Unable to snapshot a ESXi VM with “Operation not allowed in current state” when using PCI pass through

I have recently put ESXi on another of my servers and am using Veeam to back up the machines. One of the machines, the file server, is using PCIe pass-through for the RAID card I am using for the main data volume.

The backups for this machine fail with a “Operation not allowed in current state” message. This message also happens if I try to snapshot the machine using the ESXi web interface.

This is unfortunately an issue with ESXi – you cannot snapshot a machine with PCI when it is running. There is a VMWare KB article here that details the issue.

  • This issue can occur when the PCI device is attached to virtual machine. Snapshots are not supported with the PCI devices.
  • To resolve the issue, remove the PCI device to create the snapshot or power off the virtual machine and take a snapshot.

As removing the PCI device would stop me accessing the volume I am trying to back up to, this is not an option. I will try backing up the VM using the Veeam Agent instead.

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