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  • 1.  Removing Empty directories From Datastore

    Posted Oct 03, 2008 09:55 AM

    We are currently using esxpress for backing up our VMs. The only issue I have had is that using the VI Client to delete a VM leaves behind the directory and a phd subdirectory due to esxpress.

    I would like a script to remove all directories on a datastore that do not contain any files (just the phd subdirectory)

    I am new to powershell and the VI Toolkit so any help would be appreciated

  • 2.  RE: Removing Empty directories From Datastore

    Posted Oct 05, 2008 02:52 PM

    Well that looked like a nice challenge but it is was more tricky than I first imagined.

    In broad lines the script works as follows:

    - run for 1 specific ESX server. This could be generalised by adding an external loop over all the ESX servers (Get-VMHost)

    - find all occurrences of "phd"

    - for each occurrence count the number of entries in the parent folder

    - if that is 1 then there is only the "phd" directory

    - delete the parent directory

    Since the DeleteDatastoreFile_Task method requires a Managed Object Reference to a Datacenter when a datastore path is used,

    I have written a seperate function that returns the datacenter for a specific ESX server and a specific datastore.

    function Get-Datacenter-from-datastore-and-host($dsname,$hostname){
      $dcs = Get-Datacenter
      foreach($dc in $dcs){
        $hs = $dc | Get-VMHost
    	foreach($h in $hs){
          if($h.Name -eq $hostname){
    	    $dss = $h | Get-Datastore
    	    foreach($ds in $dss){
              if($ds.Name -eq $dsname){
    		    return $dc
      return $null
    $hostname = <ESX-hostname>
    $searchspecDir = New-Object VMware.Vim.HostDatastoreBrowserSearchSpec
    $searchSpecDir.matchpattern = "phd"
    $searchspecAll = New-Object VMware.Vim.HostDatastoreBrowserSearchSpec
    $searchSpecAll.matchpattern = "*"
    $esxImpl = Get-VMHost -Name $hostname
    $esx = Get-View $esxImpl.ID 
    $dsBrowser = Get-View $esx.DatastoreBrowser
    $fileMgr = Get-View FileManager
    foreach($dsImpl in $dsBrowser.Datastore){
      $ds = Get-View $dsImpl
      if($ds.Summary.Type -eq "VMFS"){
        $datastorepath = "[http://" + $ds.Summary.Name + "|http://" + $ds.Summary.Name + "]"
        $t1MoRef = $dsBrowser.SearchDatastoreSubFolders_Task($datastorePath, $searchSpecDir) 
        $t1 = Get-View $t1MoRef 
        while ($t1.Info.State -eq "running" -or
    	       $t1.Info.State -eq "queued"){$t1 = Get-View $t1MoRef}
        foreach ($result in ${
          if($result.FolderPath -ne $datastorepath){
    		Write-Host $result.FolderPath
            $t2MoRef = $dsBrowser.SearchDatastore_Task($result.FolderPath,$searchSpecAll)
            $t2 = Get-View $t2MoRef 
            while ($t2.Info.State -eq "running" -or
    		       $t2.Info.State -eq "queued"){$t2 = Get-View $t1MoRef}
    		if($t2.Info.Result.File.Count -eq 1){
              Write-Host "`t will be deleted"
    		  $tgtdsname = (Get-View -Id $t2.Info.Result.Datastore).Info.Name
    		  $tgthostname = $hostname
              $tgtdcImpl = Get-Datacenter-from-datastore-and-host $tgtdsname $tgthostname
    		  if($tgtdcImpl -ne $null){
    		    $tgtdc = Get-View -Id $tgtdcImpl.Id
    #		    $taskMoRef = $fileMgr.DeleteDatastoreFile_Task($result.FolderPath,$tgtdc.MoRef)
                $task = Get-View $taskMoRef
                while($task.Info.State -eq "running" -or
    			      $task.Info.State -eq "queued"){$task = Get-View $taskMoRef}

    Note1: the script only looks for such folders in VMFS datastores.

    If other datastore types should be included the "if($ds.Summary.Type -eq "VMFS")" test can be updated or removed.

    Note2: the script currently only lists all folders it finds and indicates if it will delete that folder.

    If you actually want to delete the folders remove the un-comment the line with the DeleteDatastoreFile_Task statement !

  • 3.  RE: Removing Empty directories From Datastore

    Posted Oct 06, 2008 05:03 PM


    Within esXpress there is an option to delete these empty phd folders when you delete a VM.

    In the esXpress phd menu -&gt; Maintenance Menu -&gt; Search and Delete Empty PHD folders.


  • 4.  RE: Removing Empty directories From Datastore

    Posted Oct 07, 2008 05:24 PM

    You could have mentioned this a bit earlier.

    No, just kidding.

    It still was a nice exercise :smileywink:

  • 5.  RE: Removing Empty directories From Datastore

    Posted Oct 07, 2008 07:05 PM

    Definitely looked like a good exercise to go through, it looks like a good script youn did

  • 6.  RE: Removing Empty directories From Datastore

    Posted Oct 09, 2008 09:01 AM

    Many Thanks

    I will try the script later, we have been offline (ISP Troubles).

    The reason I did not use the phd option, was that I would like to automate and schedule this task - I have enough to do already :smileyhappy:

    And of course being new to the toolkit and powershell, anything I can learn is great.

    Thanks again