Delete All Snapshots VMWare infrastructure Client 95%

If you have decided to delete all the snapshots on a Virtual Machine, beware. This can take HOURS.

If you take snapshots, unless you have reason to, don’t keep them for too long or they will grow and grow on your ESX server taking even longer to delete when you get around to deleting them.

Delete All Snap Shots

In snap shot manager in VMWare Infrastructure Client there is a facility to delete all Snap Shots. This merges all the changes through all the snapshots back into the original disk and finally commits those changes. On a server I recently had to deal with we had a busy SQL server with 6 months worth of snapshot activity.


As you can see it was a mess with many GB of data to merge back in from a number of snapshots.


Once set away on the snap shot delete the task line in the VM Infrastructure Client sat at 95%, then claimed that the task had timed out! Yet the machine would not shutdown or anything as a pending task was waiting to complete. It turns out this time out is actually the infrastructure client timing out monitoring the task, not the task itself timing out.

After logout of Virtual Centre and into the actual ESX server of interest better information was shown, the task that could no longer be seen in VC was visible, sitting at 95%.

Snapshot Delete at 95%

There it remained at 95%, looking as if the task had crashed. I got faith from the activity monitor for the ESX showing extremely high disk and processor use. Then I checked Google and found others stating that whatever you do don’t try to stop it running and it may take some time. If you force the server to stop running the task you can destroy your VM image. It took over 3 hours for our server to process this delete. During which time the Virtual Machine was unavailable, unanticipated down time as merging snapshots had happened very quickly for me in the past, but then they had always been small.

It seems the server does a merge and commit, just wait, wait, wait and it will finish, but you will not see the progress move past 95% and the cancel option on the right click of the task will be greyed out…

You can see the vmdk files disappear one at a time as they are merged back into the base drive if you keep refreshing the data store they reside in. This may give a feeling for how quickly your server is getting through them. Eventually the disk activity dropped to zero and the virtual machine could be used again.

Lesson learned

Keep your snapshots under control, delete them if you no longer need them and don’t expect large snapshots to merge and commit quickly.

Results after the snapshot delete.

Dynamics GP slow to login or open forms, other users ok

Original post:14th March 2009

Updated 2016:

I notice that Ian had a similar problem that this solved too, see his post here:

Updated 2015:

GP offers a cache clear button (Remove Entries), under user preferences, I don’t think it existed/didn’t work or I didn’t know about it when this post was written, hence the drastic measures of removing the cache files. It would be wise to check the size of the cache files before and after “Removing Entries” to see if the size really does decrease. I would still advocate some audit/enforcing scheduled SQL script as mentioned later in the post to protect users from setting values for auto complete too high, especially in installations with very large numbers of items or customers/suppliers etc.


AutoComplete Setup is found from the user preference window, by clicking on AutoComplete button.

The problem report as reported:
Goods receiving, purchasing and accounts users all report some GP forms taking a very long time to open. Log in as admin or some alternative user and the problem does not occur. It was also observed that when a user’s network profile was deleted and recreated the problem went away (discovered by accident due to having to do this for other reasons and finding it solved this problem).
For information the company has over seventy four thousand items setup in inventory.


Above: AutoComplete is a great feature that I welcomed but now is causing problems

Found the solution

The clue to the solution was this post: How to troubleshoot slow performance in Microsoft Dynamics GP [login required] 

GP-Dynamics – Custom Programming a TSQL Collection

I stumbled upon this a new Dynamics GP site tonight, This site lists nearly one hundred useful SQL scripts to use when working with Microsoft Dynamics GP ERP system. I glanced down the list of scripts and dipped into some of them and it all looked like a good resource.

The site is orientated towards selling a technical manual on Dynamics GP, but this section is free. Of the scripts I looked at, some of them were naive, but not dangerous. Certainly enough to get out of jail free, I certainly would have relished such a resource back in 2001 when I started with GP, as it happens I have strikingly similar resource of scripts I’ve built up myself on my hard drive. A couple of examples from the site to give you the idea follow;

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Smart Connect for Dynamics GP Webinar

I attended a webinar today hosted by Touchstone’s Dominic Houlbrooke-Bowers, about Smart Connect for Dynamics GP


There are two ways to summarise this product from this demo (i’ve not yet read more);

Replacement for integration manager using eConnect to enforce the busines rules, providing a richer and much faster experience than integration manager.
A power user graphical user interface for eConnect

It has some very powerful extra features too like  push from internet placed excel or info path forms to web services and into GP.

Product description