Unable to resignature or force mount snapshot volumes on ESXi/ESX 4.x/5.x
search cancel

Unable to resignature or force mount snapshot volumes on ESXi/ESX 4.x/5.x


Article ID: 332529


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


You may observe one of the following symptoms when using vSphere ESXi/ESX 4.x/5.x:

  • Add storage wizard shows a VMFS partition, but does not show a VMFS label.
  • Add storage wizard only supplies the option to reformat the volume, which would lead to a loss of all data.
  • Add storage wizard does not provide an option to Resignature the VMFS Datastore.
  • The /var/log/vmkernel or /var/log/messages log reports these VMFS Datastores as snapshot volumes.


VMware ESX 4.1.x
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Embedded
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Installable
VMware ESXi 3.5.x Embedded
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.1
VMware ESXi 3.5.x Installable
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Embedded
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Installable
VMware ESX 4.0.x


To resolve the problem with LVM Signature Mismatch, resignature or force-mount the Datastore.

Using esxcfg-volume or vicfg-volume

The esxcfg-volume and vicfg-volume commands are used to resignature or force-mount a VMFS Datastore. For more information on usage, see the vSphere Command-Line Interface documentation and the vicfg-volume reference.

For example:

  1. Obtain a list of volumes detected as snapshots or replicas using the command:

    vicfg-volume [connection_options] --list

  2. Resignature or force-mount a volume using one of the commands:

    • vicfg-volume [connection_options] --resignature VMFSDatastoreUUID
    • vicfg-volume [connection_options] --persistent-mount VMFSDatastoreUUID

This writes a new signature down to the LVM / VMFS Datastore. The volume may be brought back to a usable state. Paths to files on resignatured Datastores must be updated manually.

If esxcfg-volume or vicfg-volume doesn't work

If resignaturing or force-mounting a volume using the esxcfg-volume or vicfg-volume command fails, consider the reason: Failures may happen due to active I/O to the device, or because of another low-level problem.
Try the following in case of failure:
  • Take note of any errors produced by the esxcfg-volume or vicfg-volume command.
  • Attempt the operation from a different ESXi/ESX host.
  • vMotion all VMs off one ESXi/ESX host, reboot it, and attempt the operation from that host.
  • Consider whether there is an additional problem with the integrity of the VMFS Datastore.

Additional Information

For translated versions of this article, see: