how to back  up VM on CD and restore on another ESX host?

Posted on 2009-02-10
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I need to copy the working VM from one of the DRS site, by copying on to CD  / DVD , shut the VM down, get the CD to main office and restore it back on another ESX host.

How can I do that? Can any one please  show me steps for copy the VM on CD/DVD and resore it back to another ESX?

I know the basic stuff of VMware  but never did this before.

Thanking you in anticipation.
Question by:Aasitpatel
    LVL 21

    Accepted Solution

    You can use FastSCP which is free ( to connect to your ESX server to copy the files from the ESX server to your laptop/desktop and then from there to burn the files to DVD or an external hard drive (highly recommended). The VMFS partition can be normally found at the folder /vmfs
    And then you can do the reverse at the other side.
    You will need to enable SSH on your ESX server(s) for to be able to use FASTSCP. You can do that by running the following commands on your ESX Server's local console:
    Login as root
    nano -w /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    locate PermitRootLogin no
    place # in front
    exit nano save file (by pressing CTRL + X)
    Then you must restart sshd by typing service sshd restart
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    Forgot to add, after you have copied the files back to your 'target' ESX VMFS folder, to get that ESX server to register the VM so you can 'use' it with the VI Client, you can just browse the datastore using the VI Client and to click into the folder of that VM, right-click the vmx file and select Add to inventory.


    Author Comment

    Excellent, that sounds simple, thank you very much for your quick response.

     I have some more questions here in same regards -

    Question 1 : when I copy the VM to "target" ESX VMFS folder will it get copy with same old IP address, Computer name and Domain info and ready for use as before?

    Questions 2- What if I have to change domain after adding it to Target ESX? Will it be similar old fashioned "Domain change procedure" for windows? Or during copy from my USB HDD to 'target' ESX can I get some options to change domain name?

    Thanks you again.
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    The VMX file should stay the same ... but I've seen instances where it loses the IP address (if the Virtual guest gets a static DHCP reservation) due to the fact that the target ESX server has a different way of assigning MACS to the vNICs. But this is not a problem. You can just set it again.
    2) There will be no need to change the domain info as in the VM and it's SID will remain the same! This assumes this domain was being used at the DRS site. If the domains are different, then yes, you will need to change the domain using the normal procedures.

    Author Comment

    Thanks ZA_MKH,

    I going to try it in next few hours. will let you know the results.

    Author Comment

    Hello there,
    When I look at \vmfs\volumes I can see two folder for my VM, one with ESX UUID and one with the friendly name which I gave during creating this VM. The both has similar files and folder inside.

    I know it is quite natural here but got confuse now. Which folder to copy on DVD?
    any one OR both of them OR any particular one?

    Please reply me ASAP, as I need to get it back to office.
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    The one that is the in the friendly name is just a POINTER to the UUID folder. ESX uses the UUID but of course we can't remember that  you can just use the POINTER. It is the same thing.

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