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Delete snapshot hung in VWware

Posted on 2010-09-15
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have been trying to delete a snapshot.  It is stuck at 95% for over 2 weeks....

The VM Seems to be running fine, and the snapshot functionality is not affected for OTHER VM's.  I can create, add, remove snapshots on all my other VM's.

However this 'one' just shows in vCenter as Remove snapshot over and over.  1 says it's in 95% processes the others just state "in process".

As a result of this registering as pending option in vcenter, all other options are grayed out in vCenter.  I can't power it off, reset it, change settings, etc.

I have logged in via PowerCLI to try an delete the snapshot but it failed as well.

What can I do to fix this VM?  Please do NOT respond with "Reboot the host".  I know this will fix it, but I rather want to know how to drill down in to VMWare and fix the problem.  

I am running ESX 3.5 build 213532 here.
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Question by:brittonv
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Expert Comment

by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 33682369
Where is the VM stored ? Local datastore or SAN ?
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Author Comment

by:brittonv
ID: 33682544
It is stored on a SAN.

Does it matter?
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robocat earned 500 total points
ID: 33682565

vCenter might be confused as to the real status of the task. Did you try restarting the management services on the vmware host ?

   1. Stop the vpxa service.
      service vmware-vpxa stop
   2.On the VirtualCenter Server, stop the VirtualCenter Server service.
   3.restart the management services.
      service mgmt-vmware restart
   4.On the VirtualCenter Server, start the VirtualCenter Server service.
   5.start the vpxa service.
      service vmware-vpxa start

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Expert Comment

by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 33682823
As robocat has pointed out,sometimes vCenter might lose out the the task which had been running for a long time.

Have you removed the snapshots in order ?
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Author Comment

by:brittonv
ID: 33682877
Robocat,

will these steps have any effect on my running VM's?

arunuaju, there is only one snapshot.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:BijuMenon
ID: 33683661
Snapshot removal would seem going fast till 95% and then it seems hung at 95%. Don't do anything. Actual work of comminting the snapshot data starts at 95%. so just wait with patience.
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Expert Comment

by:BijuMenon
ID: 33683689
By the way I had to wait at 95% for more than 8 hours so that the 140GB snapshot delta file gets commited.
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Expert Comment

by:robocat
ID: 33684429

The restart of the management agents has no effect on running VMs.

It will make sure that vCenter has a correct view on the situation.

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Expert Comment

by:jhyiesla
ID: 33684644
I can't address your specific issue with this snapshot, but I am including some information about what snap shots are and aren't and how they should be used. Got this from a vSphere workshop I went to.

A snap shot is a way to preserve a point in time when the VM was running OK before making changes. A snapshot is NOT a way to get a static copy of a VM before making changes.  When you take a snapshot of a VM what happens is that a delta file gets created and the original VMDK file gets converted to a Read-Only file.  There is an active link between the original VMDK file and the new delta file.  Anything that gets written to the VM actually gets written to the delta file.   The correct way to use a snapshot is when you want to make some change to a VM like adding a new app or a patch; something that might damage the guest OS. After you apply the patch or make the change and it’s stable, you should really go into snapshot manager and delete the snapshot which will commit the changes to the original VM, delete the snap, and make the VMDK file RW. The official stance is that you really shouldn’t have more than one snap at a time and that you should not leave them out there for long periods of time. Adding more snaps and leaving them there a long time degrades the performance of the VM.  If the patch or whatever goes badly or for some reason you need to get back to the original unmodified VM, that’s possible as well.  

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Expert Comment

by:BloodRed
ID: 33684654
A hung snapshot is difficult to repair.  A much quicker option, assuming you can take the VM offline, is to use Converter to clone the VM.  The cloning process is not aware of snapshots and will leave you with a pristine VM.
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33685442
If you connect your vSphere client directly to the ESX(i) server does it also show the task in progress at 95%?
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Author Closing Comment

by:brittonv
ID: 33685952
Restarting these services fixed it
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