Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Locating orphaned vmdk's

When you have had a VMware environment running for several years and have had many admins interacting with this environment, there is a fair chance that there will be a number of orphaned vmdk's on the LUNs which are taking up valuable space.

I found a post on explaining two different ways of locating these vmdk's:

The first option is to simply look for all flat files that haven't been changed during the past seven days. This is easy and it works on ESXi 5.0. However, be careful before you start deleting files as a powered off VM, for example, also will show up in such a search (as well as probably also VMs with snapshots).

# find -iname "*-flat.vmdk" -mtime +7

Alternatively, you can pipe the output of the find command to ls see when each file has been modifed:

# find -iname "*-flat.vmdk" -mtime +7 | xargs ls –alh

And if you feel very safe that all the files can be deleted, you delete them all at once:

# find -iname "*-flat.vmdk" -mtime +7 | xargs rm -f

The second option which is a more thorough way of doing it is to run a powershell script (can also be found in the post) which looks for vmdk's which are not registered to a .vmx file. The script has been slightly modified by Danni Finne and can be found here:

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