vmtekken
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Contributor

Reinstalling ESXi

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I've been playing with VMWare ESXi. I've just reinstalled ESXi as fresh for testing on a host that had ESXi with a couple of VMs running previously. After the reinstall of ESXi, I'm not sure how to go about importing the VMs that existed (the VM files are on NFS on another server) previously.

When using VMWare Server, I woud file > open > locate the vmware file and this would import the VM guest.

1) Is there an option in ESXi (free version) to do this?

2) When reinstalling ESXi, is there a way to keep the previous configuration such as the IP, DNS, and VM info?

3) During the reinstall of ESXi, I'm asuming the VM files in the local datastore (/vmfs) on the ESXi host gets wiped out? Is there a way to retain the VM files in /vmfs?

Thanks!

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

1) Is there an option in ESXi (free version) to do this?

If the datastore exists, then you can browse it, find the VMX file for the old VMs, right click and select add to inventory.

2) When reinstalling ESXi, is there a way to keep the previous configuration such as the IP, DNS, and VM info?

When you run the install CD, you have a repair option and install option. The install will wipe any disk partitions that exist. With a repair, VMFS will be perserved and you'll be able to add your VMs after the repair. Neither option will keep the configuration of ESXi. For that you would need to

a) backup ESXi before the re-install with vicfg-cfgbackup.pl from the RCLI and then restore in after the repair / re-install

b) this wolud be unsuported, but you could copy state.tgz from the boot partition prior to the repair / install and then copy it back after

3) During the reinstall of ESXi, I'm asuming the VM files in the local datastore (/vmfs) on the ESXi host gets wiped out? Is there a way to retain the VM files in /vmfs?

If you choose the repair option, then local VMFS will be perserved.

View solution in original post

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

1) Is there an option in ESXi (free version) to do this?

If the datastore exists, then you can browse it, find the VMX file for the old VMs, right click and select add to inventory.

2) When reinstalling ESXi, is there a way to keep the previous configuration such as the IP, DNS, and VM info?

When you run the install CD, you have a repair option and install option. The install will wipe any disk partitions that exist. With a repair, VMFS will be perserved and you'll be able to add your VMs after the repair. Neither option will keep the configuration of ESXi. For that you would need to

a) backup ESXi before the re-install with vicfg-cfgbackup.pl from the RCLI and then restore in after the repair / re-install

b) this wolud be unsuported, but you could copy state.tgz from the boot partition prior to the repair / install and then copy it back after

3) During the reinstall of ESXi, I'm asuming the VM files in the local datastore (/vmfs) on the ESXi host gets wiped out? Is there a way to retain the VM files in /vmfs?

If you choose the repair option, then local VMFS will be perserved.

View solution in original post

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weinstein5
Immortal
Immortal

1) Yes ESXi supports this - using the VI Client browse the datastore where the VMs are stored - find the cnfiguration file - it has a .vmx extension - right click and one of the options will be add to inventory.

2) I am sure there is but I do not know off the top of my head

3) In the ESX there is an option to maintain the VMFS datastores and I believe that there is a similar option for ESXi

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