I have an NFS server running on Win2k8R2 and an ESXi 4.1 host that uses NFS as a datastore for ghettoVCB backups. No server authentication; unmapped user access by uid/gid; vmkernel port with it's own ip. I can add the datastore and manipulate the file system from the ESXi SSH console.


When I run a backup job, part way through the NFS share becomes unavailable, my RDP connection to windows stops working, and I'm forced to powercycle my windows server. It's a real pain because I have to drive across town to do it. I can't tell what is dying exactly because there's nothing in the event log but I know that attempting to reconnect with RDP prompts for a username and password but goes no further. I know that the server remains pingable. I know that logging on locally prompts for a password but goes no further. Hardware problem perhaps? I changed the windows server hardware to no avail.

And now I post in desperation. There are many tutorials on the web describing many different ways to configure NFS on 2k8r2 for use with ESXi 4.1 but I found nothing describing my problem.


  1. Does anyone successfully utilize an NFS share on Win2k8R2 as an ESXi 4.1 datastore? If so, I'd like to know about your configuration.

  2. How the hell can a bad NFS connection take out a whole server? Pardon my language.

  • 1
    Maybe Windows isn't the best platform for NFS? – ewwhite Aug 21 '15 at 21:15
  • get at least a server with lights-out management so you do not need to physically go to the server but can powercycle it remotely ;-) – natxo asenjo Aug 21 '15 at 21:23
  • File under windows nfs can inherent restrictive file permission. I use nfs with a xen for special need, and the file is not readable by any admin, only the xen, that make it hard for working with it. I would try to run a backup without those file first and if it work try to manually copy the file to see if it work. – yagmoth555 Aug 22 '15 at 0:21
  • I was able to make this work well enough until I can get some new stuff. The bottom line is that Microsoft's NFS isn't good enough for anything that matters and I would recommend people avoid it if at all possible. The problem was Microsoft's inability to handle large files with it's NFS implementation so by setting the DISK_BACKUP_FORMAT=2gbsparse in my ghettoVCB configuration, I can avoid beating the receiving machine into a pulp. – VictimOfCircumstance Aug 26 '15 at 13:38

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