in vSphere the task “create virtual machine snapshot” is stuck

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It could happen in vCenter a snapshot creation task is not completed, and it remains stuck in the starting state for an unlimited time, just like in this screenshot:

Snapshot task is stuck

As you can see looking at other tasks in the actions list, the snapshot creation in my example started the night before at 21.37 and the next morning is still not even started. In this situation, every management task of this virtual machine is impossible. So, you need first to cancel this task; be careful this method will stop the virtual machine itself. So carefully plan when to do this task.

In order to cancel the task, you first need to verify on which ESXi server the virtual machine is running on:

Check where the VM is running on

Then, login into the ESXi console (via local shell or SSH). You need to find the running processes related to this VM:

Find the processes of the running VM

As you can see, there are several processes related to this VM. The second column shows the “parent” process, linking together all other processes. In my example it is 7788443. Using this value, you can “kill” the parent process by running the command kill 7788443.

In vCenter, the locked task will be suddenly terminated, and the virtual machine will stop. Once you will start again the VM, the problem will be solved.

Killed task