Mounting ESX Server Disks for data recovery files

When you want to access files on ESX server disk and use recovery tools, you will have to connect the server disk, you then have to mount its vmdk files, disks and partitions. How do you do this exactly? This is a step by step tutorial of mounting ESX server disks for data recovery files.


You have to ensure that you enable the SSH connectivity on the ESX server that you have. Manually configure the settings of the connection. You do this by entering password and login information, plus the server’s IP address. There are two simple methods you could use to access your files once the ESX server is connected.

First Method

Mounting hard drive containing ESX server

In this method you actually mount the hard drive, you will get access to both the partitioned and un-partitioned areas. You will be getting actual physical access as though the server is connected directly to your computer. This is a pretty easy method and is clearly cut out. You can therefore recover the files from the hard drive and in so doing recover the files of the ESX server.

Second Method

Mounting a vmdk disk

You need to select the folder containing the virtual machine. Once you open the folder you need to select and mount a vmdk file. You could use a VMFS Recovery to mount it and use it to restore the files in the ESX server.

Third Method

This is a method that combines both the first and second method. Its advantage is the fact that you could mount any file you want on the ESX server. You need to open vmfs folder then click on volumes and search for datastore. You will be able to find the hard drives in a folder dev then click on disks. Once you select the drive image or file to mount, just click mount. You will add to the main window a newly mounted disk.


You need to ensure you have a backup for your ESX server in case of any malfunctions or loss of data. It is true that you could recover the data but it is a little bit expensive and there is no guarantee. The above methods are quite simple and you could do in depth research to really understand them. They will help you recover your data in case of any problems with your ESX server. Data recovery is not always a 100% guarantee, sometimes you could loss critical information and not be able to retrieve it. You should have at least have a backup for your important information, and if you can afford it, why not have several.