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Importing Data Store into VMWare ESXi

Posted on 2009-05-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a hard disk that contains many VM's on it and I need to move it from one ESXi server to another.  When Install it in the new ESXi server and go to add it using the storage wizard, it tells me that all data will be destroyed.  Is there a way to import a drive rather than create it?
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Question by:ged125
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Expert Comment

by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 24331747
The easiest method is browse the current datastore and download the VMs (while shutdown) using the datastore browser.  Once you have download them you can create a new server with a new datastore and upload the VM folders.  Once imported you can browse to the vmx file and register with the ESXi server.

If you had enterprise licensing and virtual center you could have cold migrated from one server to the second server but I assume that you don't have vCenter.

Another method is to use vConverter to choose your source as source ESXi with VMs and your destination and the destination as the new ESXi server and let it do everything for you.

My $.02
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ged125 earned 0 total points
ID: 24331783
This ended up being the solution:

To add the disk to another server see option 3 on page 118.

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi3_35/esx_3/r35/vi3_35_25_iscsi_san_cfg.pdf 
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by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 24331930
If you had stated that it was SAN storage that would have been good information.  You stated "hard disk" which is normally associated with local storage.  If you had stated that you had a LUN that would have helped.
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by:ged125
ID: 24331951
No, it was a local disk.  The key here was this advanced parameter:

Select LVM in the left panel, then set the LVM.EnableResignature option to 1.

Once that is set, you can refresh the storage devices and the drives show up.  If it had been a SAN I definately would have said something.  :)
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Expert Comment

by:Mesik2pp
ID: 24334271
Hi

Did you try to do rescan under Storage Adapters? During rescan ESX searches for new disks and VMFS3 partitions.
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