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After restarting storage controller a datastore dissapeared from vSphere client view. The VM using the datastore was shutdown prior to controller restart. However, after refreshing and rescan in "Config -> Storage" the existing datastore did not re-import, even thou the LUN is still visible! What can be done in this case?

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Are there any errors in the logs? What version of esxi are you using, 4 or 5? What version of VMFS were you running? – Alex Berry Nov 9 '12 at 9:18
ESXi 4.1.0 and VMFS 3.46. I have no easy access to logs unless they can be retrieved via vSphere Client – Alex Nov 9 '12 at 9:21
There is logging within the vsphere client. – Alex Berry Nov 9 '12 at 9:21
Also of interest: how is your storage attached - is it local or is it an FC or iSCSI LUN? – the-wabbit Nov 9 '12 at 10:14
@syneticon-dj it is iSCSI LUN – Alex Nov 9 '12 at 10:15
up vote 2 down vote accepted

A LUN might be "visible" but have all paths disconnected - check this out by navigating to Storage adapters / <your adapter> / <your LUN> and selecting "Manage paths" from the context menu - At least one of the paths has to be in the state "Active (I/O)" for the LUN to be accessible / usable by your host.

If the LUN with the datastore is accessible, it might be just dropped from the configuration for one reason or the other - in this case you could re-import the storage manually: Configuration / Storage / Add storage / Select LUN should show all available LUNs and VMFS datastores present on them. Just select yours and finish the wizard - it should be imported and show up in the datastore list thereafter.

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It is shown but without the VMFS datastore name. when I click on it next step gives me option to format the whole disk as VMFS or free space only (about half). No way to mount the existing VMFS volume is given – Alex Nov 9 '12 at 10:41
@alex In this case you might be facing corruption of the data store. Try re-starting your ESXi host and if this would not help, check out if vmfs-tools in a Linux environment (creating a Linux VM with a raw device mapping of your datastore LUN should work) are capable of reading anything off it. Also, check the logs for datastore-related errors - use the "Tasks & Events" tab in vSphere to get a rough idea if something has gone wrong. – the-wabbit Nov 9 '12 at 13:41

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