vitaprimo
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Can I move the [individual] files of an ESXi boot drive to another for it to work?

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After spending the last two days upgrading a lot of ESXi servers on the last one I was tired already so I didn't back up its boot drive.

I started the upgrade from vCenter, staged it, pre-checked remediation, remediated--green checkmarks all around. When the server came back on though, it wasn't able to boot from the drive. It seems the bootloader got lost or something. I enabled BIOS booting (it was on EFI before) to see if it picked it up but still didn't boot.

I checked the drive on my computer and I got this:

bash-3.2# diskutil list

/dev/disk4 (external, physical):

   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER

   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *15.8 GB    disk4

   1:                        EFI BOOT                    104.9 MB   disk4s1

   2:       Microsoft Basic Data BOOTBANK1               1.1 GB     disk4s5

   3:       Microsoft Basic Data BOOTBANK2               1.1 GB     disk4s6

   4: 4EB2EA39-7855-4790-A79E-FAE495E21F8D               13.5 GB    disk4s7

And with this info I found online it seems the data should be there either in diskXs5 or diskXs6. I also dded an image just in case:

bash-3.2# dd if=/dev/disk4 of=./hyperserver1.img bs=4096

3855360+0 records in

3855360+0 records out

15791554560 bytes transferred in 1292.042925 secs (12222159 bytes/sec)

Could I just reinstall ESXi from scratch so I get a drive with a good bootloader and then copy BOOTBANK1 & BOOTBANK2 to it or is there some check that would let only ESXi write to it? From a Mac, ownership information just says _unknown so I'm not exactly sure how --if-- I can set it back:

bash-3.2# ls -l

total 330624

drwxrwxrwx  1 _unknown  _unknown     32768 Jun 14 11:19 .Spotlight-V100

drwxrwxrwx  1 _unknown  _unknown     32768 Jun 14 11:19 .fseventsd

drwxrwxrwx  1 _unknown  _unknown     32768 Jun 14  2020 System Volume Information

-rwxrwxrwx  1 _unknown  _unknown    135334 Jun 14  2020 b.b00

-rwxrwxrwx  1 _unknown  _unknown    197255 Jun 14  2020 bnxtnet.v00

-rwxrwxrwx  1 _unknown  _unknown     93512 Jun 14  2020 bnxtroce.v00

-rwxrwxrwx  1 _unknown  _unknown      1500 Jun 14  2020 boot.cfg

-rwxrwxrwx  1 _unknown  _unknown    600424 Jun 14  2020 brcmfcoe.v00

-rwxrwxrwx  1 _unknown  _unknown     32244 Jun 14  2020 brcmnvme.v00

...

If I can't recover, would the data on the disks be admitted back to the vSAN cluster if the host information is a "new" host?

Thanks for your help!

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vitaprimo
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So… This is awkward…

I tried what I was set to do with the new drive but it did not work. So, defeated I flashed a new drive back to 6.7.0u3 and when it was booting up I got some page allocation error. I searched a little and found a result that basically said to got back to BIOS boot. I had enabled BIOS boot but I had not forced it, I figured if it fails to pick up the EFI bootloaded it'll fall back to the BIOS bootloader. Not quite.

I plugged back in the original drive that I had put aside, this time I made sure EFI was completely off and it booted on ESXi 7! Smiley Happy Build 15843807 to be exact. If there's a new one already, avoid this one. It must have some bug.

Have a good weekend! :smileygrin:

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vitaprimo
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UPDATE

I remember rsync can copy attributes when archiving!

It showed me a little error but it mentioned no files, I guess it was something related to macOS' resource fork files that I forgot it would write. Just to be safe I compared the original files versus the copied ones on a spreadsheet and they match perfectly. I'm still nervous to continue though. I'll wait a little more, I can't afford to lose vSAN. Smiley Sad

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vitaprimo
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So… This is awkward…

I tried what I was set to do with the new drive but it did not work. So, defeated I flashed a new drive back to 6.7.0u3 and when it was booting up I got some page allocation error. I searched a little and found a result that basically said to got back to BIOS boot. I had enabled BIOS boot but I had not forced it, I figured if it fails to pick up the EFI bootloaded it'll fall back to the BIOS bootloader. Not quite.

I plugged back in the original drive that I had put aside, this time I made sure EFI was completely off and it booted on ESXi 7! Smiley Happy Build 15843807 to be exact. If there's a new one already, avoid this one. It must have some bug.

Have a good weekend! :smileygrin:

View solution in original post

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