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VMware VM wont start with snapshot that has outgrown LUN

Error: There is no more space for the virtual disk XXX.vmdk. You might be able to continue this session by freeing disk space on the relevant volume.

Notes: I had no idea that was a snapshot on this home file server so was a surprise when i simply tried to move the vmdk file – to find all its associated -delta and snapshot files were missing! The changes I did here trashed all the changes to the vmdk since the snapshot – but as it was mostly for downloads i wasnt that upset… 🙂 I dont suggest folloing this unless you are sure 1) the snapshots are useless and 2) you are desperate to simply restore the flat VMDK without snapshots.

Steps i took that worked:
Noted the VM wasnt stated nor would it start.
Noted above error message
tried removing the secondary disk – couldn’t even edit settings
backedup just the -flat.vmdk and its disk descriptor to a separate / another lun that had lots of free space.
finally realised there was a snapshot file for the VM
ran the snapshot delete
server still wouldnt start
server required snapshot consolidation
consolidate ok
tried to start and got ‘The Virtual Disk is either corrupted or not a supported format’
vm still wouldn’t start
remove all reference to the secondary ‘data’ disk (edit settings)
start the VM (os was on separate original vmdk)
try once more to add original ‘data’ vmdk- this failed
add back the newly moved vmdk and disk descriptor
drive attached ok.

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