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Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in Infrastructure, Storage, Uncategorized | 4 comments

Solved: The Case of the Missing Snapshot and the Failed VDP Backup

You’ve been working in the lab creating a plethora of virtual goodness and figure you’ll do a backup so generations will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.  You download the vSphere Data Protection appliance and deploy it, schedule a backup job and get mixed success.  Looking through your log of failed jobs you see “VDP: Operation failed due to existing snapshot”.

VDP error message

You check the snapshot manager, but find no snapshots.  You even click ‘Consolidate’ – which completes successfully and relaunch the backup job, but it fails again.

“NOOOOO!!!!!” You cry out in unimaginable frustration.

Take a deep breath.  This is a quick and easy fix and you’ll soon be the virtualization hero again.  There are just some extra files in your VM folder that VDP doesn’t know what to do with.

  • Open your web or C+ vCenter client and find the datastore your failing VM is attached to.
  • Open the datastore browser for that datastore and find your failing VM folder.
  • Leave the datastore browser window open and go back to the web or C+ client and perform a storage vMotion on the failing VM to another datastore.
  • Upon completion, refresh your datastore browser.  You should see at least one file left over.
  • If the folder fails to delete, shutdown the VM and try again.
  • Once the original folder has been successfully deleted, kick off the backup job again.

VDP error


Congratulations!  You are a true virtualization ninja.






  1. Sounds like this would work great for everybody that is licensed for Storage vMotion, but what about those of us that use VDP with vSphere Essentials Plus?

    • Good catch! This post is applicable to shops licensed for storage vmotion. Something to try would be to manually download the files locally, perform the delete as outlined in the post and move the local files back to shared storage. Basically simulate a storage vmotion. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Essentials Plus allows for “Host and Datastore migration” from the web client – this is effectively vMotion and Storage vMotion in one – gets you around the problem! You can always vMotion the Vm back to the original host to balance workloads etc. later…..

  3. Hello Jason!

    Your post helped a lot us two times about VDP issues.

    Thank you a lot! 😀

    Best Regards,
    Juliano Flores

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