Recover deleted Virtual Machine in VMware
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricate process of recovering deleted virtual machines within the VMware ecosystem. We will explore various scenarios that might lead to VM deletion, understand the underlying factors contributing to their recovery, and uncover proven strategies to retrieve these valuable digital assets. From tapping into VMware's built-in recovery mechanisms to employing third-party solutions, this article will equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to rescue your deleted virtual machines and their precious data.
1. Recovering Accidentally Deleted VM Folder in DataStore
If you find yourself facing the distressing situation of a deleted virtual machine (VM) or important files within VMware, don't lose hope just yet. We'll walk you through the steps to attempt recovery within VMware's Web Console. And if this doesn't yield the desired results, we'll also explore options for utilizing VMFS recovery software or enlisting the assistance of a data recovery vendor.
1. Initial Recovery Steps:
- Begin by logging in to the VMware Web Console.
- Navigate to the "My Data" section. You'll notice that physical computers accessible to you are categorized under "My Computers," while virtual machines are listed under "My Virtual Machines."
- Pay attention to VMs marked with an archive icon ( ). These are archived virtual machines that could potentially be recovered either as a complete VM or for specific files.
2. Recovering Files:
- If your intention is to recover specific files, follow these steps:
- Locate the target VM from the list.
- Under the "Actions" column, click "Restore." Alternatively, click the VM in the "Computers" column and select "Select Files" on the VM's dedicated page.
- On the "Restore Files" page, you'll find a list of entries in the "Name" column. Clicking an entry will expand the volume and folder structure.
- Choose one or multiple files or folders that you wish to recover.
- Click the "Restore" button to proceed with the recovery process.
3. Exploring Restore Options:
- As you progress through the recovery process, you'll encounter the "Restore Options" page. Here, you can fine-tune the recovery procedure:
- Destination Computer: The default value will restore the files to the source VM. Alternatively, you can choose a different destination from the provided dropdown menu.
- Destination Path: Specify a path or use the browsing option to select a suitable folder for restoring the files. The "Select Restore Destination Path" dialog allows you to navigate the folder structure and make selections.
- Overwrite Files and Folders: If necessary, select this option to replace existing files or folders with the recovered ones.
4. Finalizing the Recovery:
- With the restore options configured, click the "Restore Now" button to initiate the recovery process. This will restore the selected files according to your specified preferences.
Alternate Recovery Options:
If the above steps do not lead to a successful recovery, consider the following alternatives:
- DiskInternals VMFS Recovery Software: Look for VMFS recovery software available online. These tools are designed to help you recover data from VMFS file systems. Be sure to research and choose a reputable solution that aligns with your needs.
2. How to Recover a deleted folder and .vmdk file
Losing critical virtual machine data due to the deletion of a folder and a .vmdk file can be a daunting experience, especially when all the VMFS metadata for the VM has been compromised. However, all is not lost – with the right techniques, you can still recover your data and restore your virtual machine. This guide will walk you through the process step by step, considering a scenario where you have to recover a .vmdk file with missing VMFS metadata.
1. Initial Assessment and Preparation:
Before diving into the recovery process, ensure you have a clear understanding of the situation. Confirm that the VMFS metadata for the VM has indeed been lost. Familiarize yourself with the structure of the .vmdk file that you need to recover.
2. Carving Out the Missing VMDK:
Since the VMFS metadata is missing, you'll need to carve out the missing .vmdk file directly from the datastore. To do this:
- Access the datastore where the virtual machine files were stored.
- Identify the location of the missing .vmdk file. This may require some investigation based on file names and sizes.
- Use specialized data recovery tools or methods to carve out the missing .vmdk file from the datastore. This process involves identifying file signatures and recovering fragmented data.
3. Rebuilding the .vmdk Boot Disk:
Once you've successfully carved out the .vmdk file, which likely contains multiple partitions, focus on rebuilding the boot disk:
- Analyze the carved .vmdk file. Since you've mentioned it has two partitions, identify these partitions and understand their sizes.
