Mounting ESX/ESXi Server Disks/vmdk files

With Diskinternals VMFS Recovery, you can mount any vmdk file that belongs to any given virtual machine on a server. In order to use the available file access and data recovery tools, you will need to connect to the ESX/ESXi server and mount its disks, partitions and vmdk files.

Connect to ESX server

Make sure that SSH connectivity is enabled on your ESX/ESXi server. Configure connection settings by entering the IP address of your server, login and password information, and click “Connect”.

Login to Esx/sxi

There are three different ways to access files after connecting to an ESX (ESXi) server.

 

Method 1: mounting a *.vmdk disk from a certain Datastore.

browse vSphere datastore
ESX/ESXi Datastore browser

Select a folder with the virtual machine being recovered. There, select *.vmdk (or other type) files to mount.

Note: the ESX server does not normally permit low-level disk access to a running virtual machine. With VMFS Recovery, you can still mount the working disk by following the steps described in the how-to guide: Mounting Hard Drives (vmdk files) of a Running Virtual Machine

 

Method 2: mounting a physical hard drive hosting the ESX (ESXi) server

mounting a physical ESX (ESXi) hard drive

In this mode, the actual physical hard drive will be mounted, allowing you to access all partitions and unpartitioned areas of the drive. By mounting the physical drive, you’re essentially replicating physical access to the actual hard disk as if it’s been removed from the server and connected directly to your PC.

 

Method 3: mounting any file from an ESX (ESXi) server

esxi files

With this method, you can mount any file from an ESX (ESXi) server. This method includes both methods #1 and #2. You can look up Datastore at /vmfs/volumes/. The hard drives are located at /dev/disks/

After selecting the files or drive images to mount, click Mount to add newly mounted disks into the main window.



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