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Manually deleting Snapshot File from Datastore

Posted on 2014-02-16
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Last Modified: 2014-02-19
When Deleting snapshot from Snapshot Manager for a certain VM, the Delta changes will get committed to the main Disk file of the VM.

I wonder when manually browsing to the DataStore then deleting the snapshot file , whether the changes will be committed to the main disk file of the VM…

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Question by:jskfan
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11 Comments
 
LVL 123

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1000 total points
ID: 39863660
NO, NO, NO, NO!

I wonder when manually browsing to the DataStore then deleting the snapshot file , whether the changes will be committed to the main disk file of the VM…

No they will not be committed!, you should never, never, never, delete the snapshots file manually. The changes will not be committed, and the Parent VMDK, and Virtual machine WILL BE CORRUPTED!!!!

All changes in the DELTA file will be lost forever!

Please see my EE Article

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient

Experiment and try it, on a test virtual machine, not a production machine!?

Post you findings here.....
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Abhilash
ID: 39863720
Do not delete a snapshot file manually.
Only snapshot manager understands these files and has the functionality that will affect it. If you manually delete them then there will be no way to recover the data.

Since you are just wondering, NO, it won't work and its a good way of messing around with a machine which is running well.
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Author Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 39863888
Sometimes, VMs run on a snapshot , but the snapshot does not show up in the Snapshot Manager...
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Abhilash
ID: 39864001
There is a KB Article which explains how to commit/delete them when they don't show up in snapshot manager.
Do not delete them manually at any cost
This is the KB that will help you with a situation when they don't show up in manager
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1002310
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LVL 123
ID: 39864126
That is correct, because the Backup Application has FAILED to remove the snapshot, and that's really as bug, but it's a very common issues.

see my EE Article

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient
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Author Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 39865918
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2003638

I found this above article and Video..I thought it is related to what I am looking for
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LVL 123
ID: 39865928
Consolidating Snapshots, a nice feature to have in ESXi 5.x, does not always work!
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Author Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 39865980
because the link below posted by Abhilash Hb, is not really clear the way they describe the Resolution:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1002310
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LVL 123
ID: 39866003
How you resolve a snapshot issue, which does not appear, in Snapshot Manager, or refuses to consolidate is as follows:-

1. Take a Snapshot.
2. Wait 60 seconds.
3. Delete ALL the Snapshot in Snapshot Manager.

(done).

If that does not work, or Consolidate does not work, more work is required.

BUT, if you find yourself with A SNAPSHOT, and not sure how to handle or have the confidence to deal with it yourself, I would suggest posting here on EE, of support call to VMware.
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LVL 13

Accepted Solution

by:
Abhilash earned 1000 total points
ID: 39866411
This is all you need from the KB. Read the Resolution bit of it

Creating a new snapshot and deleting it clears the entire hierarchy. This means that all snapshot files on the virtual machine are committed, then deleted

A small amount of free space is required to create the new snapshots. If the virtual machine needs to remain running, more space must be allowed for because the new snapshot grows (accepting new changes to the virtual disks) as the older snapshots commit.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 39870002
Thank you
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