andvm
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ESXi corrupted

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Hi,

If a standalone ESXi on a USB is corrupted and won't boot, what is the recovery process to gain back access to the VMs stored on the server local disk?

Does the ESXi version need to match exactly with the old one?

DO I need to create the local switch ports and settings manually?

Will the VM's appear automatically in the inventory post install?

Is there any configuration I can export from the ESXi once it is fully setup so if it happens again I can use it to restore all the configuration?

Thanks

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TheBobkin
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hello andvm​,

"If a standalone ESXi on a USB is corrupted and won't boot, what is the recovery process to gain back access to the VMs stored on the server local disk?"

Re-install ESXi on a new device - if the current device gets to pre-boot splash-screen try the altbootbank (Alt+R) as a last ditch.

"Does the ESXi version need to match exactly with the old one?"

Preferably yes.

"DO I need to create the local switch ports and settings manually?"

Yes you will need to reconfigure all ESXi settings on this new install.

"Will the VM's appear automatically in the inventory post install?"

No, as it is essentially a new host - attach the storage and register all the VMs.

"Is there any configuration I can export from the ESXi once it is fully setup so if it happens again I can use it to restore all the configuration?"

Yes, it is possible to backup ESXi host configurations though these must be restored to an identical build install:

VMware Knowledge Base

Bob

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TheBobkin
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hello andvm​,

"If a standalone ESXi on a USB is corrupted and won't boot, what is the recovery process to gain back access to the VMs stored on the server local disk?"

Re-install ESXi on a new device - if the current device gets to pre-boot splash-screen try the altbootbank (Alt+R) as a last ditch.

"Does the ESXi version need to match exactly with the old one?"

Preferably yes.

"DO I need to create the local switch ports and settings manually?"

Yes you will need to reconfigure all ESXi settings on this new install.

"Will the VM's appear automatically in the inventory post install?"

No, as it is essentially a new host - attach the storage and register all the VMs.

"Is there any configuration I can export from the ESXi once it is fully setup so if it happens again I can use it to restore all the configuration?"

Yes, it is possible to backup ESXi host configurations though these must be restored to an identical build install:

VMware Knowledge Base

Bob

andvm
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Hot Shot

TheBobkin​ - thank you for the added info related to altbootbank (Alt+R) which seems to have worked.

Is the albootbank an automatically backup partition storing the ESXi image/configuration used in emergency for driver corruption etc?

What will happen on the next reboot, any changes or it should boot fine once Alt+R fixed it?

Thanks

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TheBobkin
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hello andvm​,

Glad to hear /altbootbank is still intact (always add a 'last ditch' if there is even a slim chance :smileygrin:) - I would advise using this opportunity to back-up the configuration and considering a new device for install (or at the very least finding out what is wrong with the current one and/or does it just need a clean install).

"Is the albootbank an automatically backup partition storing the ESXi image/configuration used in emergency for driver corruption etc?"

Pretty much - it is the last configuration with regard to drivers/vibs/ESXi build - and yes, very handy if you for instance changed something that made the host unusable e.g. wrong network driver or one incompatible with the firmware that resulted in not being able to manage the host or PSODs etc.

"What will happen on the next reboot, any changes or it should boot fine once Alt+R fixed it?"

They essentially switch the order, in that what was /altbootbank is now /bootbank and what was /bootbank is now /altbootbank - so for instance if you wanted to try boot your previously non-functional one you would Alt+R now. You can check what the differences between these are by inspecting the boot.cfg in each directory.

VMware Knowledge Base

Bob

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