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Snapshot Issue on ESX Server 3.5

I have a ESX 3.5 Server that is set to take snapshots, and recently one of my servers stopped creating them and I have been receiving an error VM Create Snapshot error: -3: Invalid arguments Test guest's status. When I look in my datastore folder for that server I have many .vmsn files lingering which I think is causing the problem but nothing I find says what the right process is to remove them. Any thoughts?

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6 Replies

I had a similar error message and it turned out to be a file locking issue. Do you having existing snapshots? Can you delete or commit snapshots for this VM? Check the Service Console and not just the GUI to see if your snapshots are getting deleted or committed.


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Do you have enough space on VMFS?

Please remember that VMware snapshot on ESX are not backup or versioning tools.

Use them with moderation and do not them groove too much.

You can find a lot of post with serious problem with snapshot too big.


Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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could you give us some more info? do a "vdh -h" on the service console and post it here. do an "ls -lah" in the directory of the VM and post it here.


VMware Communities User Moderator | VCP | VCDX




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an ls -lah produced the following information

total 23G

drwxr-xr-x 1 root root 6.7K Jun 22 15:51 .

drwxrwxrwt 1 root root 2.1K Feb 10 09:31 ..

-rw-rr 1 root root 822 Jun 22 00:44 catalog

-rw------- 1 root root 1.7G Jun 22 15:54 DOT-GHOST-01-000001-delta.vmdk

-rw------- 1 root root 259 Jun 22 15:51 DOT-GHOST-01-000001.vmdk

-rw------- 1 root root 42K May 21 11:02 DOT-GHOST-01-000002-delta.vmdk

-rw-rr 1 root root 37 Jun 22 15:51 DOT-GHOST-01-66c24b8f.hlog

-rw------- 1 root root 384M Jun 22 15:48 DOT-GHOST-01-66c24b8f.vswp

-rw------- 1 root root 20G May 22 04:07 DOT-GHOST-01-flat.vmdk

-rw------- 1 root root 8.5K Jun 22 15:52 DOT-GHOST-01.nvram

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 4 05:39 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-10.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 5 14:48 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-11.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 6 05:28 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-12.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 7 06:25 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-13.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 8 05:17 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-14.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 9 05:18 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-15.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 10 05:14 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-16.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 11 03:39 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-17.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 12 05:06 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-18.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 13 04:55 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-19.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 14 06:37 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-20.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 15 05:09 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-21.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 16 05:26 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-22.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 16 21:21 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-23.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 18 02:26 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-24.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 19 00:51 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-25.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 20 05:24 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-26.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 21 01:43 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-27.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 22 00:44 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-28.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K May 23 04:14 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-2.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K May 24 03:06 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-3.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K May 28 19:01 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-4.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K May 30 05:24 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-5.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K May 31 06:46 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-6.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 1 05:35 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-7.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 2 00:28 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-8.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K Jun 2 22:39 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694-9.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 19K May 22 05:36 DOT-GHOST-01-Snapshot694.vmsn

-rw------- 1 root root 344 May 21 11:04 DOT-GHOST-01.vmdk

-rw------- 1 root root 495 May 22 05:36 DOT-GHOST-01.vmsd

-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 2.6K Jun 22 15:51 DOT-GHOST-01.vmx

-rw------- 1 root root 279 Jun 22 15:10 DOT-GHOST-01.vmxf

-rw-rr 1 root root 38K Feb 18 16:13 vmware-30.log

-rw-rr 1 root root 2.0M May 10 18:02 vmware-31.log

-rw-rr 1 root root 330K May 24 23:06 vmware-32.log

-rw-rr 1 root root 46K May 25 11:01 vmware-33.log

-rw-rr 1 root root 201K Jun 22 15:21 vmware-34.log

-rw-rr 1 root root 31K Jun 22 15:51 vmware-35.log

-rw-rr 1 root root 34K Jun 22 15:52 vmware.log


normally the vmsn files would go away on their own but they seem to be lingering which doesn't seem to allow us to create a new snap shot of the server. it is also showing DOT-GHOST-01-000001.vmdk as my running machine instead of the DOT-GHOST-01.vmdk not sure how I can get it to go back to running the DOT-GHOST-01.vmdk

I attempted to run at vdh -h but it says the command doesn't exist.

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Hi, i have the same problem. Using VMBK to take a snapshot it return this error: "VM Create Snapshot error: -3: Invalid arguments" . If i use VC to take a snapshot i have any problems.

I haven't existing snapshot and 99 GB free on vmfs partition (my VM is about 50 GB). Can Vmware Tools cause this problem?


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I have the same problem with a Windows Server 2003 R2 machine. Meanwhile I've found out that in my case the Volume Shadow Copy Services Support component of VMware Tools causes the problem. If I remove it then VMBK works fine. Unfortunately the installed MSSQLSERVER service doesn't response to the start or control request in time anymore. Also a manual start results in a error message. So the removal isn't a solution for me at all Smiley Sad

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