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VMware Virtual Machine has only VMDK file

Posted on 2014-09-22
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Last Modified: 2014-10-06
I recently upgraded to VMWare version 5.5 and then migrated my virtual machines from local storage to our new SAN.  All migration seemed to work fine except one.  I didn't get any errors indicating a problem, but when the migration was finished, I didn't see the VM anymore in the list.  So I went to the new location on our SAN and the folder for the VM was there.  However, the only file in the folder was the VMDK file and I don't see a way to add it back to inventory.  What happened and how do I recover this VM?
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Question by:sfletcher1959
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LVL 117
ID: 40336533
Check for the VMX file, on local or shared SAN storage.

You will need the VMX file to register to the inventory. (right click VMX file, select Add to Inventory).

if you cannot find the VMX file, create a new Virtual Machine with the same VM Settings as before, e.g. CPU, Memory, Windows version (Custom), and select and browse to the virtual disk in the datastore.

(no need to create a new disk, because you already have one!)
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Author Comment

by:sfletcher1959
ID: 40337296
Okay, upon closer inspection I found more information.  Apparently when I migrated the VM it has the VMDK file in two location.  

The original location only has the VMDK file in the folder with the VM name.  The location it was supposed to migrate too seens to have all the appropriate files in a folder with the VM name .  See scree shot attached.  So I added the VM to inventory that appeared to have all the right files in the folder and tried to power it on.  It failed with the following error information:

An error was received from the ESX host while powering on VM ProData001.
Failed to start the virtual machine.
Module DiskEarly power on failed.
Cannot open the disk '/vmfs/volumes/541b38e7-c468edac-d975-0024817edd14/ProData001/ProData001-000001.vmdk' or one of the snapshot disks it depends on.
The parent virtual disk has been modified since the child was created. The content ID of the parent virtual disk does not match the corresponding parent content ID in the child

Screenshot
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Author Comment

by:sfletcher1959
ID: 40337309
So to clarify, I migrated Prodata001 on Datastore 1 to Datastore 2.  No errors on the completed migration.  Datastore 1 still had a vmdk file for Prodata001.  Datastore 2 has all files, but will not power on.
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Author Comment

by:sfletcher1959
ID: 40337336
I have tried to migrate back from Datastore 2 to Datastore 1, but the migration fails with error:

error caused by file /vmfs/volumes/541b38e7-c468edac-d975-0024817edd14/prodata001/prodata001-000001.vdmk


 I am able to migrate between hosts successfully, but still get the same error when I try to power on.
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LVL 117

Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 40337637
Okay, firstly this VM appears to have a snapshot, which I think has caused the complications here.

Files got migrated and some files did not get migrated, then the VM and disk were powered on without it's snapshot attached, and hence the error.

You will need to move back all the files so there are in the same folder.

and then you will need to repair the VMDK file, so snapshot chain is valid....

see here

Resolving the CID mismatch error: The parent virtual disk has been modified since the child was created (1007969)
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Author Closing Comment

by:sfletcher1959
ID: 40364110
Was able to resolve the CID mismatch error as suggest above.
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