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VMWare - Operating System not found

Posted on 2016-09-30
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Last Modified: 2016-10-04
Hi,

One of our ESXi 5.5 hosts died last night and all the VMs moved to other hosts. I'm having issues with one of them though and it isn't booting into Windows Server 2003.

Operating-system-not-found.PNG
We have NetApp backups and have tried restoring the VM from earlier in the week but the problem still persists.

I've tried some of the online fixes eg. booting into BIOS and making sure the hard disk is primary boot device but no joy.

I don't know if this is relevant but the VM has a snapshot attached.

Any ideas?
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Question by:niltd
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Expert Comment

by:Sean Fitzpatrick
ID: 41823639
Have you checked the datastore that your VMDKs are on to see if they have any -lck files associated to the drives? If they are locked the VM may not be able to access/read from them.

I'm also assuming that your using shared storage?
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Author Comment

by:niltd
ID: 41823653
Hi Sean,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, we use shared storage. I've had a look at the datastore and the only file appended with .lck is the vmx file. I've attached a screenshot below:

datastore.PNG
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Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 41823655
The virtual machine disk, looks like it's corrupted, or does not exist.

The virtual machines, do exist, but you also have snapshots on both, it's possible that the virtual machine disk parent or snapshots has become corrupted.

Can you boot from a Windows Repair disk, to check if the contents of the virtual disks are correct and not corrupted, we might be able to recover the VM, by discarding the snapshot disk!

Do you have a backup to restore?
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Author Comment

by:niltd
ID: 41823684
Hi Andrew,

Yes, we have backups but I've tried restoring from both of them (Monday and Wednesday) and the issue persists.This is weird because the issue only happened early this morning and users have confirmed the server was working midweek.

I also tried consolidating the snapshots to see if that helps but it didn't :(

I'll see if I can find a 2003 ISO...
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Expert Comment

by:Sean Fitzpatrick
ID: 41823693
Edit the settings of the VM, look at the path of the primary (OS) vmdk, is it pointing at the correct VMDK?

for ex. if you have a snapshot on your OS Disk, it should be pointing at the snapshot vmdk not the primary vmdk.

If you have a backup, can you try deleting the snapshot?

Consolidate does not do a delete of a snapshot, it just consolidates the logs.
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LVL 119
ID: 41823821
DO NOT DELETE THE SNAPSHOT!!!!

VERY BAD IDEA AT THIS STAGE TRYING TO RECOVER!!!

Can you check if the VM is actually writing to the snapshot?

see my EE Article how to check

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient

Have you ever tested restores ?
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Author Comment

by:niltd
ID: 41826558
Hi guys, sorry for the late reply. Luckily this has been sorted so panic over.

What I discovered is that the primary path of the VMDK was pointing to the snapshot delta as expected. I think that this delta had been corrupted which is what caused this.

Whoever created the snapshot hadn't put any further details like date etc. but i thought i'd try see if the base disk was corrupted so did the 'go to' in snapshot manager. This worked and luckily the date from that was only a week ago. This server is largely historical so we checked the data and it was ok.

Out of interest, is there a way to recover a corrupted snapshot disk?
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LVL 119
ID: 41826770
Out of interest, is there a way to recover a corrupted snapshot disk?

Restore VM.
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