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Virtual machine operations on a ESXi 6.0 host fails with the error: The specified device is not a valid physical disk device (2113450)

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  • Powering on a virtual machine fails.
  • You see the error:

    An error was received from the ESX host while powering on VM virtual_machine.
    Failed to start the virtual machine.
    Module Disk power on failed. 
    Cannot open the disk '/vmfs/volumes/virtual_machine_datastore/virtual_machine_folder/virtual_machine.vmdk' or one of the snapshot disks it depends on. 
    The specified device is not a valid physical disk device
  • vMotion of a virtual machine fails at 73%.
  • You see the error:

    General system error occurred - Failed to resume. A general system error occurred: Source detected that destination failed to resume.

  • In the /vmfs/volumes/virtual_machine_datastore/virtual_machine_folder/vmware.log, you see entries similar to:

    vmx| I120: DISKLIB-LIB_MISC   : DiskLibIsExtentPathSecure: Extent path "/vmfs/volumes/virtual_machine_datastore/virtual_machine_folder/virtual_machine-flat.vmdk" points to within the scratch directory "/vmfs/volumes/51c23edc-66823826-3149-d89d671440d4", rejecting as insecure.


This issue occurs when you have configured the ScratchConfig.ConfiguredScratchLocation setting to point to the base of your ESXi host's local storage and you have virtual machines running on the same local storage. This also occurs when you have the scratch partition on the base of the local storage and have put virtual machines in a sub-directory under the configured scratch partition. This is not supported with ESXi and any such virtual machine vmdk's are marked as insecure.

Note: This issue can occur on NFS storage where the scratch directory is the base directory of the datastore, and in the same directory as virtual machines directories, or virtual machine directories are in a subdirectory of the directory containing the scratch directory.


To resolve this issue, configure the scratch location parameter to point to a directory on the ESXi host that is a subfolder of the local datastore. In any case, the scratch directory and the virtual machine directories must be in separate subdirectory trees, and the scratch directory must never be defined as the base of a datastore which contains virtual machines.

For Example:
Set ScratchConfig.ConfiguredScratchLocation to /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/scratch instead of /vmfs/volumes/datastore1.

For more information on configuring the persistent scratch partition, see Creating a persistent scratch location for ESXi 4.x/5.x/6.0 (1033696).

See Also

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