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VMware: Unable to remove an inaccessible NFS datastore

The backend storage volume corresponding to the datastore has been removed and the datastore appears as Inactive, when I want to remove (via vSphere Client connected to vCenter server) the NFS datastore I receive this error message:

Unmounting the datastore in vCenter Server fails with the error:
‘Call “HostDatastoreSystem.RemoveDatastore” form object “datastoreSystem-28” on vCenter Server “xxxx” failed. CannotRemove datastore ‘datastore_name’ because Storage I/O control is enabled on it. Correct it and re-try the operation




To resolve this issue, log in directly to each ESXi host that has access to the inactive datastore and manually remove it.

– Connect to the vSphere ESXi host using SSH

– Run this command to list the mounted datastores:

esxcli storage nfs list


– Run this command to unmount the NFS datastore:

esxcli storage nfs remove –v datastorename


The inactive NFS datastore has been removed

Note: if your datastore display name have some spaces, please use quotes


More information: VMware


Sander Daems is founder and author of this blog and working as a Lead (Sr.) Consultant by UNICA ICT Solutions. Sander has over 15 years experience in IT, primary focus: virtualization and modern worksplace.

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  1. Matt
    March 20th, 2015  (Quote) at 16:51  (Quote) | #1

    Its still showing under “HOME > INVENTORY > DATASTORES AND DATASTORE CLUSTERS”, but showing greyed out and (inactive). Is there a way to force the vcenter server to forget about it?

  2. Sergey
    October 1st, 2015  (Quote) at 20:29  (Quote) | #2

    Great common sense here. Wish I’d thugoht of that.

  3. March 20th, 2017  (Quote) at 10:20  (Quote) | #3


    Usefult Tip. Thankyou for sharing it.

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