VMs running with no VMDK files on the datastore

crp0499
crp0499 used Ask the Experts™
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What happened to my VMDKs?  :)  Don't you love questions that open like that?

This is all ESX 6.5

We had two hosts.  Host 1 had some VMs on it.  I used Veeam to move the VMs to a new host, then I used the Delete From Disk on the old host once the VMs were moved to the new host and confirmed as running.

Eight (count them, 8) days later, I notice in Veeam that the VMs I moved had Zero used space but lots of provisioned space.  So I looked some more and guess what, I have 5 VMs up and running, working perfectly, with NO VMDK files behind them.  There is no folder on the datastore, no VMDK file, nothing.  

I powered one off.

The VM name disappeared and was replaced with //vmfs/509g0t9e8f85040rldlgjt et al.

There is now no VM and no VMDK and no folder.  I'm certain when I used the Remove From Disk, my VMDK files were gone, yet somehow the VM is still running as a cached file.

So, is there anything I can do before I start the restore process?  Any way to "save" these VMs before I turn them off and then restore to this morning?

Thanks

:(
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VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
Install VMware Converter in the VM and perform a V2V capture/conversion to another host and datastore

If you cannot install or convert the VM is duff

Yes we’ve seen this.. problem is as soon as a write or read in the VM Guest OS it causes a crash of the VM
crp0499CEO

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Commented:
Downloaded and working like  charm!  Sometimes all you need is someone not in panic mode to help to think clearly.  Superb suggestion!  That's two or three dinners I owe you now!
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
No problems.

Glad it's working for you.

I'll cash in those meal tickers, next time I'm in Texas!

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