VM shown as Unknown (inaccessible) ESXI 5.0

Issue = Esxi 5.0 Hosting two vm's. One VM shown as Unknown (inaccessible) stored on the local datastore. Although unknown/inaccessible, that vm continues to run w/o issues and is accessible via RDP. On the same host but in shared storage (another host), the other vm looks and runs fine. I saw this post < https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/28436360/vm-shows-unknown-inaccessible-after-iscsi-datastore-power-failure.html > but it did not provide a resolution. I removed the vm from inventory and created another one but it failed to start saying the VMDK file was locked and the vm could not be started. I think i'm going about the wrong way trying to restore a vm that somehow still running but not showing in inventory anywhere. Any help will be much appreciated. Please let me know if you need more information to help me with and/or understand the above issue. Thank you all!
LemonCalvinAsked:
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Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
Hi,
sorry for the delay...
I now get the msg that there is not enough space on the datastore to start the vm. There is 8.09gb of space available.
Yes it seems you don't have enough space on datastore. Can't you free up some space? having a datastore with 2 or 8GB left is not a fine situation..
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Chirag NagrekarSystem AnalystCommented:
Looks like there was temporary issue with datastore. If your ESX host is in cluster and vmotion set can you migrate the working VM to different host and reboot the esx host and re-register or add to inventory of VMs again.

https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2172

As you mentioned your VMDK file is locked , check the below article as well.

https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1003397
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LemonCalvinAuthor Commented:
Its not showing the vm, I removed it from inventory and tried to re-add it but that was a no-go so its not there anymore. It is still running, is there a way to migrate just the files then spin it back up?
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R@f@r P@NC3RVirtualization SpecialistCommented:
Hello,

You can do the following:

Option 1:

- Enter via ssh to the host.
- Restart the ESXi administration agents, with the following command: services.sh restart
- Valid that the state of the vm is no longer inaccessible.
Note: The restart of the administration agents does not affect the state of the vm, so you can do it without problems.

Option 2: (Apply these actions if option 1 does not have positive results)

- Migrate the vm to another host.
- Place the host in maintenance mode.
- Restart the ESXi.
- Migrate again to the source host and validate the state of the vm.
- Run a storage vmotion to another datastore.

Additionally it validates in the datastore where the vm is stored, if there are .lck files.

regards..
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Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
Hi,

You have to re-register this VM in your inventory.
I removed the vm from inventory and created another one but it failed to start saying the VMDK file was locked and the vm could not be started
it seems you tried to create a new VM and add the VMDK of the existing running VM. You cannot do that if existing VM is running, this is normal behaviour.
In vsphere, browse your local datastore where your running VM is stored, right click on .vmx file and select Register VM... option
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LemonCalvinAuthor Commented:
R@f@r P@NC3R - I tried Option1 but I was still in the same situation because the vm was still not present. I was not able to try Option 2 because this is our exchange production server. It's a great option to try when I can schedule some down time, possibly this weekend.

Mr Tortur - I was able to re-register the vm back to the host via vCenter. I now get the msg that there is not enough space on the datastore to start the vm. There is 8.09gb of space available. This same vm has run with just 2gb of space available for about a year and its currently running but the icon appears as if its powered off.

I'm not sure what else to try except for R@f@r P@NC3R's Option#2.
Insufficient-Disk-Space.png
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LemonCalvinAuthor Commented:
After spending quite a bit of time with a VMware tech and $300 later, the final solution was (as I thought it would be) reregistering the VM back to the host then rebooting the host then powering on the VM. I'm not sure why, but the tech did lots of middling around with SSH, checking shared storage and other settings before applying the above solution. As far as freeing up space, he did attempt to delete some old VM files from non-existent VM's but they were locked by vmnic0. Even after rebooting the host with the vm's powered off, we were unable to delete the files so I'm still stuck with 12gb of space left on the host. He asked that I put in another ticket since he couldn't help me with that. So, my initial problem is resolved and I thank you for your assistance.
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LemonCalvinAuthor Commented:
The final solution was (as I thought it would be) reregistering the VM back to the host then rebooting the host then powering on the VM.
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