How to manually remove a snapshot that failed in Vsphere 4

For some reason the machine running Vsphere 4 froze yesterday night.  Of course this created a huge problem.  The backup did not complete and I cannot kill the snapshot.

When I browse the Datastore I see all the "vmdk" files but I am not sure the one I should delete.  Also I know that I must edit one (maybe more) to let the system know not to look for the previous snapshot.  But unfortunately I don't know which one and I don't know how?

Can you help?.

Thanks.
Alain_HenriAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you are uncertain of the snapshots you should delete, the recommended method by VMware is to use VMware Converter to Convert the machine to a new machine, technical a V2V (Virtual to Virtual).

VMware Converter Guide to help you if needed

For the conversion steps,

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_3639-VMware-vConverter-P2V-for-Windows-Servers.html

Can you use the Snapshot Manager to view the current snapshots, how long has the snapshot been running, was Snapshotting just used to Backup the VM, so Snapshot maybe small?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You MUST remove snapshots view Snapshot Manager, or command line tools, NOT just deleting random snapshot files is a NO NO.

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Is the Snapshot Hung, still running?
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Alain_HenriAuthor Commented:
I don't plan on deleting anything until the last resort.  

To he question: Is the snapshot still running
I don.t think so but the error message I got is "Cannot access file because it is locked" or something like that.

When I look in the snapshot manager, the only thing I see is the name of the VM ,"DBES1.Garnier.local" and the radio button "You are here"

We should I go from here?

By the way thanks for responding so fast.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
you don't see any snapshots listed in the Snapshot Manager?

if you just delete files from the VM directory, a missing snapshot delta, may stop the machine from booting.

Any file that you try to access, will be locked because it's in use by the virtual machine.

Two methods to approach this

1. use the command line to try and commit and delete all the snapshots, this could take a while to commit the snapshots.

You've not been using snapshotting to backup the machine, or leaving snapshots running for more than 2 days?

i.e. how large are the snapshots? you may want to submit a screenshot of the VM directory?

2. use VMware Converter or Clone function to clone/convert the VM, which will remove ALL the snapshots.

do you need to keep the snapshots?
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Alain_HenriAuthor Commented:
Nope, nothing in the snapshot manager under none of my VM's.  I have 6 VMs.

1. As a matter of fact, I am using the snapshots to backup my VMs but the backup does not last more than 12 hrs (which I find very long).

2. I don't need keep any snapshot.  But I must tell you that I don't know much about VMware administration.  But I guess you've figured that out before.....!  If I am to use VMware Converter, I must look at it a bit first.

Thanks again.
VM.doc
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
okay do you mean, that you are using a backup program to backup the VMs, and the backup program created snapshots and deleted snapshots as part of the backup?

of you are using Snapshots as a means of backup?

Do you have access to vSphere vCenter?

e.g. do you have more than one ESX server, connected to vSphere vCenter management?

okay, I've had a look at the doc, so you have a 64GB single disk Virtual Machine?

with possibly six snapshots, and finally what is the machine, and is it production, mission critical, and do you have a backup to restore if needed?
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Alain_HenriAuthor Commented:
I am using Backup Exec version 12.5

I have full access everywhere as I am the IT administrator of the small company.

The VMs are on a SAN with 1.2 To (about 700Go used) so have a bit of spare room.  That DBES VM is one of the smallest VM but I beleive that the probleme is across the board.

I have attached a pict of the how my VMs are spread.
VM-2.doc
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Do you have access to vSphere vCenter?

i.e. is it used in the company?

is it a single ESX server?

and finally, is it ESX or ESXi?

Okay, try to create a Snapshot with Snapshot Manager? Does it succeed?
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Alain_HenriAuthor Commented:
Yes I have access to vSphere vCenter.

I have two Servers and there both on EXS.

As far as Snapshot, I will have tho give me a minute.
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Alain_HenriAuthor Commented:
I have started a snapshot on the DBES1 vm and it completed the task successfully.

Does that means that the problem is not with VMware but with Backup exec?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
okay now delete the snapshot?
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Alain_HenriAuthor Commented:
Deleted!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
okay, check the VM directory, are the others still present?
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Alain_HenriAuthor Commented:
It seems to have deleted the files ranging from 000001 to 000006. (see the doc.)


VM-3.doc
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
okay good, some are gone, just one small one remaining, try the same again Create Snapshot, and Select DELETE ALL, if you have that option.
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Alain_HenriAuthor Commented:
Created a new snapshot than deleted all.

It asked me if I wanted to consolidate all snapshot  -- said yes. and here is the result.
VM-4.doc
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
okay good, you are a master of Manual Snapshot removal.

All done.

Questions?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
So it's important that you keep on eye on snapshots per VMs, and make sure you don't have any for log periods, because if you run out of disk space, or have a VM running on a snapshot for a while it can take many hours to commit, or maynot committ, and then  we have to use Clone of VMware Converter to get us out of Snapshot hell.
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Alain_HenriAuthor Commented:
I should repeat the process with any other VM that have the same problem, right.

Then I should be able to restart my backup with backup exec?.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
VMs running on snapshots also have a slight performance hit.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, if you have other VMs, complete the same procedure.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
if the backup Exec job, causes the VM to be snapshotted, you may want to check, why it's not closing the snapshot at the end of the job,

It should

1. Create Snapshot
2. Backup VM
3. Close Snapshot (delete snapshot).

it shouldn't leave them hanging around.
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Alain_HenriAuthor Commented:
MAAAAAAN, you're good.

It is a shame that I can not grade you higher than "A".

Thanks a lot.  And have a nice weekend.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
thanks for the nice words.

here tom help.

just make sure you keep "an eye" on those snapshots!
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Alain_HenriAuthor Commented:
Sure will!
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