- Locate the portion of the .vmdk file that corresponds to the smaller partition (560GB) used for C: of the Win2008 R2 virtual machine.
- With this section of the .vmdk file found intact, you can proceed to rebuild the boot disk. This involves creating a new virtual machine with the same specifications as the original and attaching the recovered .vmdk partition for C:.
4. Populating the Missing Data Partition:
Now that the boot disk is reconstructed, focus on the larger partition that contains about a terabyte of data:
- Identify the portion of the carved .vmdk file that corresponds to the larger data partition.
- Unfortunately, if the entire larger partition is missing, you'll need to rely on your backup strategy. As you mentioned, you have a backup from a few weeks ago. Restore the data from this backup to populate the missing partition.
5. Restoring and Testing the Virtual Machine:
- With the boot disk reconstructed and the missing data partition populated, you can now boot up the virtual machine.
- Ensure that the virtual machine starts without issues. Test all critical functionalities and data access within the VM to confirm that the recovery was successful.
6. Enhancing Future Data Protection:
- Learn from this experience and reinforce your data protection strategies. Regularly backup your virtual machines and their associated files, and consider implementing versioning for backups to ensure multiple recovery points.
3. Accidentally deleted VM from disk
Accidentally deleting a virtual machine from your disk can be a distressing experience, but there are steps you can take to potentially recover your lost VM. We've gathered insights from the VMware community to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to recover an accidentally deleted VM from your disk.
1. Pause and Understand:
The first step is to pause and assess the situation. Do not make any hasty actions that might further complicate the recovery process. Take a deep breath and proceed systematically.
2. Check for Backups:
If you had been maintaining regular backups of your virtual machines, this is the time to check for the most recent backup. Depending on your backup strategy, you might be able to restore your VM to a previous state.
3. Look for .VMX and .VMDK Files:
Search your disk for the .vmx (configuration) and .vmdk (disk) files of the deleted VM. These files are crucial for the virtual machine's operation. If you can find them, you might be able to recreate the VM using these files.
4. Recreate the VM:
Open VMware Workstation and select "File" > "Open." Browse to the location of the .vmx file you found earlier and open it. This should recreate the virtual machine in VMware.
5. Verify and Test:
Power on the recreated VM and verify if it boots properly. Check all critical functionalities and data access within the VM to ensure that the recovery was successful.
6. Learn from the Experience:
Accidents happen, but you can take preventive measures. Regularly back up your virtual machines, especially before making significant changes. Consider enabling features like snapshots to create restore points. Also, be cautious when performing bulk operations on VMs to avoid accidental deletions.
8. Seek Professional Help if Necessary:
If you're unable to recover the VM despite trying the above steps, it might be time to seek assistance from professional IT experts or data recovery specialists. They might have advanced tools and techniques to salvage your virtual machine data.
4. Undelete deleted VM with vSphere Web Client
Accidentally deleting a virtual machine (VM) in your vSphere environment can be a stressful experience, but with the vSphere Web Client, you have a chance to recover your VM and its data. This guide will walk you through the steps to undelete a deleted VM using the vSphere Web Client interface.
1. Log into vSphere Web Client:
- Open your preferred web browser and access the vSphere Web Client by entering the URL provided for your vCenter Server instance.
2. Navigate to the VMs & Templates View:
- Once logged in, navigate to the "VMs & Templates" view. This view allows you to manage your virtual machines and templates.
3. Locate the Deleted VM:
- Within the "VMs & Templates" view, expand the appropriate inventory location (datacenter, cluster, etc.) where your deleted VM was located.
4. Access the Deleted Items:
- In the left-hand pane, find and click on "Recently Deleted" under the "VMs" section. This is where your deleted VMs are temporarily stored before being permanently removed.
5. Select and Undelete the VM:
- Locate the deleted virtual machine you want to recover from the list. Select the VM by clicking on it to highlight it.
6. Right-Click and Choose "Undelete":
- Right-click on the selected VM and choose the "Undelete" option from the context menu.
