Multi part problem. If this has been sufficiently covered previously, please let me know and point me in the general direction.
Admittedly out of date and in need of upgrades. Toward that end, need to migrate VM to new storage, preferably prior to any host upgrade. Since "migrate VM" is not an option on the free client, how can I go about this?
Another issue is, have a failed drive in the datastore, which as caused one VM to be "unknown, inaccessible" as that drive is missing. I hope that drive can be recovered by my recovery service. Long sad tale as to why backup was not running. Short question: If vm files can be recovered and moved to a replacement data store, how can that machine be "re-registered" or otherwise recovered,
Migration options depend on whether or not the new storage is accessible to the current host.
Assuming that the storage is not accessible, some options are:
If at least the .vmdk file(s) can be recovered - this represents the VM's virtual disk - it should be possible to create a new virtual machine, and register it to an ESXi host. If all files can be recovered, you can easily upload the files to the new datastore, and register the VM by right clicking its configuration (.vmx) file in the datastore browser.
I will install new disks sometime soon. The VM's that are seen I have begun to export. The recovery service will take a few days to report results for the other. Thanks for the pointers.
Yes that's possible. You can copy the small (metadata) files using the native "cp" command. For virtual disk (.vmdk) files however, please use the vmkfstools command line utility.