How to Manage VMFS Corruption on a Virtual Machine


When a Virtual Machine File Server (VMFS), that is, one of the virtual servers within a machine, becomes corrupt, this can result in catastrophic data loss and the need for emergency vmware data recovery. 

Knowing how to recognize the signs of VMFS corruption, and knowing how to handle the situation without doing further damage to your virtual environment, can mean the difference between preserving your data and being able to access your files or facing a data recovery emergency. 

If one of your VMFS volumes becomes corrupt, it may be possible to migrate the files to one of the other, working, VMFS volumes.

Caution: Do NOT power down your virtual machine before taking any other action. If you are facing a corrupt VMFS volume and you shut down the server, it may not be able to re-boot, leaving your mission critical files inaccessible.

If the disk blocks in your VMFS have not been corrupted and the damage is logical, not physical, you can migrate the files to another machine by connecting to another virtual machine via remote desktop. 

Make sure you have a VMFS volume with sufficient space to clone the apps and files on the corrupt server. This VMFS volume can be in the same physical machine, a different virtual machine, or any desktop or laptop on the same network.

Then follow these three steps: 

1. Download and install VMware converter inside the new virtual machine.

2. Run Converter. Select “physical machine” and “local machine.”

3. Select an ESX server host as a destination. Follow the prompts as the process completes.

Preventing Future VMFS Corruption

If the VMFS volume became corrupted due to a virus, trojan, or even because of the age of the server, be aware that other volumes may follow. Ensure that all your data back-ups are up-to-date (and functioning properly so that your files will be accessible in the event of the need for disaster recovery.)

Consider migrating your mission critical files to another virtual machine, entirely, or upgrading to new hard drives in the server. As with any hard disk drive, drives in a virtual environment have a number of read/write cycles before failure and the potential for data loss becomes an imminent threat.

VM Migration Failed?

If you attempt to migrate your files to another VMFS volume but the process fails, you may need expert data recovery service. 24 Hour Data specializes in data recovery for all Windows and Mac-based virtual servers, including those from VMWare, Citrix and others.


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