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carpii
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Can't snapshot most of my VM's - "required file was not found"

I'm offering $100 to a charity of your choice, if you can help me resolve this. It's causing me so many headaches - Thanks

 

Background

2 months ago, I had a licensed ESXi 6.x homelab server, and was backing up each VM every night using "Synology Active Backup for Business"

This consisted of 1 windows 11 VM, and about 10 different flavoured linux VM's

 

One day my backups suddenly started failing

This is when I realised I was no longer able to snapshot my VM's - something I still don't understand (but also the reason my backups were failing)

Eventually I suspected an faulty SSD drive, so I replaced that.
My vSphere 6.x license was also expiring, so I reinstalled my vSphere server with a brand new licensed vSphere 7.0 Update 3.

 

 

Problem

So despite a new SSD drive and a brand new vSphere 7 install, I still cannot snapshot my VM's 

They all fail with 'A required file was not found'

 

The /vmfs/../.. path is valid, and the snapshot destination file it's trying to use does not already exist

The VM has vmtools installed 

The destination volume for the snapshot is nowhere near capacity

How can I find out which file it's referring to, when vSphere says "the "required file was not found"?

I've checked the raw vmx file to make sure its not trying to reference any files (or mount an ISO) on the old SSD drive identifier. 

Ive ran out of ideas at this point. Please help me fix this 😞

 

 

 

 

 

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depping
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That is a snapshot for sure. What you can do, if there's no "consolidate" option is to clone the VM, this will clean up the snapshots on the destination VM. Then delete the old VM and you will be good to go probably.

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depping
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Do any snapshots exist already?

carpii
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Nothing appearing in Snapshot Manager.

But when I list the files via ssh, I'm seeing a bunch of *separse.vmdk files (but no delta.vmdk files, or .vmsn files).

Initially I thought separse was something to do with thin disk provisioning, but now Im wondering if they could be orphaned snapshots files?

If so (and assuming I cant link these back up to the VM), are these safe to delete?

Thanks

 

 

[root@vsphere:/vmfs/volumes/5d260dd8-042c3326-db3d-80ee73e51739/web] ls -l
total 9938112
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root     103018833 Nov 15 19:23 vmware-12.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root       1616579 Nov 18 00:49 vmware-13.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root      14095949 Nov 28 12:44 vmware-14.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root        871591 Nov 28 20:37 vmware-15.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root       1528040 Nov 29 09:28 vmware-16.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root        795066 Nov 29 15:19 vmware-17.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root       3213717 Nov 30 17:47 vmware.log
-rw-------    1 root     root      83886080 May 25  2022 vmx-web-2847602190-2.vswp
-rw-------    1 root     root      83886080 Nov 29 09:32 vmx-web-938a9f6c21473ac19f739d7d0e9e65ecd2f27a6d-1.vswp
-rw-------    1 root     root      83886080 Nov 29 15:23 vmx-web-938a9f6c21473ac19f739d7d0e9e65ecd2f27a6d-2.vswp
-rw-------    1 root     root      46137344 Oct 12 01:36 web-000001-sesparse.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root      46137344 Oct 12 01:36 web-000002-sesparse.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root      46137344 Oct 12 01:36 web-000003-sesparse.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root      46137344 Oct 12 01:37 web-000004-sesparse.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root     1073741824 Nov 29 09:32 web-0112358c.vswp
-rw-------    1 root     root        655872 Nov 30 02:38 web-ctk.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root     10737418240 Nov 30 17:47 web-flat.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root          8684 Nov 30 07:20 web.nvram
-rw-------    1 root     root           552 Nov 30 02:37 web.vmdk
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root            45 Nov 30 02:37 web.vmsd
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root          3687 Nov 30 02:36 web.vmx
-rw-------    1 root     root             0 Nov 28 20:49 web.vmx.lck
-rw-------    1 root     root           150 Nov  1 06:24 web.vmxf
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root          3659 Nov 30 02:36 web.vmx~

 

 

 

 

 

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a_p_
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A file listing (ls -lisa) of the VM's folder might help.

