riahc3
Contributor
Contributor

Read VMFS ESXi 5.5 created partition/HDD in Windows 7?

Hello I want to know how I could plug in a SATA drive into a standard Windows 7 PC and read (and write perfered too) a  VMFS ESXi 5.5 created partition/HDD in Windows 7. Thank you

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7 Replies
showard1
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi

Depending on why you're trying to do this, there are a couple of ways to go about it.  The quick and dirty way is to use the open source VMFS driver found here:  https://code.google.com/p/vmfs/   Its a little bit funky, you use WebDAV to export the contents vs. a drive letter.  The downside is it only supports VMFS3 and its read-only.  Or at least that was the status last time I messed with it.

My preferred way is to run ESXi inside a Fusion or Workstation VM on your laptop, pass the HD through to it (kinda like doing an RDM in ESXi, but manually creating the pointer), and export the /vmfs/volumes/<datastorename> directory in NFS or SAMBA running inside the ESXi VM.  Takes more effort to set up initially, but you also get write access and VMFS5 this way. 

Thanks

Sean



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riahc3
Contributor
Contributor

Yup, I already saw this but like you metnioned it supports v3 only and is only read. That workaround is too much work for plug and play. I need something like that open driver where I plug in the drive, install the drivers and I can AT LEAST read off the drive.

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showard1
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I don't think anything like this exists unfortunately.  I'd be just as interested.

Out of curiosity, what is the use case? 

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JarryG
Expert
Expert

There is also "vmfs-tools" project, and it supports vmfs5 too. I did not try it personally, but it should be able to compile vmfs-tools even on cygwin (unix-line environment on Windows):

http://glandium.org/projects/vmfs-tools/

_____________________________________________ If you found my answer useful please do *not* mark it as "correct" or "helpful". It is hard to pretend being noob with all those points! 😉
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peetz
Leadership
Leadership

Hi Sean,

I do not really understand how this setup is supposed to work. Can you please explain how you run an NFS or Samba server inside ESXi?

Thanks

Andreas

Twitter: @VFrontDe, @ESXiPatches | https://esxi-patches.v-front.de | https://vibsdepot.v-front.de
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showard1
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Build a statically linked samba binary.  Disable support for windbind/ldap/ad/cups/etc to eliminate dependencies.

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riahc3
Contributor
Contributor

The purpose would be to use it as a multipurpose drive...

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