Monday, March 29, 2010

VMDK Related - Simple Stuff - but good to read & keep in mind

I guess, you may use Mr.Mattr workaround (below) in other cases, like data recovery / repair file system times as well. - Source : -

I was upgrading the memory in a Windows 2000 VM to 8GB, and had to alter the boot.ini to use more than 4GB. Unfortunately I was doing this remotely and during the save process my VPN died. When I rebooted the server I was faced with the dreaded ‘NTBTLDR.EXE is missing’. 

Now I knew that the problem must lie with the boot.ini, but how to get at it? Because I was remote I did not have a Windows 2000 disk to get a recovery console up and I needed to get the server up and running again. I then realized that I did not need to boot from a CD to get to the VM’s hard drive.

I shut the VM off again, and switched to other VM on same host. In Edit Settings, I simply added the vmdk of the troubled VM to the other VM and rescanned for the disk in Disk Management. Lo and behold the disk appeared and I could access the boot.ini file – I had managed to add a space at the beginning of the file during the save process which was causing the problem.

I rectified the file, removed the disk from the spare server and then the vmdk from the client. I crossed my fingers and restarted the VM … and gratefully saw the windows splash screen appear. If this had been a physical box I would not have had a chance of fixing this remotely, and even on site there would have been much more time expended on finding a chassis with spare slots, array controller configurations etc. so it goes to show even the most basic functions of VMware are worth the effort of putting it in in the first place :) 

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