André

carpii
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I included an 'ls -l' in my previous reply, but here's an 'ls -lisa'

I haven't spotted any real difference - although some files are R/W by owner only (root), which I assume is the account vSphere accesses them as?

 

 

[root@vsphere:/vmfs/volumes/5d260dd8-042c3326-db3d-80ee73e51739/web] ls -lisa
total 9939264
   1284    128 drwxr-xr-x    1 root     root         77824 Nov 30 02:37 .
      4   1024 drwxr-xr-t    1 root     root         77824 Nov 20 22:02 ..
50332100 101376 -rw-r--r--    1 root     root     103018833 Nov 15 19:23 vmware-12.log
54526404   2048 -rw-r--r--    1 root     root       1616579 Nov 18 00:49 vmware-13.log
96469444  14336 -rw-r--r--    1 root     root      14095949 Nov 28 12:44 vmware-14.log
301990340   1024 -rw-r--r--    1 root     root        871591 Nov 28 20:37 vmware-15.log
318767556   2048 -rw-r--r--    1 root     root       1528040 Nov 29 09:28 vmware-16.log
331350468   1024 -rw-r--r--    1 root     root        795066 Nov 29 15:19 vmware-17.log
348127684   4096 -rw-r--r--    1 root     root       3461898 Nov 30 20:04 vmware.log
37749188  81920 -rw-------    1 root     root      83886080 May 25  2022 vmx-web-2847602190-2.vswp
322961860  81920 -rw-------    1 root     root      83886080 Nov 29 09:32 vmx-web-938a9f6c21473ac19f739d7d0e9e65ecd2f27a6d-1.vswp
339739076  81920 -rw-------    1 root     root      83886080 Nov 29 15:23 vmx-web-938a9f6c21473ac19f739d7d0e9e65ecd2f27a6d-2.vswp
62915012  45056 -rw-------    1 root     root      46137344 Oct 12 01:36 web-000001-sesparse.vmdk
67109316  45056 -rw-------    1 root     root      46137344 Oct 12 01:36 web-000002-sesparse.vmdk
71303620  45056 -rw-------    1 root     root      46137344 Oct 12 01:36 web-000003-sesparse.vmdk
75497924  45056 -rw-------    1 root     root      46137344 Oct 12 01:37 web-000004-sesparse.vmdk
335544772 1048576 -rw-------    1 root     root     1073741824 Nov 29 09:32 web-0112358c.vswp
360710596   1024 -rw-------    1 root     root        655872 Nov 30 02:38 web-ctk.vmdk
8389060 8336384 -rw-------    1 root     root     10737418240 Nov 30 20:04 web-flat.vmdk
29360580     64 -rw-------    1 root     root          8684 Nov 30 07:20 web.nvram
12583364      0 -rw-------    1 root     root           552 Nov 30 02:37 web.vmdk
16777668      0 -rw-r--r--    1 root     root            45 Nov 30 02:37 web.vmsd
4194756     64 -rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root          3687 Nov 30 02:36 web.vmx
310378948      0 -rw-------    1 root     root             0 Nov 28 20:49 web.vmx.lck
79692228      0 -rw-------    1 root     root           150 Nov  1 06:24 web.vmxf
343933380     64 -rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root          3659 Nov 30 02:36 web.vmx~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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depping
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That is a snapshot for sure. What you can do, if there's no "consolidate" option is to clone the VM, this will clean up the snapshots on the destination VM. Then delete the old VM and you will be good to go probably.

carpii
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The consolidate disk option seems to always be available, and completes successfully, but doesn't fix the problem.

Rather than clone each VM, I first decided to just move the sesparse files into a subdir of the VM. After doing this snapshots are suddenly working again (and likewise my Synology backups)

Everything is working again now, which is a big relief.

 

Please choose a charity which can accept online donations, and I'll be happy to honor my offer

Thanks!

 

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depping
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Coincidentally I am actually raising money for a charity run I am doing next year, feel free to donate to that one, it is to support non-profit organizations that provide palliative care to cancer patients: 

gofund.me/c7ea4c37

 

Much appreciated!

carpii
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Great cause. On it's way, thanks