vSphere 5.1 ESXi
virtual machine vmware.log file in VM “home directory”
Snapshots appeared to have deleted from GUI, however delta files still existed in VM directories

Trying to consolidate a snapshot and in the GUI you get the error:

“Unable to access file since it is locked”

In the virtual machine vmware.log the error is found:

“snapshotErr = A snapshot operation is already in progress”

Ok well this is all well and good, but no progress could be found on the system. When doing the ls -luth in the virtual machine home directory, no changes were being made to the VMDKs (deltas or flats).

I did find though, whether you see changes or not, run “ps -s | grep Snapshot”. This will display any VM with an active Snapshot delete process running. I used “while true; do ps -s | grep Snapshot; sleep 1; done” to continuously monitor the process.

I did find that eventually the VM’s vmware.log started populating with Snapshot activity, which made it obvious that it was working. I guess, this could be summed up as when you think you’ve waited long enough, wait longer.

Other things that helped:

How to restart the esxi services:


Snapshot Consolidation:


Troubleshooting Snapshot errors:


Monitoring Snapshots: