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Unable to lock or unlock versioned object base



This technote explains why an IBM® Rational® ClearCase® VOB that has been moved from one server to another has problems being locked or unlocked on Microsoft® Windows®, UNIX® or Linux®.


After moving a VOB to a new server, attempts to unlock the VOB result in the following error message:

%>cleartool unlock vob:\Test
cleartool: Error: Unable to find replica in registry for VOB with object ID:"784756ff.a1034a36.91b9.8a:36:35:a8:de:0b"
cleartool: Error: Unable to locate versioned object base with object id: "784756ff.a1034a36.91b9.8a:36:35:a8:de:0b".
cleartool: Error: Unable to search for process guards
cleartool: Error: Unable to unlock versioned object base "\Test".

An attempt to lock the VOB would result in the same error as above, except the last line would appear as follows:

cleartool: Error: Unable to lock versioned object base "\Test".

Note: The VOB can be a base ClearCase VOB or AdminVOB or a UCM Component VOB or UCM PVOB.


The VOB that was moved has an AdminVOB hyperlink.

The Admin VOB is not or not yet available in the new environment.

The command cleartool checkvob -hlinks can confirm this:

%>cleartool checkvob -hlinks vob:\Test
Unable to determine if the following hyperlink is intact.
AdminVOB@42@\Test  vob:\Test -> <object not available>

Note: Even if the AdminVOB Hyperlink is no longer needed, it is impossible to remove it as the VOB is locked.


Delete it?  [no] y
cleartool: Error: Lock on VOB database "\Test" prevents all write operations.
cleartool: Error: Unable to remove hyperlink "AdminVOB@42@\Test  vob:\Test -> <object not available>".

Note: In most case, this issue arises due to a broken AdminVOB Hyperlink, however this can also occur due to other missing hyperlinks between VOBs, such as a relocation hyperlink.

Resolving The Problem

Here are 3 suggestions that to help resolve this problem:

  1. If the AdminVOB still exists, move it into the new environment, register and tag it. You will be able to unlock your VOB.

  2. Run the checkvob command (cleartool checkvob -hlinks) in the original environment, remove the hyperlink and then move the VOB.

  3. Attempt to unlock the VOB in a command shell, where the following environment variables are set:


    Note: You must be logged in as root (UNIX/Linux) or member of the ClearCase Administrator group (Windows) to be allowed to run this operation.

If for some reasons, option 3 is the only possible option for you and it is failing, contact IBM Rational Client Support.

Internal Use Only

Moved the following to the internal section as we don't want to mention the tool. The script should only be used as a last resort and we dont want customers to call in expecting this as being the fix:

If for some reasons, option 3 is the only possible option for you and it is failing, contact IBM Rational Customer Support. After review of your issue, a tool to unlock the VOB can be created.

Note: Once obtained, the tool should be removed and NOT be reused (even if the same VOB has the same problem). The reason is overuse can hide the larger symptoms of the problem and thus ultimately result in corruption or divergence in your VOB.
I had a customer with the same error message after moving a PVOB to a new domain.

I had the customer make a backup of the VOB and DB then I had the customer run a describe -long of the VOB. There was indication of errors and broken hyperlinks there...

Asked the customer to run the command cleartool reformatvob and this appeared to have fixed this.

When your unable to unlock a vob after you move the vob from one domain to another this may be an indication of database corruption to which reformatvob can fix.

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Document Information

Modified date:
16 June 2018