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How to delete orphaned entries in the vCenter?

with 4 comments

The View Composer brings the linked clone technology to the View solution. Due to that the environment will need less storage for the virtual desktops. Form a technical View the Parent VM and the Snapshot will be combined as one VM or Entity. The virtual machine will be protected from deleting in the vCenter due to different linked clones a referencing to it.

The right way to manage the VM’s is not the vCenter, it’s the View manager/View Composer. If a linked clone is created, recomposed or deleteted this information will be set in the Entity. Rarely it is possible that something fails and there is a need to manually delete the clone from the vCenter. Due to the protection it is not possible to directly deletete the VM even not as Administartor. The View Composer comes with a tool called SVICONFIG.EXE which can be found in the folder: "C:\Program Files\VMware View Composer\SviConfig.exe". You’ll need to use this tool to unlock the VM’s for deleting.

The following steps describe the unlocking of the main directory and the contained virtual machines.


  1. On the vCenter/View Composer server: Start / Run../ CMD
  2. Change to directory "C:\Program Files\VMware\ VMware View Composer"
  3. Execute the following command (change the vCenter URL)

*“SviConfig -operation=UnprotectEntity -VcUrl=
* -Username=admin -Password=pass -InventoryPath="/My*
* Datacenter/vm/MyReplicaFolder" -Recursive=True*”*

If the process was sucessfull a message stating that is given. After that it’s possible to delete the orphaned entries in the vCenter.

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Written by Christoph Harding

April 16th, 2009 at 6:44 pm

  • Baz

    I notice under View 3.1/Composer 1.1 that this no longer works

    SviConfig -operation=UnprotectEntity now says it does not exist

    How do you clear orphaned entries with the latest version?

  • Christoph Dommermuth

    I’ve just tested it with the 3.1 version and it gave me that …..

    C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware View Composer>SviConfig.exe -operation=UnprotectE
    This operation will remove the protection from a VC entity.
    Currently only VirtualMachine and Folder entities are supported.


    All parameters are not allowed to be an empty string.
    The following parameters are required:
    VcUrl – The url of the Virtual Center server, where the protected
    virtual machine is located.
    Username – The username that will be used to connect to the VC server.
    Password – The password for the username to connect to the VC server.
    InventoryPath – The VC entity inventory path.
    The following parameters are optional:
    Recursive – If the entity is folder, setting this parameter to ‘true’ will un
    protect recursively folder’s content (VMs and folders). If the entity is VM, thi
    s parameter will be ignored. Default value is ‘false’.

    A virtual machine can be created under the default vmFolder or under user specif
    ied folder (vmFolder subfolder).
    A folder can be created under vmFolder (to organize VMs) or under hostFolder (to
    organize hosts).

    InventoryPath syntax is the following:
    1. To unprotect a VM, that is in the vmFolder:
    2. To unprotect a VM, that is in a folder:

  • Baz

    Thanks Christoph, must have had some typo in my technotes on this.

    Typing it manually worked fine


  • Christoph Dommermuth

    Cool! Thanks for the reply.

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