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Recovering datastores on NFS

Network File System (NFS) is a distributed file system protocol originally developed by Sun Microsystems in 1984, allowing a user on a client computer to access files over a computer network much like local storage is accessed. NFS, like many other protocols, builds on the Open Network Computing Remote Procedure Call (ONC RPC) system. By it's nature NFS is very close(yet incompatible) with Samba (SMB) or other network protocols.

Despite it's name NFS is not a disk file system and it has nothing to do to with disk data storage. Instead it uses a common file systems to actually store data on the disk. Usually this is EXT, NTFS or any other file system. NFS doesn't allows direct disk access nor allows access to disk's sectors. Unlike remote datastores with virtual disk formatted in VMFS, which Fiberchannel, SAS or iSCSI allows to create, NFS allows only file level access. Thus all VMDK files sent to such datastore actually will be placed to some folder on EXT disk.

Therefore, to recover data from datastore saved on NFS, you need to extract HDDs from NFS file server and connect them to Windows PC. Open connected disks in "Uneraser" mode and search for required vmdk file. Use "Mount disk" command if you are not registered customer to preview if data recovered correctly, or Use "Save Wizard" to save recovered data.