VMware Scheduled Snapshot Creation in a Task, Fully Automated

In this article we describe how to schedule a VMware snapshot in a task so that the snapshot creation is fully automated. This can be achieved very easily with just one command in the Windows Task Scheduler:

Create a batch file with the command:

vmrun -T ws snapshot "c:\virtualmachines\windows2019.vmx" mySnapshot

Replace the VMX path with your VM’s path and name the snapshot as you like.

The vmrun tool ships with all VMware products. In the case of VMware Workstation it’s in the path C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation. Don’t forget the quotes if you are dealing with paths that contain spaces.

To add the date and time to the snapshot name, try this instead:

set CUR_YYYY=%date:~10,4%
set CUR_MM=%date:~4,2%
set CUR_DD=%date:~7,2%
set CUR_HH=%time:~0,2%
if %CUR_HH% lss 10 (set CUR_HH=0%time:~1,1%)
set CUR_NN=%time:~3,2%
set CUR_SS=%time:~6,2%
set CUR_MS=%time:~9,2%
set SNAPSHOTFILENAME=%CUR_YYYY%%CUR_MM%%CUR_DD%-%CUR_HH%%CUR_NN%%CUR_SS%
vmrun -T ws snapshot "c:\virtualmachines\windows2019.vmx" %SNAPSHOTFILENAME%

Simply store those commands in a .bat and schedule it to run in the Windows Task Manager:

  1. Press the Windows logo key + R, type taskschd.msc and press Enter.
  2. On the Actions panel, click Create Basic Task
  3. Go through the steps
  4. When prompted, select “Start a program” as the task’s action, and click Next.
  5. In the textbox labeled “Program/script”, enter the full path to the batch file
  6. Click Next.
  7. Click Finish.

Make sure that you use the same Windows User in the Task Scheduler settings as the user that runs the VMware VM. Otherwise the vmrun tool won’t run.

See this page on how to set up the Task Scheduler to run a batch file: https://www.thewindowsclub.com/how-to-schedule-batch-file-run-automatically-windows-7

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