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How do I restore a VMWare snapshot?

Posted on 2011-09-05
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Recently, I was trying to copy a VMWare folder and accidently hit the [Remove Snapshot] option.

Now, regardless of what I try, I can not put the system back to it's "snapshot" state.

I am using VMWare Server Console v1.0.1 Build 29996

I also tried downloading a more recent version of VMW SC (v1.0.6 Build 91891) but it will not load the [local] host.
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Question by:GoCanucks
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 36486054
Hi

So you want to power up your VM?? Or just rollback the snapshot and put the VM in the state before the snapshot?

Because if you remove the snapshot, off course you lost the snapshot and the VM state. There is no way to rollback after deleting the snapshot

Jail
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LVL 120
ID: 36486082
If you've hit the Remove Snapshot button, you have done exactly that, you've removed the Snapshot, so you cannot Revert to back to it, because it's GONE. (deleted).

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Author Comment

by:GoCanucks
ID: 36486104
Hmmmm.  All of the reading I have done thus far, has suggested that snapshots are NOT deleted when the [Remove Snapshot] option is selected, and that there is supposed to be a "Snapshot Manager" with an option like [GoTo Snapshot] available.

Any comments?
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Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 36486146
There is generally some confusion as to how snapshots are used.

Delete (remove) or Committ Snapshot Merges the Snapshot with the Base disk. So in effect it's a delete.

Revert or Goto Snapshot "rewinds" the VM back to the point when the snapshot was taken.

A snapshot is NOT a backup of a VM; that is a gross misconception.  

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.  

I highly recommend reading these 2 articles on snaps:

Understanding Snapshots - http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1015180
Snaphot Best Practices - http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1025279

Also check out the following Snapshot Articles by Eric Siebert

Pt.1- http://is.gd/Lajg4p
Pt.2- http://is.gd/NdKQWC
Pt.3- http://is.gd/tp2vEK
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 36486148
Snapshot Manager is available...unless you click "remove snapshot"  Once you remove snapshot it's gone, period.  You cannot go back to a previous state unless you have some other type of backup
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