UPDATE6 (10/25/2017) – Adobe just published a new Flash update 188.8.131.52 which looks to resolve the original issue.
When I this morning tried to login to the vCenter Server 6.5 using the vSphere Web (Flash) client in Chrome, I got an error:
“Shockwave Flash has crashed”
Huhh, never seen this one before. A quick Google search brought me to the website of William Lam. He describes the error and provides a workaround.
Okay, to start with, in vSphere 6.5 there are two browser based clients available to connect to your vCenter Server:
- the Flash based web client, Access vCenter using URL https://<vcenter-server>/vsphere-client
- the HTML based client (no Flash needed) . Access vCenter using URL https://<vcenter-server>/ui
The problem is with the Flash client.
VMware published a KB article titled ‘Shockwave Flash crashes with vSphere Web Client 6.x (2151945)’ about this issue here.
Adobe responded here saying :
In terms of what happened, there’s a java-style idiom that you use (presumably for library versioning) that uses undefined functions (i.e. functions with blank bodies) that are called repeatedly. When compiled, this resulted in bytecode that was getting flagged. We’ve been able to safely make affordances for it. This approach seems to be pretty rare (the number of distinct SWFs impacted appears to be very small at this point), but whenever we ding a relatively obscure edge case like this, it’s invariably an important enterprise application that breaks.
Adobe plans to make an update available in November.
The issue started as Chrome automatically downloaded a newer version of Flash.
To prevent making Chrome auto updates in the future, I disabled the auto update by creating a registry key for my Windows client. Execute the command below in a command promt.
reg ADD “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Update” /v AutoUpdateCheckPeriodMinutes /t REG_SZ /d “0” /f
The problem seems to be solved by replacing an automatically installed DLL by an older version DLL. The folder of this DLL is C:\Users\<user account>\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\PepperFlash\184.108.40.206
The filename is pepflashplayer.dll
A working version of this file should be 220.127.116.11
This version of pepflashplayer.dll is hard to find on the internet. The DLL was posted in this thread but was quickly deleted for some reason.
Update October 18: VMware published the DLL at their own site.
I was lucky enough to download the file just before it was deleted. I deleted the 18.104.22.168 of the pepflashplayer.dll on my Windows system and replaced it with the one I downloaded. Restarted Chrome and was able to access vCenter Server again.
You can download pepflashplayer.dll version 22.214.171.124 here. I am not responsible for any issues. Mind Adobe replaced this version because of security issues. More about the exploit in Adobe here.
You can also install an older version of Flash Player
Vincent Lim describes the procedure here for installing an older version.
Thought I’d share my workaround here for everyone’s benefit, works on my Windows 10 desktop. For Mac OS procedure is similar.;
Go to https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/archived-flash-player-versions.html, scroll down to where it says;
Flash Player archives
Release and Content Debugger archives
•(Released 10/10/2017) Flash Player 126.96.36.199 (405 MB)
Expand and extract the following three files from the 27_0_r0_159 directory, NOT the 27_0_r0_159_debug directory;
Quit all browsers (Chrome, IE, Firefox, etc.)
and uninstall the current Flash Player from your local PC.
Navigate to the following location, depending your Windows version:
32bit Windows: C:\Program Files\Google\Update
64bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Update
Explore the contents of the “Update” folder and rename the “GoogleUpdate.exe” to “DISABLED_GoogleUpdate.exe”.
Run and install;
To install the Flash Player browser plugin.
Select “Never check for updates (not recommended)”
Run and install;
To install the Flash Player for your Windows OS.
Remove previous ShockWave plugin from Chrome. Navidate to;
Delete the 188.8.131.52 folder.
Open your Browser you wish to use to login to vSphere Web Client, enter your credentials and you should have access to the vSphere Web Client as before the Flash update.