Read VMware ESXi 5 datastore

Posted on 2012-12-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-12-29
Hi experts,

I had an ESXi 5 Server with an internal SATA HDD. On this HDD I have my datastore, where all my VMs are on.

The hardware of this server crashed and I had to buy new hardware. So I needed to use a SAS-RAID-Controller, where the SATA HDD, the datastore is on, can't be attached without beeing formatted and added to a RAID array.

Here is my question:

how to read the data of this HDD, I can connect via USB, from a windows or MAC system?
Question by:kankman
  • 2
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 38718613
you could try from a laptop connected to the host when its running esx and copy the vm's to the datastore but you might need to recreate the vm as the esx host will not know about it until you do
LVL 126

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 38718656
use the Windows application VMFS Recovery by Disk Internals, or you can install the VMFS windows driver.



Accepted Solution

kankman earned 0 total points
ID: 38719481
After testing distinternals vmfs recovery, I decided that the current price of about 700 Euro is too much for me. But it worked to read the data, but to get the data I would have bought the full version. The vmfs-tool on java basis does not work for me, because it seems that ESX 5 datastores are not supported yet.

So I searched a bit more and found the following ee-topic:


There are two other ways to get the data:
1. An Ubuntu-Install on VMWare Workstation and then use the vmfs-tools of ubuntu. Or:
2. Install ESXi 5 on an VMWorkstation and add the external HDD as an physical drive to the VM. I then added the datastore to the ESX Server and now I can browse and download its content to a local disk to copy it to the new ESXi 5-Server.

Thanks for the help guys!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 38728939
I found out the solution with myself a bit later, but the solution of hanccocka also would work.

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