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Cannot power on a virtual machine because the virtual disk cannot be opened (1004232)

Symptoms

  • The virtual machine cannot be powered on.
  • You see these errors:

    • Cannot open the disk '/vmfs/volumes/volume/vm/vm-000002.vmdk' or one of the snapshot disks it depends on.
    • Cannot open disk "/vmfs/volumes/volume/vm/vm-000002.vmdk": The parent virtual disk has been modified since the child was created (18).


  • In the vmware.log file of the virtual machine, you see errors similar to:

    vmx| DISKLIB-LINK : "myvm.vmdk" : failed to open (The system cannot find the file specified).
    vmx| DISKLIB-CHAIN : "myvm.vmdk" : failed to open (The system cannot find the file specified).
    vmx| DISKLIB-LIB : Failed to open 'myvm.vmdk' with flags 0xa (The system cannot find the file specified).
    vmx| Msg_Post: Error
    vmx| [msg.disk.fileNotFound] VMware ESX Server cannot find the virtual disk "myvm.vmdk". Please verify the path is valid and try again.
    vmx| [msg.disk.noBackEnd] Cannot open the disk 'myvm.vmdk' or one of the snapshot disks it depends on.
    vmx| [msg.disk.configureDiskError] Reason: The system cannot find the file specified.


  • The descriptor file of the virtual disk is missing.
  • The virtual machine fails when creating or removing snapshots.

Purpose

This article provides links to relevant documentation for resolving conditions where a virtual machine disk descriptor file is missing or invalid.

Resolution

This issue occurs when the virtual machine is unable to open a referenced virtual machine disk file.

To resolve this issue:

Note: The steps below provide instructions or a link to a document, for validating the step and taking corrective action as necessary. The steps are ordered in the most appropriate sequence to isolate the issue and to identify the proper resolution. Do not skip a step.
  1. Verify that the virtual machine disk files are present. For more information, see VMDK and -flat.VMDK Files and Corrupt VMDK File in Verifying ESXi/ESX virtual machine file integrity (1003743).

  2. If the ESXi host running the virtual machine has been upgraded to ESXi 5.1 you may run into issues as the multiextent module is not loaded by default.

    For more information, see Powering on a virtual machine after upgrading to ESXi 5.1 fails with the error: File [VMFS volume] VM-name/VM-name.vmdk was not found (2036572).

    If the host has not been upgraded to ESXi 5.1, proceed to step 3.

  3. If all of the required disk files exist, but you see one of these errors:

    • Cannot open the disk '/vmfs/volumes/4a365b5d-eceda119-439b-000cfc0086f3/examplevm/examplevm-000002.vmdk' or one of the snapshot disks it depends on.
    • The parent virtual disk has been modified since the child was created.

    See Resolving the CID mismatch error: The parent virtual disk has been modified since the child was created (1007969).

  4. If descriptor files are missing, you must recreate them. For more information, see:

If the issue continues to exist after following the steps in this article:
  1. Collect the VMware Support information. For more information, see Collecting diagnostic information for VMware products (1008524).

  2. File a support request with VMware Support and quote this Knowledge Base article ID (1004232) in the problem description. For more information, see How to Submit a Support Request.


Additional Information

See Also

Update History

06/29/2012 - Updated for 5.x

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