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Thursday, 3 September 2015

Snapshot still being created on a VM for hours but never ever completes? - Here's what to do.

If you are creating a snapshot or your backup product has tried to create a snapshot and many hours later, it is STILL trying to create the snapshot then you don't have many options.

Once you have tried the usual safe options like cancel, stop, stopping the backup job etc etc - then you are left with the KILL option.  And like the word kill, it is kind of final.  You will have downtime.  Only as long as it is for the VM to power backup etc but we all know those workloads are variable these days - so the downtime thing is a pain.

You will need

  • Putty client
  • The name of the host that the VM is on
  • The display name of the VM
  • Downtime
  • Console open on the VM that you are going to KILL


  • Go to the security profile on that host and enable SSH
  • Connect via SSH (putty) to that host.
  • Type in

    ps | grep vmx | grep <name of VM>
  • This will then display the VM in question like so

The first column shows the different processes that are tied to the parent process.  In this case, the parent process is 21592627 and it is that process that we need to kill.  Remember - this has downtime.

Just type in

kill <parent process number>

Now go to the console of the VM and you can monitor what is going on.  You should get an error message about the vmx file and the VM should restart.  You should then within a few seconds get the snapshot job cancel!  Yay!

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