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Powering on the virtual machine fails with the error: The file specified is not a virtual disk (15) (1016838)

Symptoms

  • After an offline storage migration from a VMFS to NFS datastore, the virtual machine does not power on
  • Powering on the virtual machine after an offline storage migration fails
  • In the vSphere Client, you see the error:

    Cannot open the disk '/vmfs/volumes/.../VM_NAME/VM_NAME.vmdk' or one of the snapshot disks it depends on. Reason: The file specified is not a virtual disk.

  • The VM settings displays the disk size as 0, but the Datastore Browser displays correct disk size
  • Cloning the disk using the vmkfstools command fails
  •  Running the vmkfstools -v6 -d thin -i VM_NAME.vmdk VM_NAME_clone.vmdk command displays the error:

    DISKLIB-VMFS  : "./VM_NAME-flat.vmdk" : open successful (29) size = 32212254720, hd = 0. Type 3
    DISKLIB-VMFS  : "./VM_NAME-flat.vmdk" : closed.
    Destination disk format: VMFS thin-provisioned
    DISKLIB-VMFS  : "./VM_NAME-flat.vmdk" : open successful (14) size = 32212254720, hd = 183927111. Type 3
    DISKLIB-DSCPTR: Opened [0]: "VM_NAME-flat.vmdk" (0xe)
    DISKLIB-LINK  : Opened 'VM_NAME.vmdk' (0xe): vmfs, 62914560 sectors / 30 GB.
    DISKLIB-CHAIN : Disk '/vmfs/volumes/.../VM_NAME/VM_NAME.vmdk' points to itself as parent
    DISKLIB-CHAIN : "VM_NAME.vmdk" : failed to open (The file specified is not a virtual disk).
    DISKLIB-VMFS  : "./VM_NAME-flat.vmdk" : closed.
    DISKLIB-LIB   : Failed to open 'VM_NAME.vmdk' with flags 0xe (The file specified is not a virtual disk).
    Failed to open 'VM_NAME.vmdk': The file specified is not a virtual disk (15).

Resolution

This issue occurs when the .vmdk descriptor file is corrupt or missing.
 
To resolve this issue, create a new .vmdk descriptor file for this disk and then unregister and re-register the virtual machine. This ensures that the vSphere Client detects the correct disk size and the virtual machine powers on properly.
 
For more information on creating a new descriptor file, see Recreating a missing virtual disk (VMDK) header/descriptor file (1002511).

Tags

cannot-power-on  power-on-vm  vm-power-on-fails

See Also

Update History

09/30/2011 - Updated Products

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