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Recovering data from XPE on ESXI 6 RDM?


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Afternoon all,


Have a dilemma, the boot HDD of my ESXI 6 server has ceased booting - but can be read (sort of) and with it I have lost my datastore and XPE VM / RDM mapping.

What is annoying is I was in the process of building a backup mirror.


The HDD can be read with DiskInternals VMFS Recover but at £600 for a license for a single home server is way too much for me to consider spending :eek:


Created a USB ESXI boot - though this will not see the datastore?


Would anyone know my options for recovering the XPE data and or the ESXI datastore?


The XPE HDD is mapped via an RDM to an LSI R5 bbu array which is intact - can the data be recovered/copied off easily - mounting in Ubuntu or are there other tools? even with RDM is the volume pure EXT4?


If I build a new XPE VM + RDM would the existing partition be seen or would I have to re-initialise?


very much appreciated

-Steve (pulling my hair out!)

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Some thoughts:

First of all, if you can recreate the VM in a new datastore with the same RDM mappings it should "just work"


1) RDM is a bit of a red herring here. It just allows you to attach the drive or controller directly to the virtual machine and have the VM control it directly. So, there's nothing special about the format and any method for getting data off a DSM disk - such as mount it in Ubuntu - will work. Doing this as a first step before you try to recreate the VM would be advised.


2) I'm not sure how readable your ESXi drive is. You might be able to open the old datastore from your new installation or you could try VMFS tools to try to copy the directories and files from the old datastore and use them recreate the VMs on a new datastore - http://woshub.com/how-to-access-vmfs-da ... x-windows/


3) I have moved a set of drives from ESXi to bare metal and later (after adding a new drive) back to ESXi with the HDDs mounted via RDM. DSM didn't care.

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Many thanks billat29


Having had 'fun' writing various partitions to different hdd's to see if vmfs_tools would read the ESXi VMFS-datastore and not having much luck.


Eventually found writing just the datastore partition to a different HDD, gdisk reported the the Backup GPT was corrupt though the Main was ok and fixed it; and would now mount and allowed retrieval of the data. :grin:


Now looking to backup the RDM data before rebuilding:


With the ubuntu hdd in the server with the RAID5, on trying to mount the filesystem I am getting - unknown filesystem type 'linux_raid_member' - though it seems to be recognised??


Anything I am missing or need to do first please?


Thanks again



#mount /dev/sdb3 /mnt/Raid5



Disk /dev/sdb: 5.5 TiB, 6000069312512 bytes, 11718885376 sectors

Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes

Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disklabel type: gpt

Disk identifier: 39334A7E-5430-4903-B7A9-7F3B6A0A1E73


Device Start End Sectors Size Type

/dev/sdb1 2048 4982527 4980480 2.4G Linux RAID

/dev/sdb2 4982528 9176831 4194304 2G Linux RAID

/dev/sdb3 9437184 11718680575 11709243392 5.5T Linux RAID

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