Stopped VDR backup leaves behind hidden virtual machine snapshots

16 06 2011

Earlier this week a long-running VMware Data Recovery (VDR) job was stopped due to concerns over space usage on the source datastore.  While the job seemed to stop cleanly, it logged this error in the VDR logs:

error -3942 (Delete snapshot failed)

At first, this didn’t seem like a big deal – I simply went to delete all snapshots using the vSphere Client… and there were none listed.  Seeing the same result when pointing the vSphere Client directly to the host the virtual machine was running on, I started looking for a non-GUI way to do this and came across this KB article:

Committing snapshots on ESX/ESXi host from command line

These steps did eventually work to remove the snapshots, but it should be noted that I had to create another snapshot before the snapshot.get command would list anything.  Once the extra snapshot was in place the snapshot.removeall command did the trick.