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focaccio
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Is it possible to perform a manual backup and restore of a virtual machine ?

Greetings,

I failed in my attempt to find a manual procedure for backing up a virtual machine . So, I am wondering: Is it possible to perform a manual backup and restore of a virtual machine ?

Thanks,

Greg

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weinstein5
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Immortal

Yes it is possible - you simply will need to backup the directories that hous the files that make up the VM - this will have to be done with the VM powered off -

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focaccio
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

David,

I'm glad to hear you say that it is possible! Can you help me figure out what I did wrong when I attempted to do just what you describe?

A step by step account of what I did can be found here

In essence what I did was add a new NFS share datastore to the ESX server host from within the VMware Infrastructure Client (VIC). I then went to the command line of the ESX server and successfully copied the contents of the VM directory to the NFS share backup datastore. Then I used the VIC GUI to "Delete from Disk" the test VM. I rebooted the ESX server then recreated the VM directory in the original datastore and copied all the contents from the NFS share back to the directory. I used chmod +x to get the .vmx file to become an executable. After rebooting the ESX server again I do not see the re-emergence of the VM even though I see an exact replica of the VM directory and contents in the original datastore.

This is a bummer! I hope someone can light the way.

Thanks,

Greg

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weinstein5
Immortal
Immortal

What version of ESX are you running - if it ESX 3.x you actually will have to reregisterthe VM on your ESX host - using the vi client you can browse ti the location of vmx file and readd it to the inventory -

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focaccio
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thanks for the response David. My host server is running ESX Server 3i Version 3.5.0 Build 153875 I thought there was an "extra something" that I was missing. Can you explain in a bit more detail how I: 1. Register the VM on the Host, and 2. Use the vi client to browse to the location of the vmx file and read it into inventory.

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focaccio
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hooray for Mindtouch (a San Diego company too!) ! They had the answer I was looking for.

This means I can update the MBR procedure and list it as successful.

On this website I found the light I hoping for:

"4.1.3. Within the Datastore Browser, navigate to the directory folder containing the virtual

machine files (/deki), right-click the virtual machine configuration file (Deki.vmx), and

choose Add to Inventory. "

I went to the databrowser, right clicked on DEV1.vmx in the DEV1 directory on datastore2, and choose Add to Inventory.

Pow! the Virtual machine is back in the inventory. I turned on the VM and it is fully functional as far as a can see at this point.

Awesome.

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focaccio
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thanks to the helpful responses to my question here and the true key from MindTouch this procedure is now a complete answer:

http://communities.vmware.com/blogs/3bx/2009/12/03/mbr10-manual-backup-and-restore

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weinstein5
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Happy to help

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