Download from a VMWare ESXi datastore failing!?

Posted on 2009-12-16
Last Modified: 2012-05-08

In order to have a copy of my virtual server I was trying to download the vmdk- and the vmx-file using the datastore browser of the ESXi host. It works for the vmx file (2 kB) but not for the vmdk file (125 Gb). In the later case the download seems to start but then I immediately get this error: 'connection to server has timed out' and the download fails.

Any ideas? Or is it simply that the virtual server has to be turned off to download the file? Can't test that right now ...

Question by:Xeronimo
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Try to use the free FastSCP Tool from Veeam at
    Its faster then the datastore browser and more reliable.

    Author Comment


    Thanks but I've already tried to copy the file with FastSCP and there's the same phenomenon. It works with the vmx file but not the vmdk file. It says the file is not there or locked. It's obviously there so the problem is that it's locked ( = active)? I've managed to download the vmdk file of an inactive virtual server though ...

    Does this mean it's not possible to copy the vmdk file of a virtual server that's running?
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    You cannot copy a vmdk which is in use.
    You can make a snapshot. Then you can copy the main vmdk, because it is read-only and changed data is written to the snapshot vmdk.
    After the copy you shoud commit the snapshot to prevent growth of the snapshot file.

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