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I am not able to see the "Take a snapshot of this virtual machine" enabled while the VM is running and active. It is found enabled only if the VM is powered off and not even when it is paused. I am using VMWare Workstation version 8.0.2 build-591240.

UPDATE: I am able to do the same in VM without a Persistant HDD. Why is the difference on having Persistent HDD.

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You can take a snapshot while a virtual machine is powered on, powered off, or suspended. ... but ... if a configuration requires you to use an independent disk, you must power off the virtual machine before you take a snapshot. So, do you use an indipendend disk? And does your problem occur on other machines? Just try a plain linux install with default settings. – Peter Mar 7 '13 at 7:18
@PeterI, I am sorry that I did not understand this concept of independent disk. My VM has two disk. One is Persistant (Dirve D:) and the other is Non-persistant (Drive C:) of which snapshot is stored each time. – RinoTom Mar 7 '13 at 7:22
You can find out if have an indipendent disk, by looking it up in your vm settings. But as you have no idea of what I mean by that, I guess it isn't set. Go to your VMWareWorkstation home and select the vm you want to create snapshot of. Then select Snapshot -> Take Snapshot. Is this working for you? If not, I don't know how to help you. Still suggesting to create a new vm to test if it works on default settings. – Peter Mar 7 '13 at 7:30
I just tried the same with another VM which is not having a Persistant hard drive. That is allowing me to take running snapshot. So I hope it is the persistant HDD is the culprit which blocks me from taking a running snapshot. But, the question is why is it so.? – RinoTom Mar 7 '13 at 7:48
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The problem is the independent (non-persistent or persistent) disk. While using an independent (non-persistent or persistent) disk, you are not allowed to take snapshots of a powered on machine.

You can for example, change the drive to non-independent (default) mode, which will allow you to take snapshots, while powered on. This will allow you to take snapshots.

How to:


  1. Power off the virtual machine.
  2. Delete existing snapshots.


  1. Select the virtual machine and select VM > Settings.
  2. On the Hardware tab, select the drive to include and click Advanced.
  3. Unchek Independent.

Why does VMWare prevent you from This could be explained because of the behaviour of non-persistent drives: "Changes to the disk are discarded when you power off or revert to that snapshot." So as it discards any changes on powering on, you would loose changes, which are saved to a snapshot.

Information found here:
PDF - Using VMWW 8.X

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You are telling the exact opposite. It is not the non-persistant drive but the persistant drive which is blocking me from taking running snapshot. – RinoTom Mar 7 '13 at 12:46
Well thats what the manual tells^^ – Peter Mar 7 '13 at 20:50
If you agree now, that this is a valid solution to your problem, I would apreciate, if you would accept it as an answer. – Peter Mar 8 '13 at 7:16

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