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Restoring a VM using VMDK files

Posted on 2011-05-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am trying to bring a previously created W2008 R2 virtual machine, from some vmdk files created a few months ago by another team. The following files were saved to a windows share.
Some names are changed for purpose of this question.

Server01.vmdk     1Kb
Server01-Physical.nvram  9Kb
Vmware.log  297Kb
Server01-Physical.vmdk 1Kb
Server01-Physical-000001.vmdk 1Kb
Server01-Physical-000001-delta.vmdk  456Mb
Server01-Physical-flat.vmdk  10Gb

I used the vshphere client to browse to a suitable datastore with space and ensured no files already

I used the client to create a new vm with name Server01-physical and selected the datastore. I did not create a disk at this stage. This made a folder with vmx file.

I then used vsphere client to copy the files from the share to the datastore which took about 10 minutes. When I did this, the flat file and delta disappeared from the datastore and I was left with a vmdk. So from 7 files it copied 5 if you like.


I then edited the vm settings to add a new disk and pointed to the only vmdk available. But I cant get the vm to start, it says Operating System Not found.
I checked the virtual BIOS, looks okay though not seeing a disk on the SCSI.

Something not right, wonder if anyone can advise.

I dont know what the original vm was called, all I know was it worked and was W2008 R2. I dont have the vmx for that machine.

 
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Question by:Croftkey
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18 Comments
 
LVL 124
ID: 35700088
You've got the files from a server with a snapshot attached.

and from that you are stating with an operating system not found, it's clear that the data is not being read correctly from the disks.

The problem could lie with the snapshot file, which also needs to work in conjunction with the main vmdk file.

Could you attempt and copy all the files to the datastore using Veeam FastSCP (free download here http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esxi-fastscp.html)

We are probably going to attempt maybe merging the snapshot with the main vmdk manually, unless you have the original VMX.
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LVL 124
ID: 35700365
what was the size of the files left on the datastore?

I'm also a bit confused by this file Server01.vmdk     1Kb

is this correct name (although changed!)
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 35701454
The files probably didn't disappear from the datastore - it is just that the datastore browser doesn't really show snapshot delta files of flat files seperately. Just add the .vmdk files that you can see to your vm and it should power up ok.

Good Luck
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Danny McDaniel
ID: 35701897
bgoering's right and you can confirm this by looking at any other VM's folder with the datastore browser.  The browser only shows the .vmdk if there is a matching -flat.vmdk or -delta.vmdk for it.  If they don't match up or one of them is missing, then it will display the files that are there like you would see from the console or through scp.
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LVL 124
ID: 35701933
If you have added the only virtual disk (file) correctly

what storage controller did you add for the virtual machine?

You could also boot from Gparted Live CDROM (free download here http://gparted.sourceforge.net/download.php) to confirm, if there is a valid partition on the disk.

or check with UB4WIN

http://www.ubcd4win.com/downloads.htm
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Author Comment

by:Croftkey
ID: 35705881
I have attached a screenshot showing what I see in the browser (names removed as per EE conditions)
I see a new file with funny extension at the bottom of the list (4Gb)
Unfortunately this environment just now is a test/pilot and they have removed internet access so I cant download any apps to check the vm, such as Gparted.

I am based in the UK so apologies for delay in the responses so far.

D
 Browser Screenshot
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LVL 124
ID: 35705916
I'm based in the UK as well!

The funny file as you put it, is the SWAP file, which is roughly equal to the memory you've allocated in the VM.

Well all the files look correct, that have been transferred to the server.

and when you created the Virtual Machine this disk was added?

Can you screen grab the VM properties?

Has the correct storage controller been used?

Any chance of getting the original VMX?
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LVL 124
ID: 35705927
Do you have any other Spare/Test Non Production VMs, that you could attach this disk to?

You could then use DIsk Management to check if there is a partition or data on it?

provided the storage controller is correct.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 35706140
can you open the original vmdk file (the small one) in a text editor and post the contents here. This is a disk descripter file and should allow us to determine exactly how the disk should be added to the vm. for example, there will be a line like ddb.adapterType = "buslogic"

If this is the case, and you have assigned it to your vm as scsi with a lsilogic, or as an IDE device it likely would not work. In this case if the SCSI controller is lsilogic, you would need to change it via edit settings to buslogic.

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Author Comment

by:Croftkey
ID: 35706207
# Disk DescriptorFile
version=1
encoding="UTF-8"
CID=90c9c4e1
parentCID=ffffffff
isNativeSnapshot="no"
createType="vmfs"

# Extent description
RW 83886080 VMFS "xxxxxxxxx-flat.vmdk"

# The Disk Data Base
#DDB

ddb.virtualHWVersion = "7"
ddb.toolsVersion = "8290"
ddb.deletable = "true"
ddb.longContentID = "23b25fac8af1083e0fd9dd0390c9c4e1"
ddb.uuid = "60 00 C2 9d f7 80 21 23-d5 3c cf 3b c5 bb 4d d8"
ddb.geometry.cylinders = "5221"
ddb.geometry.heads = "255"
ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
ddb.adapterType = "lsilogic"
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LVL 124
ID: 35706213
have you used a lsilogic storage controller?
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Author Comment

by:Croftkey
ID: 35706221
Actually theres 2 files in there heres the other

# Disk DescriptorFile
version=1
encoding="UTF-8"
CID=3daf256b
parentCID=c84fa2dd
isNativeSnapshot="no"
createType="vmfsSparse"
parentFileNameHint="xxxxxxxxx-Physical.vmdk"
# Extent description
RW 20971520 VMFSSPARSE "xxxxxxxx-Physical-000001-delta.vmdk"

# The Disk Data Base
#DDB

ddb.longContentID = "2268dd6da083a068842abad13daf256b"
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Author Comment

by:Croftkey
ID: 35706275
Yes, it says theres 2 type LSI Logic Parallel and LSI Logic SAS, tried both
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LVL 124
ID: 35706302
i would add to another test non production machine as lsilogic controller and check if there is any data
partition.

do you know how the files were transferred to the windows share?
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Author Comment

by:Croftkey
ID: 35706698
Okay I managed to create a new 2008 server, and attached it.
All I see is a 10gb drive with a volume name of Cache, and 2 directories, one called Eventlogs, and one called UPCCache, I also see a file called .vdiskcache

I have a feeling they have just backed up a single vdd
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Author Comment

by:Croftkey
ID: 35706706
Sorry to answer another part of your last answer, I have no idea how they trasnferred to share, as to what software was used to do a P2V. There is a guy back here on Monday next week who may know more.
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LVL 124

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 35706821
This does not look like a bootable operating system.

But at least you know the disk is valid, it just doesn't contain a valid bootable operating system.
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Author Comment

by:Croftkey
ID: 35706915
Hancoccka provided useful tips and information that explained why this vdd would never boot.
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