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Storage vMotion fails with the error: virtual machine has virtual disk in link-clone mode (1014249)

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Symptoms

  • Storage vMotion fails on a virtual machine that has been moved previously using Storage vMotion.
  • If you try to perform Storage vMotion, you see this error for each disk:

    • Virtual machine has virtual disk in link-clone mode
    • A general system error occurred: the vm has virtual disk in link-cloned mode that prevents migration

  •  Linked clones are not in use for this virtual machine.

Purpose

This article is applicable if you experience these issues on virtual machines that do not use linked clones. When linked clones is enabled on the virtual machine, you cannot perform Storage vMotion of the virtual machine and this article does not apply.

Note: Linked clones is a VMware technology that is used primarily in VMware View and Lab Manager environments. For information on moving linked clone desktops, see How to delete and re-deploy a persistent desktop virtual machine without losing the persistent data (1026202).

Resolution

This issue can occur if vCenter Server has cached an incorrect reference to the virtual machine disk backing information, and no linked clones are in use.

There are several different options to workaround this issue. Each workaround causes vCenter Server to refresh its cache of the virtual machine's disk backing information:

  • Migrate the virtual machine between hosts.
  • Create and delete a snapshot for the virtual machine.
  • Unregister and re-register the virtual machine.
  • Restart the VMware Management agents.
  • Convert the virtual machine to destination datastore

Migrating the virtual machine between hosts

To migrate the virtual machine between hosts using vMotion or cold migrate:

  1. Open the vSphere Client and connect to the vCenter Server as a user with administrative privileges.
  2. Go to the Hosts and Clusters Inventory view.
  3. Right-click the virtual machine.
  4. Click Migrate....
  5. Migrate the virtual machine to an alternate host.
  6. Repeat the storage vMotion operation.

Creating and deleting a snapshot for the virtual machine

To create and delete a snapshot for the virtual machine:

  1. Open the vSphere Client and connect to the vCenter Server as a user that has administrative privileges.
  2. Go to the Hosts and Clusters Inventory view.
  3. Right-click the virtual machine.
  4. Click Snapshots > Take Snapshot....
  5. Create a snapshot and provide all necessary information.
  6. Right-click the virtual machine.
  7. Click Snapshot > Snapshot Manager....
  8. Select the snapshot created in step 5 and click Delete All.
  9. Click Close.
  10. Repeat the Storage vMotion operation.
Note: There may be redolog files on disk from former snapshots, even if the vSphere Client does not display any snapshots in the Snapshot Manager. For more information, see Committing snapshots when there are no snapshot entries in the snapshot manager (1002310).

Unregistering and registering the virtual machine

To unregister and reregister the virtual machine:

  1. Open the vSphere Client and connect to the vCenter Server as a user that has administrative privileges.
  2. Shut down the virtual machine.
  3. Remove the virtual machine from the Inventory.
  4. Re-add the virtual machine to the Inventory. For more information, see Registering or adding a virtual machine to the inventory (1006160).
  5. Start the virtual machine.
  6. Repeat the Storage vMotion operation.

Restarting the VMware Management agents

For information on how to restart the management agents on a VMware ESX or ESXi host, see Restarting the Management agents on an ESX or ESXi Server (1003490).

Converting the virtual machine

To convert the virtual machine, you can use vCenter Converter and choose your preferred datastore as the destination. This creates a copy of the virtual machine on that datastore. After the task completes and the new virtual machine is tested, the original virtual machine can be deleted. For more information, see Best practices for using and troubleshooting VMware Converter (1004588).

Additional Information

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See Also

Update History

01/27/2010 - Added link to KB 1002310. 05/26/2010 - Modified step 8 to create and delete snapshots 05/30/2011 - Added information on linked clones and link to 1026202 10/31/2013 - Added section for converter 12/10/2013 - Added additional error to the Symptoms section

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