downloads. I then looked at /scratch and it was pointing to /tmp/scratch. As noted earlier it should have been pointing to a datastore location. The /tmp/scratch folder did not exist so I just created the folder scratch/downloads in /tmp and I was then able to export the system logs for the host.