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Had a big time problem with our ESXi 4 on a IBM X3400 M3 with LSI MegaRaid. 4 x 1TB in RAID 10, for 2 datastores of 1 TB.

Haven't done any maintennance since 2010. My own big sin!

80)

From system logs, I found out that since March, 2013 we had one disk failing. Actually I happily saw that the system worked for almost one year with one hd down.

Two days ago, everything halted, with datastore empty.

  1. Turned system down, checked cables and HD;

  2. Recreated Virtual Disk 1 from one good HD;

  3. Tried to boot, no success;

  4. Executed the repair install from ESXi 4 CD. It ended with the following message: "Repair Incomplete: The ESXi 4.1 image was repaired successfully, but the partition table could not be restored. The installer could not recreate the partition table to recover your VMFS partitions or custom partitions. You must manually add the partition entries to the partition table to recover your data. Call VMware support for help.";

  5. Now I have some partitions (FAT 16, VMKCore) and no VMFS. IMPORTANT: Most documents I found out on the net mentioned the offset of 128. Impossible in this config. Should I delete everything? I'm pretty sure the previous system was configured like this.

Since I have only installed the repair (base system) of ESXi 4, I still believe in restoring my vmdks. Datastore was 930 GiB and now I have 997 GiB free.

I have installed Ubuntu Server with vmfs-tools, have access to parted and testdisk.

Now I'm stuck, looking for advice.

Thanks

Ronaldo

Edit:

Here is my TestDisk Log so far.

TestDisk 6.13, Data Recovery Utility, November 2011
Disk /dev/sda - 998 GB / 930 GiB - CHS 121454 255 63

Analyse cylinder 72540/121453: 59%

check_FAT: Unusual number of reserved sectors 2 (FAT), should be 1.
Warning: Incorrect number of heads/cylinder 64 (FAT) != 255 (HD)
Warning: Incorrect number of sectors per track 32 (FAT) != 63 (HD)
    MS Data                     8224     520191     511968 [Hypervisor1]
check_FAT: Unusual number of reserved sectors 2 (FAT), should be 1.
Warning: Incorrect number of heads/cylinder 64 (FAT) != 255 (HD)
Warning: Incorrect number of sectors per track 32 (FAT) != 63 (HD)
  MS Data                   520224    1032191     511968 [Hypervisor2]
check_FAT: Unusual number of reserved sectors 2 (FAT), should be 1.
Warning: Incorrect number of heads/cylinder 64 (FAT) != 255 (HD)
Warning: Incorrect number of sectors per track 32 (FAT) != 63 (HD)
  MS Data                  1257504    1843199     585696 [Hypervisor3]
  Unknown                  8388608 1950875647 1942487040
  • After fiddling around testdisk on an Ubuntu Server 12.04 box I could recover the entire partition and copy my vmdks to an external drive. So, haven't checked UFS Explorer. – antanagildo Feb 28 '14 at 18:15
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When I run into these problems, I turn to UFS Explorer... It's the only data recovery tool that I use for VMFS recovery. Find the right combination of OS and hardware resources and attempt to redirect the UFS Explorer scan output to another hardware device.

Good luck!

Next step would be a professional data recovery service.

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