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Retrieving files on C drive of a failed VM server

Posted on 2013-06-24
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Last Modified: 2014-10-20
I had a disk failure on my ESXI 4.1.0 server and swapped the drive. Started all the VMs but a couple had one issue or the other.

My major concern is the server that won't boot up at all.
Initially, the server boots into a blue screen, then restarts and continues the loop endlessly.

Now, I am getting the following error
File (unspecified name) was not found
Reason: the system cannot find the file specified.
Cannot open the disk 'Server-000002.vmdk". verify the path is valid and try again.

I have since rebuilt a replacement VM but there are files on the old server that I need to retrieve. Are these files retrievable? If yes how?

Concise troubleshooting requested!
Thanks for your help, time and input
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Question by:HospitalITGuy
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Expert Comment

by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 39272257
I hope that you still have the VMDK intact of the old server. Map the VMDK file to another VM and try to copy the files you want.

If you only had C: drive as a VMDK, you can still map it to another VM (helper VM) and then retrieve its contents.
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Author Comment

by:HospitalITGuy
ID: 39272346
Thanks for the quick response.

Where and how would I map or find the vmdk file. This is running ESXI on a Linux OS
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Expert Comment

by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 39272367
If you are using vSphere client to connect to the ESXi host, select the old VM and on the summary tab, you should be able to see the datastore on which the VM is stored. Click -> Edit Settings and you should be able to see the path where the VMDK is stored.
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LVL 120
ID: 39272373
You have a missing snapshot disk.

Was the VM running on a snapshot?

Please see my EE Article

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient

it may be possible to re-mount the disk, but there could be some corruption at the OS Partition NTFS level?

If you want to proceed, and you want me to work with you on this issue, please let me know.
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Author Comment

by:HospitalITGuy
ID: 39272449
Hi Hancoccka

I just read your article and that was great info. It looks like the file that was missing is the snapshot.

How do I access the disk locations?


If you want to proceed, and you want me to work with you on this issue, please let me know.

....Answer is yes
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LVL 120
ID: 39272651
can you upload a screenshot of the datastore?

the snapshot file will contain the latest changes. so these will be missing.
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Author Comment

by:HospitalITGuy
ID: 39276599
Sorry for the delay Hanccocka

Some things happened that made light of this issue.

Please see attached screenshot.

 Datastore
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LVL 120
ID: 39276629
it was the contents of the vm folder, so I can see the files we have to work with?
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Author Comment

by:HospitalITGuy
ID: 39276637
How do I access it?
I have no background on Linux.
I poked around the client app
Thanks
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LVL 120
ID: 39277181
no need to go the console, open the datastore browser using the vSphere Client.

see my EE Article, you'll get the idea

HOW TO: Clone or Copy a virtual machine in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESX/ESXi 4.x or ESXi 5.0
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Author Comment

by:HospitalITGuy
ID: 39278704
Datastore2
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LVL 120
ID: 39278957
okay, so this is a single virtual disk attached to the vm?

ALAMEDA-EKG.vmdk

can you have a look in the VM Settings, at the virtual disk, what does it show?
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Author Comment

by:HospitalITGuy
ID: 39290609
[RAID5:Datastore-3] ALAMEDA- EKG/ALAMEDA- EKG-000002.vmdk
Virtual Disk
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Author Comment

by:HospitalITGuy
ID: 39391544
Hi Hanccocka

Any further help on this.

I renamed the disk to match the name shown in datastore, but get a blue screen when the server boots up. There are some data that I really need to retrieve.

Thanks
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Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 39391948
okay, it was to be expected that you would get a blue screen, because the disk could be corupted.

add this virtual disk to a helper vm, so you can browse the disk. (eg add to another working VM)
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