Snapshot consolidation failed with error

Virtual machine was showing following alert:

Virtual machine disk consolidation is needed.  Virtual machine consolidation needed status

After trying to consolidate the virtual machine snapshots I received the following error:

Status: An error occurred while consolidating disks: Could not open/create change tracking file

Cannot complete the operation because the file or folder ds:///vmfs/volumes/*.vmdk already exists

SSH to ESXi host and browse the volume where the VM resides on.
cd into the VM folder and found flat files for each of the vmdk disks but the VM does not show that any snapshots exists.
Tried to vMotion the VM and received same error
Tried to storage vMotion the VM and received same error
Tried creating a new snapshot and delete it again but still could not consolidate afterwards
Found the following KB 2013520 which outlines the same problems but just for committing a snapshot that already exists.
The issue seems to exist due to corrupted CTK files.  These files are associated with each delta disk and flat file for the virtual machine.
  • Power off the VM
  • Create a temp folder in the VM folder on the datastore
  • Move all the CTK files into the temporary folder.  The files names will look like this “*-ctk.vmdk”
  • Right click the VM and select snapshot -> Consolidate
On a side note:
After doing some further investigation I found that the there was a very large snapshots on this VM (> 150Gb) and after committing the snapshot it seems to have corrupted the CTK files.  
CTK file description
Always nice learning something new each day 🙂

The CTK files describe the VMDK characteristics/attributes of which the actual ‘data’ is stored in the in the *-flat.vmdk file.

Like in our case if you have multiple disks attached to a VM, then you’ll have multiple descriptor files that link to their actual disks.  You can actually view the contents of the file  which provides information such as chain IDs, the type of VMDK, it’s data disk, hw version, etc.
These files are also used for change block tracking (CBT) and VMware has a good KB to read on this:

VMware 5.5 error – Invalid datastore path ”. – When creating new Virtual Machine

A new problem I found in VMware 5.5 is when you try to create a new Virtual Machine.

Debugging the problem:

I have never had any issues with creating new Virtual machines from scratch.  However i had to create a new OS template and started the process but received error:  Invalid datastore path.

Looking online I did seem to find this error popping up alot but not related really to my problem.
I did test the following:
•Verify that datastore mentioned in the error is connected and accessible.
•Verify that the file exists in the datastore.

•Ensure that the file name does not contain non-Basic Latin characters.

Kind of figure the problem storage or permission from error message so  I went through my custom VM steps and under storage selection I always choose the Storage cluster and keep storage DRS enable so VMware make the recommendation of where to place the disks.  This is where the problem lies for some reason….


When you create the VM and under storage selection if you choose the storage cluster, make sure you disable Storage DRS for the VM and select the datastore manually.

This seems to have fix my issues and I was able to create the VM successfully.

Cannot use vSphere Client to edit the settings of virtual machine of version 10 or higher

After upgrading to VMware 5.5.0 and you are also considering upgrade the Virtual machine compatibility from v9 to v10 I do recommend performing a snapshot or backup of the VM before hand:

You are no longer able to edit your Virtual machines through the vSphere client in v10!

If you still have users/employees connecting through the regular vSphere client, you might want to consider this or have them access the web client going forward.

Here are the hardware version features to consider: