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“could not open/create change tracking files” error when powering on VM (2009244)

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Powering on virtual machine after a storage outage fails with the error:

could not open/create change tracking file

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


To resolve the could not open/create change tracking file vmdk_file_name error, rename the filename-ctk.vmdk file to power on the virtual machine after storage outage.


This issue occurs when the filename-ctk.vmdk file is not cleared.


To resolve this issue, remove or rename the filename-ctk.vmdk file:

  1. Make note of the SCSI controller type used by the hard disk.
  2. Remove the vmdk_file_name hard disk specified in the error message from the virtual machine.
  3. Open a Secure Shell session to the host. For more information, see Using Tech Support Mode in ESXi 4.1 and ESXi 5.0 (1017910).
  4. Navigate to the virtual machines folder:


  5. Remove or rename the filename-ctk.vmdk file.
  6. Re-add the hard disk back to the virtual machine using the SCSI controller type from step one.
  7. Edit the descriptor file (.vmdk) and remove or comment out any references that specify use of a ctk file.
  8. Power on the virtual machine.

Additional Information

You may experience these additional symptoms:
  • No CTK variables on the virtual machine configuration (.vmx).
  • When the virtual machine is powered on, you see error similar to:

    invalid signature change in tracking file


change tracking file, virtual machine, could not open, power on, could not open/create change tracking file, Error: VM failed to resume on the destination during early power on. module diskearly power on failed, could not open/create change tracking file. *.vmdk file shows zero size


change tracking file, virtual machine, could not open, power on

See Also

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  • 41 Ratings