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my server has a disk error, unfortunately RAID-0. So i am planning to boot it off CD (partedmagic) and copy the VMs to a USB disk. File system is VMFS (esxi4) once the damaged disk is replaced back could the data be restored back?

this server has two datastores this bad disk belongs to store-1. please suggest any better ways or tools. thanks in advance

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

RAID 0? groan

The best mnemonic for RAID-0 is that it provides 0 protections against data loss. If your server had a disk error, I would be very, very surprised if you were able to recover any data.

If your disk isn't completely dead, and you do manage to get data off of it, replace the failing drive and rebuild the array using RAID 1, which will take the two drives and mirror them, so that if one fails, you can rebuild it.

Do you have any other forms of backup? I suspect you'll have to use them, or rebuild the entire thing from scratch. Next time, don't use RAID-0.

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RAID-1? pls suggest a less expensive option in terms of disk cost – John-ZFS Apr 15 '10 at 18:24
+1 If you use RAID-0, expect to lose your data. It should not under any circumstance be used for important production equipment, unless you're a developer running builds. A pretty standard config would be RAID-1 for the OS volume (ESX) and RAID-5 or -10 for the volume holding the virtual machines. – Holocryptic Apr 15 '10 at 18:30
Also, I don't see how RAID-1 would be more expensive than -0. You'd still be using 2 disks, and the ESX disk overhead is minimal. – Holocryptic Apr 15 '10 at 18:31
Less expensive in terms of disk cost? get another disk and use RAID-5. – Matt Simmons Apr 15 '10 at 18:38
NOT RAID 0! RAID-5 gives the sum disk space of the entire array minus the space of one of the drives. Therefore, you'll have 2.1TB of usable space: (8 disks * 300GB) - one parity drive = 2100GB of space. If you want to be up on the "best practices", use RAID6, which provides 2 parity drives, but with only 300GB/drive, that shouldn't be necessary. – Matt Simmons Apr 15 '10 at 18:54

RAID-0 aside, yes you can restore the data back, assuming you recover it from the bad disk. When you have your disk arrays set up again (in a hopefully more fault tolerant setup), you can copy the data files back over. It's just a matter of adding the VMs to the inventory through VSphere.

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thanks, any free tools which backup esx vm? – John-ZFS Apr 15 '10 at 18:59
I don't know about free, but you can look at I heard from other people that they're ok. – Holocryptic Apr 15 '10 at 19:04

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