7. Confirm Undelete:
- A confirmation dialog will appear, asking you to confirm the undelete action. Read the message carefully, as it will inform you about the potential impact of undeleting the VM. Click "Yes" or "OK" to proceed.
8. Monitor Progress:
- After confirming the undelete action, the vSphere Web Client will begin the process of restoring the VM. You might see a progress indicator or status message indicating the recovery process.
9. Verify the Recovery:
- Once the recovery process is complete, navigate back to your inventory location and check if the VM has been successfully restored. You can verify this by ensuring that the VM is no longer listed under "Recently Deleted."
10. Power On and Test:
- Before considering the recovery complete, power on the recovered VM and test its functionalities. Ensure that critical data and applications are intact.
11. Learn from the Experience:
- Accidents happen, but you can take steps to prevent future incidents. Consider implementing backup and snapshot strategies to have a safety net in case of accidental deletions. Regularly train your team on best practices to avoid accidental data loss.
Use DiskInternals VMFS Recovery if needed
Accidentally deleting a virtual machine (VM) in your vSphere environment can be nerve-wracking, but with the vSphere Web Client and the assistance of DiskInternals VMFS Recovery, you have a comprehensive approach to recover your deleted VM. This guide will walk you through the steps of undeleting a deleted VM using the vSphere Web Client and, if necessary, utilizing DiskInternals VMFS Recovery.
1. Log into vSphere Web Client:
- Open your web browser and access the vSphere Web Client using the provided URL for your vCenter Server instance.
2. Navigate to VMs & Templates:
- Once logged in, go to the "VMs & Templates" view to manage your virtual machines and templates.
3. Access the Recently Deleted Items:
- In the left-hand pane, click on "Recently Deleted" under the "VMs" section. This is where your deleted VMs are temporarily stored.
4. Undelete with vSphere Web Client:
- Select the deleted virtual machine you want to recover by clicking on it. Right-click on the VM and choose the "Undelete" option from the context menu.
- Confirm the undelete action and monitor the progress as the VM is restored.
5. Check Recovery and Test:
- Once the recovery process is complete, return to your inventory location to verify that the VM has been successfully restored.
- Power on the VM and thoroughly test its functionalities to ensure that all critical data and applications are intact.
6. Use DiskInternals VMFS Recovery:
- In cases where vSphere Web Client recovery is not successful or the VM has been further damaged, consider using DiskInternals VMFS Recovery.
- Download and install DiskInternals VMFS Recovery from their official website.
7. Launch DiskInternals VMFS Recovery:
- Open DiskInternals VMFS Recovery and follow the on-screen instructions to start the recovery process.
8. Select the Affected Disk:
- Choose the disk from which the VM was deleted. DiskInternals VMFS Recovery will scan the disk for recoverable VMFS partitions.
9. Scan for Lost Partitions:
- Let DiskInternals VMFS Recovery scan the disk for lost VMFS partitions. The tool will identify potential recoverable partitions.
10. Preview and Recover VMFS Partitions:
- Preview the recovered VMFS partitions to confirm the presence of your deleted VM data.
- Select the VMFS partition containing the deleted VM and recover it to a safe location.
11. Import Recovered VM into vSphere:
- With the VM data recovered, import the VM into your vSphere environment using the vSphere Web Client. This might involve creating a new VM and attaching the recovered VMDK files.
12. Verify and Test:
- Power on the imported VM and thoroughly test its functionalities. Ensure that all necessary data and applications are intact.
13. Strengthen Preventive Measures:
- After recovering the deleted VM, take this opportunity to reinforce your backup and disaster recovery strategies. Regularly back up your VMs and implement snapshot policies to prevent future data loss.
Remember that DiskInternals VMFS Recovery is a powerful tool, but it's crucial to carefully follow the instructions provided by the software and to avoid any actions that could potentially overwrite your deleted VM data. Always consult the official documentation of DiskInternals VMFS Recovery and vSphere for detailed instructions and troubleshooting guidance.