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VMWare Recovery

Posted on 2011-03-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We had a massive iSCSI SAN failure and the raid array got scrambled.  We ended up reconfiguring the array on the server as it was hopelessly corrupt.  We then restored the VMDK images to the server.  

The problem is that one of the servers had a snapshot made.  I am trying to figure out how to re-add the host to ESX4.1i with the snapshot image coming up as the boot image.  It should of been committed earlier, but for some reason it was not done.

So my question is in ESXi, how do I add a host and have it know about the snapshot image?
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Question by:dlainc
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by:Danny McDaniel
ID: 35169014
when you add the VM and go into edit settings, do you see that it is pointing to the snapshot file for the disk?  it's usually got -00000#.vmdk name when you click on the disk.  If that's there, then you can boot up the VM and when you're ready to commit the snapshot, take another snapshot, then do a delete all and it should rollup all snapshots into the base disk.
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Expert Comment

by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 35169039
If you don't have the images you're stuck.  Since you did a restore and snapshots are not there you're not going to be able to connect..especially if you have snapshots but they are from a different time then the restore.  The data would would be corrupt either way

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Author Comment

by:dlainc
ID: 35169098
I have all of the vmdk files.  I just cannot create a new machine because it does not accept that the snapshot vmdk as a valid disk.

When I mount the base disk, it does not show the associated snapshots with the machine.
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Expert Comment

by:Danny McDaniel
ID: 35169115
oh, you didn't backup/restore the .vmx???
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Expert Comment

by:Danny McDaniel
ID: 35169135
you could try using vmkfstools form the command line to consolidate the snapshot into a new disk, too.  'vmkfstools -i olddiskname.vmdk newdiskname.vmdk'  where olddiskname.vmdk is the name of the last snapshot descriptor.
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Author Comment

by:dlainc
ID: 35169141
I have everything in the directory.  I have never had to do this sort of restore.

Will this work?

Create the new virtural machine (to create the directory)

Copy all the old files with snapshots into the directory?  Or do I need to create a snapshot first so the ESXi server knows to look for a snapshot file?
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Author Comment

by:dlainc
ID: 35169155
Sorry if this is a bit disjointed, I am a little sleep deprived right now.

One of the problems I am having is that since we rebuilt the entire iSCSI array, none of the directories EXACTLY match what was there before.  I am looking at the vmkfstools command right now to see if that will accomplish the merging of the two vmdk files together.
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Danny McDaniel earned 1000 total points
ID: 35169160
If you have all of the files, including the .vmx in the directory, use the datastore browser to browse to the directory and right-click on the .vmx file and choose 'add to inventory'.  That will register the VM on the host with all of the original VM settings.

the datastore browser if is started by going to Configuration|Storage and then right-clicking on the datastore you want to look at, then select 'browse datastore'
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Author Comment

by:dlainc
ID: 35169228
danm66:  That is exactly what I needed to have.  I am reporting the files right now since I started up the base vmdk image so it has a more recent timestamp than the snapshot.  As soon as it finishes porting, I will do what you suggested.

Thank you.  I will confirm this solution later tonight.

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