In a previous post, I explained how snapshots work in VMware Workstation. Let’s take it a step further now and create our first snapshot. 


In case you haven’t read the previous post, you may want to see, “How Do Snapshots Work in VMware Workstation” before moving on. Now that we have gone over how snapshots work, let’s create our first snapshot by choosing VM | Snapshot | Take Snapshot. You can also click the Take Snapshot button, as shown in Figure A to take a snapshot of this virtual machine. Once the snapshot is complete, choose Snapshot | Snapshot Manager to manage your snapshots. With the Snapshot Manager, you can take, clone, and delete snapshots (and delete children), as well as edit snapshot names and descriptions. The Snapshot manager lets you manage and review all the snapshots for a particular virtual machine.

Figure A

Additionally, you can create a linked clone or a full clone of a snapshot. To do this, you must be active on the snapshot you want to clone and the virtual machine must be powered off when the snapshot takes place. If you take a snapshot when the virtual machine is powered on, you will not be able to clone the snapshot. To test this, take a snapshot with the virtual machine powered on or running.  Next, right-click and choose Clone This Snapshot. You will get a a message saying that you cannot make a clone of a virtual machine or snapshot that is powered on or suspended, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

In order to correctly clone a snapshot, prepare your virtual machine and then power it off. Now take your snapshot while the virtual machine is powered off. Inside Snapshot Manager, right-click on the snapshot you just took and choose Clone This Snapshot or click the Clone button. The Clone Virtual Machine wizard appears and allows you to choose a clone source from the current state or from a snapshot. If you have multiple snapshots, click on the applicable snapshot, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

When working with Snapshots, it is important to understand the difference between Revert and Go To Snapshot. Simply stated, Revert reverts to the parent snapshot of the current running state, whereas Go To Snapshot allows you to go to any snapshot you desire. Inside Snapshot Manager, you will always know where you are by the You Are Here icon (see Figure D). When you click the Revert button (Figure E), you are always taken to the immediate left of the You Are Here icon in Snapshot Manager.

Figure D

Figure E

This should help you get started with snapshots. I find snapshots to be one of the greatest features of VMware Workstation. Do you agree?