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In Need of VMware ESXi 5.1 Data Recovery Help.

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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
We have a VM server that went down.  We were able to make repairs and have the server up and running but we have snap-shots that we are unable to commit hence we can't access tons of data.  This is a mission critical project.  Am I in the right place?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
You are in the right place.

Can you screenshot, the VM folder for me, so I can see the files?

Do you have a VM, which is running on a snapshot, that has failed, and the snapshots are corrupted (which happens), which is the danger of snapshots.

How did you get the VM up and running ?

I can work with you, with this issue...
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Commented:
Also, do you have any backup of the server?  Windows backup, Norton, Acronis, etc?

Author

Commented:
/vmfs/volumes/55ab2d88-490b96b1-afd2-002219aedc56 # ls -l BAE-CAD02
-rw-------    1 root     root       7864832 Jul 19 05:51 BAE-CAD02-000001-ctk.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root     109521915904 Jul 16 12:18 BAE-CAD02-000001-delta.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root           439 Jul 16 12:09 BAE-CAD02-000001.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root         29669 May  7 01:01 BAE-CAD02-Snapshot2241.vmsn
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root           132 Jul  1 19:57 BAE-CAD02-aux.xml
-rw-------    1 root     root       7864832 May  7 01:01 BAE-CAD02-ctk.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root     6442450944 Jul 13 22:59 BAE-CAD02-ec64b0f5.vswp
-rw-------    1 root     root     128849018880 May  7 01:01 BAE-CAD02-flat.vmdk
-rwx------    1 root     root           387 May  7 01:01 BAE-CAD02-vss_manifests2241.zip
-rw-------    1 root     root          8684 Jul 16 12:12 BAE-CAD02.nvram
-rw-------    1 root     root           608 Jul  1 08:02 BAE-CAD02.vmdk
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root           803 Jul 16 11:01 BAE-CAD02.vmsd
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root          4126 Jul 19 05:51 BAE-CAD02.vmx
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root          3040 Jul 19 05:50 BAE-CAD02.vmxf
-rw-------    1 root     root     536870912000 Nov 19  2012 BAE-CAD02_1-flat.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root           501 Nov 19  2012 BAE-CAD02_1.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root     26123153408 Jul 16 19:07 BAE-CAD02_2-000001-delta.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root           376 Jul 16 18:22 BAE-CAD02_2-000001.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root       8192512 Jul 22 17:25 BAE-CAD02_2-ctk.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root     536870912000 Jul 22 21:47 BAE-CAD02_2-flat.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root           587 Jul 22 17:25 BAE-CAD02_2.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root     548063940608 Jul 16 13:50 BAE-CAD02_3-000001-delta.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root           376 Jul 16 13:11 BAE-CAD02_3-000001.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root       5243392 Jul 22 17:25 BAE-CAD02_3-ctk.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root     1374389534720 Jul 22 21:47 BAE-CAD02_3-flat.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root           588 Jul 22 17:25 BAE-CAD02_3.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root       8192512 Jul 22 17:25 BAE-CAD02_4-ctk.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root     536870912000 Jul 22 17:59 BAE-CAD02_4-flat.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root           613 Jul 22 17:25 BAE-CAD02_4.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root       7864832 Jul 22 17:25 BAE-CAD02_repaired-ctk.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root     128849018880 Jul 22 22:05 BAE-CAD02_repaired-flat.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root           600 Jul 22 17:25 BAE-CAD02_repaired.vmdk
-rw-------    1 root     root      14122811 Jul 16 12:18 vmmcores-10.gz
-rw-------    1 root     root      15759794 Jul 16 10:29 vmmcores-5.gz
-rw-------    1 root     root      14748782 Jul 16 10:50 vmmcores-6.gz
-rw-------    1 root     root      14677246 Jul 16 11:11 vmmcores-7.gz
-rw-------    1 root     root      14016427 Jul 16 11:27 vmmcores-8.gz
-rw-------    1 root     root      14497354 Jul 16 11:51 vmmcores-9.gz
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root        171846 Jul 16 10:33 vmware-36.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root        214357 Jul 16 10:50 vmware-37.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root        154727 Jul 16 11:11 vmware-38.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root        154788 Jul 16 11:27 vmware-39.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root        154719 Jul 16 11:51 vmware-40.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root        154614 Jul 16 12:18 vmware-41.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root         59187 Jul 19 05:51 vmware.log
-rw-------    1 root     root      98566144 Jul 13 22:59 vmx-BAE-CAD02-3966021877-1.vswp
-r--------    1 root     root       5529600 Jul 16 11:51 vmx-zdump.000
-r--------    1 root     root       5550080 Jul 16 12:18 vmx-zdump.001
-r--------    1 root     root       5517312 Jul 16 11:27 vmx-zdump.003
/vmfs/volumes/55ab2d88-490b96b1-afd2-002219aedc56 #

Author

Commented:
This VM has 4 v drives.  We used vmkfstools -i to get the C:\ drive (120GB Drive) working.

Author

Commented:
I walked into this issue and they had no running backups.  I attempted Acronis, that failed, I also tried windows backups and that failed as well.

