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Wanted to backup an ESXi server but pressed the wrong button in my hosting provider panel, which instead installed a fresh linux on the server. Right now I'm imaging the whole drive with ddrescue.

Is there a way to recover the lost partitions? I'm going to try parted, testdisk and gpart.

If that fails I could try to recover the vmdk files.

And if that fails, maybe there's a way to get some files out of the vmdk files?

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3 Answers

If you'd JUST changed the partition table then you could quite easily rebuild it (using the tools you mention) to work well enough to at least copy your files off onto a 'known good' VMFS DS. I'd basically just copy the partition information manually from another working disk.

If it's actually fully installed Linux over it then I'm pretty sure, as in >99%, that you're going to have to restore from backup sorry.

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There is a tool here that says it can recover the partition and data.

http://www.diskinternals.com/vmfs-recovery/

Try it.

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UFS Explorer is quite good for this type of recovery. Try it on the dd'ed drive and see what it can salvage in terms of your VMDK files. It may also allow you peek inside of the salvaged VMDK files since they're probably not bootable VMs anymore.

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