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Contributor
Contributor

ESXi 5.x flash memory recovery tool and guide.

Hello everyone,

I would appreciate any help with documents and guidelines on how to recover
flash memory VMware ESXi 5.x server running in the Mother-board on IBM x-series servers.

Haven looked up some documents, I noticed that there are recovery CDs up to ESXi 4.1,
but no information on how or what tools to use for the recovery of versions above
4.1.

Please point me to documents describing the procedure.

Thank you.

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12 Replies
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VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Moderator: Please start threads in the area for the product you are using - thread moved to the ESXi area.

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VMware Employee
VMware Employee

If you are running anything like production workloads, you should note that all ESXi versions prior to 6.5 are no longer supported or updated and you should consider an upgrade or migration to a newer version.

(I'm not referring to your specific problem, my comment is a general one)

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I'm not sure if I understood correctly, do you want to recover the ESXi installation media?


If that's the case you can simply re-install the host, it might not be optimal but will work for sure.

Please visit my blog at https://nachogonzalez.com.ar
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Contributor
Contributor

Hello and thank you for responding to my post.

I am running VMware ESXi 5.5 with a flash memory installed in the MB of my IBM x-3850 server.

I am worried that I might loose the virtual servers in the event that the

installation file on the USB becomes corrupt.

In that case, will I loose all the virtual machines?

if there is a way to recover or access the server without having to reinstall another ESXi server,

please guide me.

Thank you.

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Okay let me try to help you:

First of all, any vSphere versiòn  older than 6.5 is out of support, which means in case of a failure vmware won't help you.

Regrding the flash:
ESXI needs only a Boot disk to load all its modules to memory (or to read some when requested) that can be a thumbdrive, a local disk, a Boot LUN, a SATADOM device or as it is you case, a flash memory.
If it is degraded you should replace it and reinstall, that is your only option.

Regarding the virtual machines availability:

Virtual machines reside on datastores.
Datastores can be local disks, NFS, NAS,  iSCSI, FC or SAN disks
the Boot disk can not be a datastore.
You should have some kind of datastore available to your host: even if those are the local disks, your VMs will reside on those datastores.

When you reinstall be very careful not to select those disks as installation media (you might see those as already partiitioned as VMFS, if you see that error go back an re-read since you are going to overwrite your datastore)

Hope that worked for you

Please visit my blog at https://nachogonzalez.com.ar
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Contributor
Contributor

Hello and thank you for responding swiftly.
For the purpose of clarity, please respond to the following also.

Regarding the virtual machines availability:

My assumption is that replacing the USB and reinstalling the ESXi server would
mean reconfiguring the network and other settings afresh.
If the above is the case, can I still access the virtual machines on the
Datastore created with the degraded USB, using the new ESXi configuration?

If I can not access the virtual machines, how do I recover them?

Additional Question:
1. What exactly does the recovery CD for v4.1 recovers?

If there are images of the recovery procedure, please share them with me.

Thank you.

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Hello:

Additional Question:

1. What exactly does the recovery CD for v4.1 recovers?
I'm not familiar with this.

My assumption is that replacing the USB and reinstalling the ESXi server would

mean reconfiguring the network and other settings afresh. This is correct

If the above is the case, can I still access the virtual machines on the

Datastore created with the degraded USB, using the new ESXi configuration?

Virtual machines can not be stored on a USB as a datastore, the datastore is a local disk, lun or vSAN. a USB storage can not be used as a datastore. It can only be used as a boot disk, so the Hypervisor Operating system is installed there.

Hope I have replied your question

Please visit my blog at https://nachogonzalez.com.ar
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Contributor
Contributor

Hello

Thank you for responding again to my questions.

"Virtual machines can not be stored on a USB as a datastore, the datastore is a local disk, lun or vSAN. a USB storage can not be used as a datastore. It can only be used as a boot disk, so the Hypervisor Operating system is installed there."
Understood.

But my question is yet to be answered.
Can I still access the virtual machines on the Datastore created with the degraded USB,
using the new ESXi configuration?
If the answer is yes, please guide me on how to get it done.


Thank you.

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Virtuoso
Virtuoso

A newly installed ESXi sees and mount automatically the existing locale VMFS Datastores. External Datastores needs some configuration on ESXi first of course but also here ESXi mounts these.

Does it automatically detect and present the VMs? No!

You need to browse through the Datastores and add every single VM back to the ESXi Inventory. This means find all *.vmx and add them to Inventory. This can be done within the vSphere Client or on command line.

After that the VMs are ready to go if....

  1. You have recreated the vNetwork (the VM Portgroups) with the EXACT name
  2. Iam unsure if ESXi finds all vDisks of a VM when they stored on different Datastores because i not know if a Datastore gets the same GUUID by default. For files outside the $Home folder the ESXi use absolute paths

Regards,

Joerg

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Why don't you share us the current ESXi configuration and we try to tell how is it configured?

Please visit my blog at https://nachogonzalez.com.ar
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Contributor
Contributor

Hello and thank guys for your responses.

The issue is not how the ESXi server is configured but knowing if
I can still access the virtual machines with a different USB key and
configuration. But I now understand better, thanks to your explanations.

Permit me to ask another question.
A Linux OS (centos 6.10) is running on the same server and I would like to
know;

is there is a command that displays the version of ESXi server in the USB
installed on the MB from the OS?

Thank you!

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you need to log in to an esxi host via ssh and run vmware -v  VMware Knowledge Base

Please visit my blog at https://nachogonzalez.com.ar
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