Author

Commented:
I also tried migrating the VM but of course that failed.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
Okay, no offence, but no more fiddling until we have a look at the damage....

by using vmkfstools -i, this is a clone command, depending upon how you used it, will merge the snapshots into the parent.

So you have a VM called  BAE-CAD02.

Before we start, do you have a budget for Disaster Recovery to approach Data Recovery Specialists Kroll Ontrack ?

Do you also haver a copy/backup of the current files.

Okay, so the files look like as follows:-


BAE-CAD02_repaired-flat.vmdk
BAE-CAD02_repaired.vmdk

missing VMDK here and snapshot?

BAE-CAD02-flat.vmdk
BAE-CAD02-000001-delta.vmdk
BAE-CAD02-000001.vmdk

looks okay

BAE-CAD02_1.vmdk
BAE-CAD02_1-flat.vmdk

snapshot attached

BAE-CAD02_2-flat.vmdk
BAE-CAD02_2.vmdk
BAE-CAD02_2-000001-delta.vmdk
BAE-CAD02_2-000001.vmdk
 
snapshot attached

BAE-CAD02_3-flat.vmdk
BAE-CAD02_3.vmdk
BAE-CAD02_3-000001-delta.vmdk
BAE-CAD02_3-000001.vmdk

looks okay

BAE-CAD02_4-flat.vmdk
BAE-CAD02_4.vmdk

 I'm assuming that the C: drive is the virtual disk

BAE-CAD02_repaired-flat.vmdk
BAE-CAD02_repaired.vmdk

and there are four other virtual disks? three of the four have snapshots?

is the missing data in these additional disks, which are not part of the VM at present ?

So what did you repair, and what virtual disks, are missing data ?

if may help if you screenshot, what the current VM disks settings in the VM settings look like we well...

Author

Commented:
The VM is currently working but the additional drives reverted to data as far as March.  I included an ls -l of the vmfs/volumes/Datastore... /BAE-CADD which are all of the files listed.  Please let me know if this is what you were looking for or if there is anything else.  Thanks.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
Okay.....can you let me know, did you rebuild the virtual machine, and add the disks manually....it could be that....

I think you also need to shutdown the VM, because otherwise data will be lost, when we try to merge the data back?

has any data changed in the current VM if it is on?

We the OS disks also labelled:-

C:
D:
E:
F:

G: ?

Please look at ALL the disks settings, in the VM, and can you let me know if they are writing to the snapshot disk?

and do you know which virtual disk is which OS disk ?

Author

Commented:
I think you also need to shutdown the VM, because otherwise data will be lost, when we try to merge the data back?
---> Yes, I can now shut down the VM.

has any data changed in the current VM if it is on?
---> Yes it has since it is a production VM.

We the OS disks also labelled:-

C:
D:
E:
F:

G: ?
---> Yes, they were.

Please look at ALL the disks settings, in the VM, and can you let me know if they are writing to the snapshot disk?
--- >  Checking on this now.

and do you know which virtual disk is which OS disk ?
--->  Yes, it live on the 120GB drive BAE-CAD02.vmdk.

Author

Commented:
Getting the screen shot of the settings.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
okay, those disks are they running on the snapshot disk, and they are the disks which are missing data ?

now we have an issue, because

1. do you want to lose the data which has been updated ? on these disks?

2. because if we merge the disks, this recent data will be lost?

what is this server, a file server with data and shares ?

Do you know how to check, if the disk is writing to a snapshot see my EE Article if unsure.

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient

Author

Commented:
The server was brought back on site today.  We are ok if we lose that data.  We much rather have the data prior to today.  Also I checked the SnapShot Manager but there was nothing there.   Including screen shot.
Screenshot-from-2015-07-22-20-04-53.png
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
Can you check the disk properties of the disks

D: 500GB BAE-CAD02_2-000001-delta.vmdk
E: 1.2TB BAE-CAD02_3-000001-delta.vmdk
F: 500GB

in VM settings are they writing to the current snapshot files

and are you missing data from which disks ?

D: and E:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
Sorry, I need to have screenshots showing the actual disk settings from the VM Settings and the paths to the disk in use.

Right Click the VM > Edit Settings > and then each disk > the file it's writing to, this was missing on the previous screenshots.

Author

Commented:
Looks like only the BAE-CAD02_{1,2,3,4}.vmdk are being modified.
Screenshot-from-2015-07-22-20-37-23.png
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Commented:
This one is on us!
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Author

Commented:
Awesome.  I will try this.  This was my last shot.  I did not know where else to turn to.  Wow!!!!  I can now sleep at night.  I am so grateful for your time.  I will report back as soon as I am done.  Thanks.

Author

Commented:
I have been working on this for close to a 1.5 weeks.  I am so amazed that someone would take time to help me on this project.   I am again so grateful to have found help on this site.  Thanks a bunch.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
We deal with snapshot issues like this every day of the week, with our clients, so we have many years of experience, helping Members of EE, put their servers back together!

All the best, and thanks for your kinds words, must get some Zzzzzzzsss now! ASAP!
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