VMware ESXi 5.5 Unknown Inaccessible + flat vmdk locked or missing

Nightware, after a reboot from an unexpected power failure of one of our IBM Server (with only local storage). All the VMs in the inventory are showing "Unknown" and with bracket "Inaccessible". Additionally there are some flat.vmdk are now missing from the datastore browser.

Removed all the unknown VMs from inventory and would like to re-add the one that still contain the flat vmdk however the "Add to Inventory" button is greyed out.

Logged in via SSH, checked the file and it is locked by mode 2 (powered-on vm). And some folder contains VM shows error "no such file or directory" of the flat.vmdk when using "ls -a" command.

Snapshot backup is running at night and so some of the VMs might be in the middle of creating snapshot... etc too.

Ticket submitted to VMware but would like to seek for quicker response from here how can we unlock the file and 'recover' the corrupted / missing flat.vmdk.

Any idea?
William ChanIT ManagerAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Okay, I assume the local storage is still present, and you can browse the datastore.

Can you screenshot me the datastore.

Don't worry about the unknown/inaccessible entries in the Inventory, remove them from the Inventory, and then we can add the virtual machines back to the inventory, as per Step 6 in my EE Article here.

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

If the Add to Inventory article is grayed out, this could be some corruption of the virtual disks, or VMX configuration file.

So do you have

1. a VMX configuration file (this is the file needed to add to inventory!)

2. two vmdk files, a flat file, and a descriptor file?

sometimes the descriptor file goes missing, this can be re-created.

see here


At this time I would CANCEL all Backup  Jobs, and just for info, snapshots are part of the backup process, but it's not snapshot backups!

and we need to look at the locked files, and another reboot maybe require here!
William ChanIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Hi Andrew

Yes I can still browse the datastore with no problem.

Yes I will do it for the folders that still contain the files that mentioned from your post. However there are several VM folders that is currently missing the flat.vmdk file. ( can't see it from datastore browser and when i list the file within the folder via SSH, it shows 'servername-flat.vmdk error, no such file or directory)

Any idea about this kind of file?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
okay, every virtual disk requires two files:-

here is an example

Concerto.vmdk - this contains the geometry data for the disk. this can be re-created.
Concerto-flat.vmdk - this contains the actual VM OS and data

if you do not have -flat files, data is lost, I'm afraid, and you will need to restore.

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