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Can I mount a VMFS formatted HDD from Windows or Linux

Posted on 2011-02-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a VMFS (ESX 3.5) formatted SATA hard drive that I have 2 VMs on. I would like to be able to retrieve the data off it from Windows or Linux. Is there anyway I can mount the drive and copy the data off? I have not tried from Linux yet, however in Windows 7 it shows up but is not accessible. I use Ext2 Volume Manager to read/write EXT3 partitions from my Windows but it shows this disk as RAW.

My hope is that there is some Linux package or Live CD that will let me mount this VMFS volume and pull the data off.
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Question by:ThorinO
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8 Comments
 
LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 34988740
If you have vmware consolidated backup it has a driver that will read vmfs
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 34988802
Hi

Sanbarrow site as done this with some tools.

If you want you can try this

http://sanbarrow.com/latest-video-esxi-exe.html

I never tested this.

Jail
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:droyden
ID: 34989086
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:TiMMay333
ID: 34991500
Here is what you can do:

1. Download a trial of vmware workstation on your windows pc
2. create a vm called esxi and install esxi (can be 3.5 or even the latest 4.1)
3. after installation is done, and you can boot up, shut down your vm, go into settings, add hard disk,
4. choose use a physical disk, this will mount a physical disk (like yours) onto the VM.
5. Boot up VM, and use the vsphere client (or in 3.5 virtual infrastructure client) and login to your virtual ESXi
6. your datastore should be there after a rescan, now just browse the datastore and download the VM's files.

 choose physical disk2.jpg
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 34991949
Hi

@TiMMay333 the video that I have added from SanBarrow is the process how to implement this.

Jail
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:TiMMay333
ID: 34991997
@bestway

understood, but the video goes a bit off tanget, and it was hard to follow. no real way to pause it.

Anyway, it doesnt matter, as long as the OP can get his data, thats what matters.

Please @thorin let us know of your results
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LVL 10

Accepted Solution

by:
ThorinO earned 0 total points
ID: 34998266
I ended up installing vmfs-tools in Ubuntu and using vmfs-fuse to mount the partition and copy the files off.
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LVL 10

Author Closing Comment

by:ThorinO
ID: 35145556
This is what I ended up doing.
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