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Some days ago I found a strange issue with vSphere 5 where some VMs was not movable with Storage vMotion with a strange error: The method is disabled by ‘SYMC-INCR dd-mm-yyyy hh:mm’.

From the name SYMC my first though went on Symantec Backup Exec (the 2010 R3 version) and may on some corrupted snapshots: but the VM file where good, and there was nothing to be consolidate.

I’ve looked in the VMware KB and I found the KB 2008957 (Storage vMotion fails with the error: The method is disabled by ‘SYMC-INCR dd-mm-yyyy hh:mm’) with the symptoms and an a possible explanation: seems that Backup Exec (but probably also NetBackup) add an information (_DP-VEPA_BACKUP_RESTORE_LOCK_) to the VM before the backup that it will removed after the job. This info seems stored in the vCenter Database.

In fact, the suggested workaround for issue is:

  1. Power off the virtual machine.
  2. In the vSphere Client, right-click the virtual machine and click Remove from Inventory.
  3. Browse to the datastore where the virtual machine resides.
  4. Right-click the .vmx file of the virtual machine and click Add to Inventory. This gives the virtual machine a new ID.
  5. Power on the virtual machine and retry the Storage vMotion.

Unfortunately is not a good solution because it temporally stop the VM. In some cases (but not in all) a full backup could fix the issue.

But probably the best solution is fix it in the vCenter Database. The KB 1021265 (Manually enable vSphere solutions) explain how works the extensible framework and probably by removing the entries in the related table the issue can be fixed.


Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-24. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-23. Nutanix NTC 2014-20. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.