VMWare ESX3 Errrors after storage or host failure. Could not power on VM: No Swap File. Failed to power on VM

After a recent storage failure we started to see the error message when trying to power virtual machines on – Could not power on VM: No Swap File. Failed to power on VM.

It would seem that when the storage failed, VMWare didnt get a chance to cleanly shut the hosts down, although it did shut them down. This resulted in the virtual swap file being left on the filesystem, so that when the storage was available once again there was a orphaned vswp file. This was preventing the hosts from being powered on, because VMWare was seing this, thinking the hosts were on already and throwing an error.

The fix, manually removing the vswp file sorted this out.

I did it by ssh’ing onto the box, navigating to the datastore and the virtual machine directory, and then for safe measure, moving the vswp file to another name – .vswp.bak Then when I tried to power the machine on, it recreated the vswp file and the machine happily powered back on. Once this was up, I fully deleted the vswp.bak file to tidy things up, and we were back in business.

Note, we’ve also found that you might need to delete / move the hlog file too…

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