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Vmware Error: Failed to initialize swap file – How to fix?

by | Jun 19, 2021

Stuck with the Vmware Error: Failed to initialize swap file? We can help you.

Most often, the VM fails to power on with this error.

As part of our Server Management Services, we assist our customers with several Vmvare queries.

Today, let us see how to fix problems when a VM fails to power on due to swap file problems.


Vmware Error: Failed to initialize swap file

Recently, one of our customers came across an issue with their Virtual machine. It fails to power on with the error:

Error: Failed to initialize swap file

In addition to this, in the vmware.log for the VM, we may see errors creating the swap file.

The most common cause of this is:

  • The datastore is out of space
  • File lock issues
  • Datastore issues

This prevents VMs from being able to power on. Reducing VM memory can cause performance problems with guest operating system applications



Moving ahead, let us see how we can fix this error. Our Support Techs suggest the following methods as it is effective.

  • Verify the datastore has enough space to run the VM
  1. Initially, we right-click the virtual machine in the vCenter or ESXi UI, select Edit Settings…
  2. We make note of the memory allocated to the VM
  3. Then, if the rest is less than the size of the VM memory, we chose from:
    a) Move the VM’s swap file location to a different datastore
    b) Consolidate VM snapshot files and clear space
    c)Storage vMotion VMs to a different datastore to free space
    d)Reduce the allocated memory for the VM
    e)Add space to the datastore
  • Check for input/output errors when listing VM files from the host
  1. To do so, we connect to the ESXi host the VM resides
  2. Then we navigate to the VM’s directory:
    ls -lha
  3. Suppose, there are I/O errors with that command,
    a) Troubleshoot the data store for any integrity issues.
    b) Restore or rebuild VM on a healthier datastore
  4. Then we look at vmware.log for this VM to see if there are any input/output errors:
    cat vmware.log |less


  5. In case of input/output errors:
    a) Try to storage vMotion the VM
    b) Troubleshoot datastore problems, or
    c) Restore or rebuild the VM to a healthier datastore
  • Check the VM’s directory if the .vswp file already exists

Suppose there are no I/O errors. Then we check the VM’s directory if the .vswp file already exists

  1. Firstly, we remove the .vswp file:
    rm *.vswp
  2. Eventually, if the files fail to delete:
    a) Check the storage array for errors
    b) Migrate, restore or rebuild VM to healthier datastore
  3. Later, if the .vswp file is removed we try again to power on the VM.

[Failed with the fix? We’d be happy to assist]



In short, we saw how our Support Techs fix the Vmware error for our customers.


Never again lose customers to poor server speed! Let us help you.

Our server experts will monitor & maintain your server 24/7 so that it remains lightning fast and secure.


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