VM Recovery

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How to preview recovered vmdk files before purchase

It is a common and expected question our customers ask. Here is detailed guide on how to check integrity of recovered vmdk file before purchase.

First of all please be advised, demo version has all “save” features locked, otherwise it has same capabilities on VMFS recovery and RAID reconstruction full version has. Moreover you can activate license any time, no download or rescan is required.


If you recover data from RAID disk, you have two options -- leave as it is, if you absolutely sure there is no problems with RAID or use built in Raid Wizard to reconstruct RAID properly. Please note, it is necessary to connect disks in a nonRAID mode to your Windows machine or use separate disk images, where each image represents separate disk from array. It is impossible to reconstruct binded array as controller blocks access to the RAID structure data. 

Some tips about scan:

  • To speed up the scan it is recommended to connect ESX disks directly to Windows machine instead of using SSH connection.

  • Use "Uneraser" mode unless your file system is corrupt or was formatted, otherwise you have to run "Full Recovery->VMFS" mode.

  • Uneraser mode to recover *.vmdk

  • If you have a time critical case and you don't want to interrupt "Full Recovery" scan, you can run second copy of VMFS recovery and perform a parallel scan in "Uneraser" mode.

Browsing recovered data

First of all you need to browse a folder where once was your *.vmdk file. Next place to search “Unknown files” virtual folder where we place all files and folder that has no root anymore.

unknown files virtual folder contains data without root folder

Last place to check “Fragments of PBC” and "Recovered Files" folders that contains results of our Power Search algorithm, lack of this alternate method – it's unable to recover fragmented data and therefore useful only in specific cases. Please search “Fragments of PBC” for files with same size as required. File name could be beyond recovery, but data will be still intact.

Recovered files contains results of our data carving algorithm

Mounting recovered VMDK

If VMFS Recovery will be able to find deleted vmdk, you need to mount it by right click and selecting "Expert->Mount as disk". This will allow you to check integrity of files inside vmdk using built in preview and ensuring data was recovered successfully.

Vmdk file will be added to disk list as a simple disk image, please open it in a Reader mode or scan it Uneraser\Recovery with corresponding to guest OS file system, i.e. Windows->NTFS, Linux->EXT. This will allow you to gain access to files inside and preview recovered data using built in preview

Please write to support if you have any question or need additional consultation, each case is different and it is impossible to describe all case in an article.