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Too many vmdk files in the datastore for same VM machine?

Posted on 2014-01-28
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Last Modified: 2014-02-17
I was about to start replicating some of my VMs over to our DR site and noticed that the folder for each VM was larger than the provisioned size.
I went into the datastor and opened a folder for a vm machine and noted that there were multiple vmdk files in each folder.  Is it possible to delete some of these or not?
Are they snapshots? Do snapshots create vmdks?
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Question by:j_rameses
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:RickEpnet
ID: 39815295
Yes Snapshot create VMDKs. DO NOT DELETE THEM.
You need to consolidate your snapshots. Snapshots should only be used for a very short time maybe 24 hours.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:RickEpnet
ID: 39815299
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39815301
Ok, I will check to see and delete them via snapshot manager.
Will keep you posted.
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LVL 117
ID: 39815306
Check my EE Article *BEFORE* you do anything!


HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39815361
Thank you.
I noticed I am running on VMmachine-00004.vmdk

How can I run on the original one.

I upgraded my windows server and application after I made the snapshot.
How can I make this my main machine instead of a snapshot.
Is there a way to swicth to VMmachine.vmdk rather than VMmachine-00004.vmdk?

Does your links provide a solution in case of my case?
If not, how do I resolve this?
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LVL 117
ID: 39815379
Okay you have a snapshot.

Yes, my article will resolve your situation....

BUT, how large are the snapshots?

it could take, many days, hours, minutes, seconds to merge and delete the snapshot!

and when you start the action *YOU CANNOT STOP IT*
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39815452
104 gigs
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LVL 117
ID: 39815462
That is a very large snapshot.

check that you have enough storage to complete the merge.

I would recommend, a power off of the VM, and the, select DELETE ALL, and Be Very Patient.

Do not cancel, do not restart host, do not fiddle or tweak, this could take many hours to complete.

there is another method of getting out of Snapshot hell?

Do you have vCenter Server?
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39815468
yes, i have vcenter server.
also, before reading your second post, there were two other snapshots that I deleted.
they were number ###02.vmdk
#####03.vmdk
Watz up with vcenter?
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:RickEpnet
ID: 39815489
When you say deleted you mean through Snapshot management not directly from the data store correct?
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39815574
yes, through snapshot manager
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39815575
i do not dare play around in the datastore
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:RickEpnet
ID: 39815610
Correct. Did you check you free space like Andrew said?
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39815635
i assigned the vm a total of 100gigs.
The break down is:
(c) 51.2GB free of 99.1GB
(d) system reserved=1.41mb free of 99.9mb
(f) windows2012SR=244mb free of 488mb

partition (f) is the system resaerved for when I updated windows 2012 from 2008r2

the orginal vmdk = provisioned=100GB
size = 84GB

the snapshot ##0004.vmdk=provisioned 100GB
size=32GB
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LVL 117
ID: 39815648
YOU MUST NOT JUST DELETE THE FILES!

You must delete the Snapshot through Snapshot Manager, does the Snapshot appear in Snapshot Manager?

It would be easier if you could upload a screenshot of the vm folder datastore, for me to see?
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:RickEpnet
ID: 39815707
That is not too bad 32 GB. The provisioned space will always be the size of the original disk's provisioned space. Mind you 32 GB is still very big and can take a long time to delete. Like Andrew said if you can shut down your VM to delete the Snapshot it will go faster.
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39815780
No, I did not just delete the files.
I used snapshot manager to delete the snapshots.
see attached image:
imageofdatastore.JPG
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:RickEpnet
ID: 39815827
How much free space do you have int he datastore?
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39815830
600 gigs
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39815880
How do I get the running snapshot to no longer be a running snapshot?
i need those changes to apply to the original vmdk?
How do I proceed?
the aricles on the links above provided no solution.
pls advise.
thanx.
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LVL 117
ID: 39815895
1. Select Snapshot Manager.
2. Select DELETE ALL.

Are the snapshots listed in Snapshot Manager.

you should see 3/4 snapshots?

Is your VM still running on a snapshot?

it could be stuck, and I can work with you and hold your hand, and guide you.

Edit the VM Setttings, and Check your disk settings, is it -00004.vmdk etc
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39815902
I see 2 vmdk files identical in provisioned size.
the other two I deleted it before I was told not to, but I used snapshot manager to delete them.
If I use the 'delete all' snapshots from snapshot manager, wold that delete my current state?
Or will it merge it with the original vmdk?
Will it overwrite the original vmdk from the numbered VDMK?
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39815904
see above image that I sent earlier, ity is the full contents of the folder for the vm from the datastore.
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LVL 117
ID: 39815917
DELETE ALL will MERGE ALL CHANGES into the current parent file.

It does not overwite, you have a

parent vmdk + child vmdk

the child vmdk contains all the changes, these will be merged with the parebnt vmdk disk.

and the child will then be deleted.

can you check VM Settings, Edit Disk Settings, to confirm if the VM is on a snapshot?

I cannot tell from the datastore screenshot
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39815942
see attached pic
serversnapshot.JPG
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LVL 117
ID: 39815956
what does it look like in VM Settings.

1. Right Click VM
2. Edit Settings
3. Select Disk
4. Screenshot for me?
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39815982
see attached pic
its the ####-0004.vmdk
settingsimage.JPG
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LVL 117
ID: 39816026
okay, the machine still has a snapshot attached.

we can try this....

1. Take a new snapshot
2. Check Snapshot manager, it should be present maybe?
3. Wait 60 seconds
4. Select Delete ALL....and wait...
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39816032
what would happen if I delete the last snapshot?
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39816034
through snapshot manager
it allow me do so
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LVL 117
ID: 39816063
when the snapshot is deleted correctly through Snapshot Manager, it's merged with the parent disk.

if you manually remove files from the datastore, you will corrupt the VM disk.

      
Select Inventory > The Virtual Machine > Snapshot > Take Snapshot.
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39816082
that is how I always done it, through the snapshot manager.
can I use that to delete the last one or should I do it using "delete all"?
do i need to create a new one as one of the previous comments on this chat?
Can i simply 'delete all' or simply 'delete' the current snapshot from snapshot manager?
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LVL 117

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 39816102
Sorry, your snapshot is listed, I thought it was missing, I've just checked.

CLICK DELETE ALL in Snapshot Manager, disregard, creating another for 60 seconds.

and wait, it could stick at 95%, and seem to be doing nothing but it will complete.
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39816106
Thank you.
I just started it.
I practiced on non-essential machine before doing the one I needed.
Thank you for everything.
Will post back after I am done.
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LVL 117
ID: 39816116
No problems, grab a cup of java, and be patient!
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39816122
I am going home shortly, I'll let it run on it's own.
Later tonight I will log on and turn the VM on.

This so much better than the past, having to stay in the office waiting for things to complete.
Now I run things, go home, and check from home.

Thanks again.
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LVL 117
ID: 39816129
Safe Journey home.
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Author Comment

by:j_rameses
ID: 39864858
Thank you Andrew.
All went well.
Sorry for the delay, too much snow made life difficult and forgetting for me.
Thanks again for your assistance.
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