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Snapshot guest failed: Failed to quiesce the virtual machine.

Snapshot guest failed: Failed to quiesce the virtual machine.

Recently had an issue where quiesced snapshots were failing for our Server 2012 VMs recently migrated to hosts running vSphere 5.5. Backups or a manual quiesced snapshots would randomly fail with the following error message:

The guest OS has reported an error during quiescing. The error code was: 4. The error message was: Quiesce aborted.


quiesced snapshot failed


After quite a while of searching for an answer, we finally found the Windows event message that lead us in the right direction:

The system time has changed to xxxx-xx-xx.

Change Reason: An application or system component changed the time.

time change


Every time a snapshot was created, the server attempted to update it’s time through VMware Tools. Since these were newly imaged ESXi servers, we hadn’t properly set the NTP servers to sync time yet. Because the ESXi hosts time was incorrect, some of them were off by exactly an hour, it caused the snapshot manager to quickly timeout because it thought it had been running for an hour.

After setting the correct NTP servers for the hosts, all snapshots and backups having been running without issue.


time config


About The Author

Bryan Krausen

Bryan Krausen is currently working as a Technical Architect with experience in a vast number of platforms.

Bryan has been active within the VMware vExpert community for several years and is the leader of the Louisville VMware User Group (VMUG) and Louisville AWS User Group.

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