The virtual machine has virtual disk in link-cloned mode that prevents migration


Sometimes vCenter loses track of the snapshots on a virtual machine and may show no snapshots when in fact there is one (or more) in place. If you look at the actual vmdk files on disk you will see “delta” files for each vmdk.

Also when you try to storage vMotion the VM you get an error like this one

The fix is quite simple:

1. Right click on the VM -> Snapshot -> Take Snapshot

2. Exit window and reopen it again. You’ll see a consolidation-helper snapshot like this one

3. Click on Delete All and click on close

Depending on how large the snapshot is it may take a while. Once done check the vmdk files again, the delta files should now be gone. Then try and storage vMotion the VM again.

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4 thoughts on “The virtual machine has virtual disk in link-cloned mode that prevents migration

  1. am says:

    it is not working,dude

    • stujordan says:

      Try this
      Shutdown the VM
      SSH to the ESX box and cd to the VM’s folder on the datastore
      Rename the .vmsd file to old
      Create a snapshot again then delete all
      See if that fixes it.

      If not you can always use vConverter to create a new copy without all the snapshots.

      • am says:

        i think renaming the vmsd should works though i havent had tried it
        i read from vm kb about this trick
        but can u tell me ur idea about using vconverter?did u meant to tell me to create another clone of the vm server?

        • stujordan says:

          essentially yes, if you can’t fix the issues with the snapshots and the VM boots you can vconvert it to a new VM either using the coldboot iso, standalone/integrated virtual machine (has to be switched off) or powered on (just like a physical server). I had to do a cold clone the other day as I had a VM with almost 300 invisible snapshots that had been created by backup software.

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