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Snapshot removal task stops at 99% in ESXi/ESX (1007566)

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  • You cannot observe the progress when you delete a snapshot.
  • The snapshot removal task stops at 95% or 99% and does not proceed.

    Note: For additional symptoms, see the Additional Information section.


To perform delete or remove snapshot operations and monitor directories in ESXi and ESX, use the watch command.


Note: Time involved to commit snapshots is environmental and subjective.

Monitor using watch in ESX 4.x and ESXi 4.1x/5.x/6.x

To monitor directories during snapshot deletion in ESX 4.x and ESXi 4.1/5.x/6.x:
  1. Log in as root to the ESX host using SSH. 
  2. Navigate to the virtual machine directory containing vmdk virtual disk files. Run the cd command to change the current directory.

    For example:

    # cd /vmfs/volumes/Datastore_name/Virtual_Machine_name/

  3. Run this command to list files in the directory:

    # ls -al

  4. Determine any VM_NAME-00000#.vmdk or VM_NAME-00000#-delta.vmdk snapshot files. Look for numbered files following the hyphen (-) in the name.

    Note: In ESXi 5.5, if the vmdk is larger than 2 TB, the snapshot file created is of VM_NAME-00000#-sesparse.vmdk format.

  5. To monitor the VMDK snapshot and base disks which are currently being updated, run this watch command:

    # watch -d 'ls -luth | grep -E "delta|flat|sesparse"'


    -d highlights the differences between successive updates

    In addition, run this command to monitor the time stamp update of the base disks to confirm if the process is working. The result lists the files by their modification date.

    ls -lrth |grep -E "flat|delta|sesparse"

    • In ESX/ESXi 4.0 Update 2 and later, the process works differently in that the data in snapshots (deltas) are written directly to the base disk (flat). 
    • If there are more than 10 snapshots, run this command to monitor the snapshot commit process and to prevent the screen from filling with many files:

      #while true;do date;ls -lht *vmdk|head -10;echo ________;sleep 3;done

    • You can quit the consolidation process monitoring by pressing Ctrl + C.

Monitor using esxtop in ESXi 4.x/5.x

If the base disks are virtual-mode RDM, you see the read and the delta files touch time. However, the time stamps of the RDM pointer file are not updated in ESXi 4.x/5.x. In such case, use esxtop command to monitor.

Monitor using vim-cmd in ESXi 4.x/5.x/6.x

For detailed monitoring, run vim-cmd command to confirm that the consolidation/deletion are active.

Additional Information

You experience these additional symptoms:

  • The hostd process does not respond.
  • Storage vMotion migration stays at 18% for a long time.
  • You need commands to monitor snapshot deletion in ESXi/ESX


Snapshot deletion commands, Snapshot deletion stuck, Snapshot removal stuck at 99, snapshot stuck at 99 percent, unable to consolidate disks, snapshot consolidation stuck at 99

See Also

This Article Replaces


Update History

03/30/2010 - Provided shorter watch command 04/28/2010 - Indicated that this article does not apply to ESXi 05/24/2011 - Added symptom 12/16/2011 - Added command to monitor the snapshot commit process when there are more than 10 snapshots 10/26/2012 - Added ESXi 5.1 to Products 11/29/2012 - Added ESXi 3.x and 4.x to Products and added additional symptom 11/30/2012 - Added vCenter Server 5.1 to Products 12/09/2013 - Added VIM commands 03/12/2015 - Added ESXi 6.0 to Products.

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  • 126 Ratings