Odd issue moving VMDKs on vSphere 6.7U1

January 18, 2019 – 7:08 pm

While cleaning up our datastores, I had a pair of VMs with shared VMDKs that needed to be relocated. So I detached the VMDKs from both VMs, and using the datastore browser, I moved the files to their new destination. The VMDKs were Thick Eager Zeroed when created, and the move option doesn’t ask if we want to change the format so one assumes it will remain the same. Sure enough, the source and destination sizes are the same, so no changes to the file right? Well, no. I was unable to reattach them as they were showing as Thin Provisioned now.

To fix the issue, I tried running the inflate command with VMKFSTOOLS and received this message: The virtual disk (fakename-01.vmdk) cannot be inflated type: <11>, capacity: <10737418240>, space used: <10737418240>.

So basically, the tool confirms it’s not Thin Provisioned. To resolve the issue I had to attach them to a dummy VM and do a Storage vMotion twice (to bring it back to the actual datastore I want to use), detach the disk, rename it, move it to the appropriate folder and reattach to the original VMs.

I will be reporting this to VMware as I suspect this is not normal behaviour.

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