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how to migrate a particular virtual disk ESXi v4.1 - no vmotion

Posted on 2014-03-03
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Last Modified: 2014-03-08
What's the easiest way to migrate a particular virtual disk to another datastore?  The source and target data stores are from local LUNs on the ESXi host.  I do not have vMotion.
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Question by:gopher_49
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Expert Comment

by:aa-denver
ID: 39901628
You will have to shut the VM down for this copy.  Using the VMware infrasturcture client, browse the storage drive on the first server.  Copy the directory containing all the VM files of the machine you want to move to your local PC.  Then browse the storage drive on the second server and copy the directory back up to the second server.  When the copy is done, use the browse storage window to drill down into the folder on the second server and double-click the vmx file.  VMware should then register the computer on the new vmware host.  Power on the new copy and make sure it works.  Then go back to the old server and either remove from inventory and/or delete from disk using the vmware menu tree on the left.  This will unregister the vm from the old host.

If you have NFS storage, you can connect both hosts to an NFS share and use that for copying.  Connect to the NFS share with the Infrastructure client.   If you have an unused Windows computer you can set up an NFS share on it.  W2008 or newer is easier to create NFS shares than older windows versions.
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by:gopher_49
ID: 39901647
I'm only wanting to copy one virtual drive.  Not the others..  They are over 1TB.. Too big and can't waste that much time.  Can't I just copy the one virtual disk? The data is being copied within the same ESXi server.  I think the copy feature will show both the source and target folder since it's the same ESXi server.  I'll give it a shot.
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Expert Comment

by:Abhilash
ID: 39902240
Yes. If its the same ESXi host you can copy the disk from one datastore to another.
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Accepted Solution

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Michael Worsham earned 500 total points
ID: 39903452
Rather than using the vSphere client, a faster approach would be to ssh into the ESXi 4.1 host, then use the "vmkfstools" command:

vmkfstools -i "/vmfs/volumes/Datastore/examplevm/examplevm.vmdk" "/vmfs/volumes/Datastore 2/newexamplevm/newexamplevm.vmdk" -d thin

If you need additional info on using the vmkfstools command, check here:

Cloning and converting virtual machine disks with vmkfstools (1028042)
http://bit.ly/1i3C4TP
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