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I have a vmdk (VMware virtual [NTFS] formatted disk) beyond repair (It's not mine, I don't know exactly what happened).

I'm trying to get some files off of it using Plan B as outlined here:

From what I can tell, for my case this would entail

  1. Create a new new.vmdk with size a bit larger than the current one and format it NTFS
  2. Use ddrescue to copy the content of old.vmdk into new.vmdk
  3. Mount new.vmdk and try to recover stuff

My question is, how exactly would the ddrescue command look like? Assuming new.vmdk is sufficiently larger than old.vmdk and I want to start writing old.vmdk somewhere with an offset of 1024bytes, would this work?

ddrescue -o1024 old.vmdk new.vmdk

I have little margin for error, so I would like to confirm that I'm doing stuff right.

Bonus question: Does it matter what offset I use?

Thank you!

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closed as too localized by Sam Sep 30 '11 at 16:34

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Why do you have little margin for error? Can you not make a spare copy of your old.vmdk. How was the original vmdk damaged? Did the drive fail, was the filesystem corrupt, or did someone delete it or something? – Zoredache Mar 1 '11 at 20:14
What are the symptoms of "beyond repair?" – JakeRobinson Mar 2 '11 at 3:23
First principle of data recovery - Take an identical copy of the damaged media, and work from the copy. Never work directly on the damaged media. Hope this helps with the 'no margin for error' thing. – Chris Thorpe Mar 2 '11 at 8:04
I'm not sure this will help. If the filesystem on the old vmdk is shagged, then the copy you make will be equally shagged. – Tom O'Connor Mar 2 '11 at 9:02

There are several vmdk mount utilities you may want to try one of those.

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