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Data missing from within a .vhd

Posted on 2010-09-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Our windows 2008 storage server rebooted due to an ntfs error.  When it re-started it went into chkdsk.  This server has TONS of files so it ran for over an hour.  One of its messages was: Inserting an index entry into index $0 of file 25"  After it finished the server seemed fine and I was able to access all the files I tested.  However this server acted as an iscsi datastore for a vmware esx 4.0 server.  I had a 146 gb datastore that contained a vm guest.  When the server restarted the all of the datastores on that server were empty!  So my guests were gone!  I spoke to vmware an all they could come up with was "there was an error on you storage device and we don't know why the files are gone.  Another odd piece is that esx reports the datastore as being a total size of 146 gb and an available size of 94 gb.  the size difference is the size of the missing files.
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Question by:jmwp13
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13 Comments
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:uescomp
ID: 33685846
I have seen some people suggest that you mount the vhd to another VM and run checkdisk on it, but I honestly think that your best bet is to restore the VM from backup.

Also, if you are getting NTFS errors, you need to replace the faulty hard drive or this will happen again, checkdisk is usually only a temporary solution.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:BloodRed
ID: 33685870
Does ESX still detect the iSCSI target as a VMFS datastore or an empty volume with 94GB free?  What software are you using to present the iSCSI storage to the ESX host?
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 33685955
Hi

I had a similar problem a few months ago, all the data was lost because of the chkdsk repair.

Dont now if is the same problem, but never fix a a disk(and large) with chkdsk without a full backup. This will disrupt all the data, the index etc.

Jail
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Author Comment

by:jmwp13
ID: 33685958
I am using Microsoft iscsi software target.  Esx sees the datastore as vmfs, but does not display any files despite it showing 60 + gb's being used.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:avishal19
ID: 33686095
Dear Friend you can use a product call gizmo. You can mount the VHD as logical drive and recover your data. When you use storage make sure that only one windows server access the lun else the problem will re occur
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Author Comment

by:jmwp13
ID: 33686142
I would be willing to try gizmo, but I am able to access vhd with the esx server I am even able to create new folder in the store.  I fear taht the chkdsk messed up mft or some other kind of indexing microsoft does
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:avishal19
ID: 33686452
ok lets try to boot the the server with acronis disk director you will be able to view the files
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Author Comment

by:jmwp13
ID: 33687040
I am not sure Acronis will work.  I can see the .vhd file on the server.  The problem is vmware does not see any data in the vmfs store, but reports space is being used.
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LVL 23

Accepted Solution

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Luciano Patrão earned 500 total points
ID: 33687233
Hi

Like i said before, the Windows chkdsk the disk, but disrupt the data/index of all files. Use the space in the disk, but the index is disrupt, so is not possible to access the data, and even we can access some of the files(in my example was a File Server, and thousands of files) the file is corrupt and cannot be read with success, and many just changed with the $

Many of the files from this file server was word and excel files, the files have the right size, name etc., but when it opens, there is no data inside, only free spaces.

If you do not have a backup from this, sorry but i think it will be very difficult you to get that data with success.

And dont forget this was in the Windows System side, not Linux(VMware) and will be more difficult.

That is my opinion.

Jail
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33687328
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 33687388
Hi bgoering

Yes we can recover a VMFS partition, but like i said in my last message, this was on a Windows System, so i don't think he can recover

But of course, he can do all he can to recover, and test all the solutions. But unfortunately i don't think so

PS: bgoering, I have write that P2V article already, take a look if you have the time. Sorry the spam on the question.

Jail
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33687486
Hi BestWay

I will take a look at your article and I appreciate it and will link to it in the future.

For this question I had read it as if the Windows system was a storage server that presents an iSCSI share to VMware, that in turn creates a partition and formats a VMFS datastore within that partition - so it might work if the partition table on the vhd was damaged by the chkdsk process.
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Author Comment

by:jmwp13
ID: 33687798
I am working with a vmware tech, I will pass this article on to him and see waht he thinks
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