VWware ESXi Deleted Snapshot Files


Today an admin was cleaning up one of our file servers, when he accidentally deleted out an entire shapshot file that should not have been live or located on the file server instead of the vmware store in the first place , but was - filename1_1-000001.vmdk . There is no backup of this shapshot. It is gone.

Now the VM now won't boot, and the logs report:

Message from server.com: VMware ESX cannot find the virtual disk
"/vmfs/volumes/34c09f6d-0dd64aff/VM1/VM1_1.vmdk". Please verify the path is valid and try
again. Cannot open the disk
'/vmfs/volumes/49887fe4-f4e75dfe-7c8d-0004239ac436/VM1/VM1_1-000001.vmdk' or one of the snapshot disks it depends on. Reason: The system cannot find the file specified.

We don't have virtualcenter but we do have console access to the VMware ESXi server.

I have taken the VM offline and created a backup to experiment. Does anyone know a fix for this? There are two snapshots and two disks on the server - it is the second disk that seems to be the problem - the D: drive of the server running the VM.

Looking through the .vmdk descriptor files, it seems like the first snapshot that is missing.

Any suggestions? I've read about the CID chain but that doesn't seem to apply when an entire shapshot is missing.

Thanks a million,

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console access to esxi doesn't do much install vSphere client and see if that can restore the vm without the snapshot as a snapshot is not required for a vm to run its a snapshot of the vm for testing for instance
mikeycisme123Author Commented:
Hi - I have vSphere client and am connected - can you describe the procedure to restore the VM?
If you just need to start the VM, edit the vmx file of the VM to point the base vmdk, your current vmx file should be pointing to the latest snapshot file, in your case the one that have been deleted VM1_1-000001.vmdk, look in the VM directory for the base vmdk file, it should be VM1_1.vmdk, edit the vmx file to point to this, before you do any changes to the vmx file just do a quick backup by copying it to another file name, dont worry the vmx file is really small it should take a sec
if you are not sure which one is the base vmdk, run this command
sudo cat TBAP34.vmdk | grep parentCID
you should get parentCID=ffffffff

Take note, there's no way to recover your snapshot files if you dont have proper backup but your VM should be able to boot with outdated data in it


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sorry replace TBAP34.vmdk with your base vmdk file :)
mikeycisme123Author Commented:
Thanks - if I have all but the first snapshot - which is the missing one - is there a way to incorporate the latest snapshot back into the VM? I have it's files
Matthew EnglandTechnology ConsultantCommented:
Sorry to say, you can not commit snapshots past the one with the missing data file. Snapshots, are similar to incremental backups, in that you can only restore up to the point of the lost snapshot, or the parent disk.


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