VM Machine is Down

In Esxi 4.1 I have lost a virtual machine.
All that is left of this VM is a single file.


I've tried to manually add the file to a new vm, but it does not appear, although when browsing the host datastore I know it is there....

Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

have you tried recovery tools for it?
Danny McDanielClinical Systems AnalystCommented:
that is the most critical file, so there's hope...

there are two files for every disk, foo-flat.vmdk and foo.vmdk.  foo.vmdk is called the descriptor file and it is a text file that describes the foo-flat.vmdk.  it includes information like the type of disk (thin or flat), location/name and disk geometry.  If you know the size and type of disk it is supposed to be (e.g. 20GB flat) then you can create another disk (or copy the descriptor from another working vm with those same attributes), move the copied descriptor into the same folder as the -flat, rename it do foo.vmdk and then edit the descriptor with VI or nano and change the filename/location to foo-flat.vmdk.  this will have to be done at the command line.

If you've done it correctly, when you look at it in the datastore browser, you won't see foo-flat.vmdk but it will now show just foo.vmdk.

kb.vmware.com is down for maintenance right now, but when it's up, just search for "recreate vmdk descriptor" and there's a kb there that will guide you through the process.  I think it has short how-to video in it, too.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
here's the aritcle URL linlk that danm66 referred to


and also youtube video

you can use vmware workstation, to input the vmdk file as a vm server, then use vcenter converter to input this server from vmware workstation to your vcenter.
hope this helps.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
ehillsAuthor Commented:
For myself equipped only with esxi, and CLI I chose in the end to redeploy an existing vm and change the name.....

In the end it was easier for me.  Although I recognize that I may have problems down the line.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.