Unable to clone windows VM using vCenter.

You may see following task and event.


An error occurred while quiescing the virtual machine. See the virtual machine's event log for details
An error occurred while taking a snapshot: Failed to quiesce the virtual machine
An error occurred while saving the snapshot: Failed to quiesce the virtual machine.



Warning message on VMNAME on HOSTFQDN in Datacenter: The guest OS has reported an error during quiescing. The error code was: 5 The error message was: 'VssSyncStart' operation failed: The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it. (0x80070422)


Similar error may come during backup/snapshot of virtual machine.

During cloning process, vSphere take snapshot with option “Quiesce Guest File System” for windows VM internally. During clone OR snapshot (when option “Quiesce Guest File System” is selected) OR back above error message can be seen.

What is Quiesce?

VMware Tools is used to quiesce the file system in the virtual machine. Quiescing a file system process of bringing the on-disk data of a physical or virtual computer into a state suitable for backups/snapshot. This process might include such operations as flushing dirty buffers from the operating system’s in-memory cache to disk, or other higher-level application-specific tasks. Quiescing indicates pausing or altering the state of running processes on a computer, particularly those that might modify information stored on disk during a backup, to guarantee a consistent and usable backup. Quiescing is not necessary for memory snapshots; it is used primarily for backups.

Here is the solution that should work in most of the situation.

  • Take console/ RDP to windows virtual machine. Open services.msc.
  • Ensure that Virtual Disk service is started and startup type is Automatic.
  • Ensure that VMware snapshot provider service is stopped and Disabled.
  • Ensure that VMware Tools service is running.
  • Ensure that Volume Shadow Copy service started and start up type is Automatic.
  • Ensure that the VMware tools version is up to date.

Clone the VM (OR run test Backup job or take a quiesced snapshot) using the vSphere Client.