Monday, September 19, 2011

Running a VMware Site Recovery Manager recovery plan errors out with the message: “Error: Reason: Could not open/create change tracking file.”

Problem

You notice that executing one of your recovery plan errors out at the Prepare Storage step with the message:

Error: Reason: Could not open/create change tracking file.

The logs will show that the step fails as follows:

image

6. Recover Low Priority Virtual Machines

Error: Reason: Could not open/create change tracking file.

00:29:04

    6.1. Recover VM "someServer.domain.com"

Success: Host 'someServer.domain.com'

00:17:31

        6.1.1. Change Network Settings

Success

00:07:31

        6.1.2. Pre-Power On

Success

00:00:00

        6.1.3. Power On

Success: Host 'someServer.domain.com'

00:00:06

        6.1.4. Wait for OS Heartbeat

Success

00:09:52

        6.1.5. Post Power On

Success

00:00:00

    6.2. Recover VM "someServer.domain.com"

Success: Host 'someServer.domain.com'

00:12:30

        6.2.1. Change Network Settings

Success

00:06:40

        6.2.2. Pre-Power On

Success

00:00:00

        6.2.3. Power On

Success: Host 'someServer.domain.com'

00:00:04

        6.2.4. Wait for OS Heartbeat

Success

00:05:44

        6.2.5. Post Power On

Success

00:00:00

    6.3. Recover VM "someServer.domain.com"

Success: Host 'someServer.domain.com'

00:05:49

        6.3.1. Change Network Settings

Success

00:03:21

        6.3.2. Pre-Power On

Success

00:00:00

        6.3.3. Power On

Success: Host 'someServer.domain.com'

00:00:04

        6.3.4. Wait for OS Heartbeat

Success

00:02:04

        6.3.5. Post Power On

Success

00:00:00

    6.4. Recover VM "someServer.domain.com"

Error: Reason: Could not open/create change tracking file.

00:18:26

        6.4.1. Change Network Settings

Error: Reason: Could not open/create change tracking file.

00:18:26

Solution

There are typically two reasons why SRM will fail with this error message during a test or actual recovery and that’s because:

  1. The virtual machine SRM is trying to recovery has a snapshot
  2. The virtual machine SRM is trying to recovery has a corrupted CTK file (Changed Block Tracking also known as CBT)

If the issue is related to #1, try deleting the snapshot and execute the test again.

image

image

**Note that the virtual machine in the screenshot above does not have any snapshots which is why the Delete All button is grayed out.

If you suspect that the issue is related to #2, check the problematic virtual machine’s folder where its files are stored and see if there’s a CTK file:

image

I won’t go into the details of what the CTK file but if you want to read more about it, have a look at the following VMware public KB:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1020128

The easiest way to try and rectify this issue is to create a snapshot for the problematic virtual machine and then delete the snapshot.

image

This usually refreshes a CBT enabled virtual machine’s CTK file.  I haven’t experienced this problem many times but whenever I do, this appears to fix the problem pretty well.

Hope this post provides anyone who may be experiencing this issue a starting point on how to troubleshoot this error.

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