VMware : VM snapshot fail with error “The operation is not allowed in the current state”

By | April 4, 2020

Experiencing the following error when you attempt to take a snapshot on a specific VM?

The operation is not allowed in the current state.

The current article apply to a situation where this message is showed up, but the VM is powered-off. If your situation is otherwise, it may also apply.

If there is no pending action for that particular VM, the following three actions may apply.

1. Try to restart the management agents
a. Enable SSH on the host (Host > Manage > Services > TSM-SSH > Start)
b. Login on the hypervisor using your favourite SSH client
c. Run the following commands :

NOTE : You may temporarily lose contact with the host and VM visibility if it is joined to vCenter, this is a normal behavior and this won’t affect the VMs running on it.

d. After restarting the management agents, try taking the snapshot again. If the same error message still show up, try step 2.

2. Start the affected VM and shut it down properly, then try again the snapshot operation. If the same error message still show up, try step 3.

3. As last resort, remove the VM from the inventory, and re-add it :
a. Make sure you know on which datastore and folder the VM is located (hint: look for the vDisk path in the hardware properties if you don’t know)
b. Shutdown the VM if not already powered-off
b. Right click on the VM > Unregister > Ok
c. Browse to the datastore and folder where the VM is located
d. Right click on the VMX file, and then Register VM

Snapshot function should be working properly at this stage. If it does not, I would suggest you investigate further looking at the logs (vmkernel.log) and maybe suggest rebooting the host.