VMFS Recovery™
Recover data from damaged or formatted VMFS disks or VMDK files
Recover data from damaged or formatted VMFS disks or VMDK files
Last updated: May 16, 2023

Best VMDK Recovery Tools to Recover VMDK File

Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) files are used in virtual environments to store virtual machine data, including the operating system, applications, and files. Unfortunately, like any other file format, VMDK files can become corrupt, deleted, or lost due to various reasons, including hardware failure, software malfunction, or human error. Recovering a lost or damaged VMDK file can be a challenging task, but luckily, there are many VMDK recovery tools available that can help. In this article, we will explore some of the best VMDK recovery tools that can help you recover your lost or damaged VMDK files.

1. DiskInternals VMFS Recovery

DiskInternals VMFS Recovery is a powerful software tool designed to recover corrupted or deleted Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) files. It supports different VMFS file systems, including VMFS 3, VMFS 5, and VMFS 6. The software uses advanced algorithms to scan the corrupted or deleted VMDK file and recover the lost data.

DiskInternals VMFS Recovery also supports different virtualization platforms, including VMware, VirtualBox, and Hyper-V. It provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows even non-technical users to recover their VMDK files easily. In this article, we will discuss the best VMDK recovery tools, and we will start with DiskInternals VMFS Recovery.

  • Read the VMware VMFS file system perfectly
  • Recovers from corrupt VMFS-formatted drives
  • Recovers remotely in online mode
  • Integrated step-by-step recovery wizard
  • Supports Unicode filenames and multi-level folders
  • All features are available for free

2. Bitrecover VMDK Recovery Wizard

Bitrecover VMDK Recovery Wizard

has a user-friendly interface that makes the recovery process easy, even for novice users. This tool supports VMDK files created by different virtual machines such as VMware, Oracle VirtualBox, and Microsoft Hyper-V. It can recover files from different types of storage devices, including hard drives, external drives, and USB flash drives. Bitrecover VMDK Recovery Wizard also allows you to preview recoverable files before starting the recovery process, so you can choose which files to recover.

3. Recoverit Data Recovery

Recoverit Data Recovery is a powerful VMDK recovery tool that can recover lost, deleted, or formatted VMDK files from various storage devices such as hard drives, USB drives, and memory cards. It uses advanced scanning algorithms to scan the storage device and recover VMDK files in their original quality. The tool also supports recovery from other file systems such as FAT, NTFS, and exFAT. Additionally, it has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to use even for beginners. Overall, Recoverit Data Recovery is a reliable VMDK recovery tool for recovering lost or deleted VMDK files.

4. Aryson VMDK Recovery

Aryson VMDK Recovery is a reliable software that is designed to recover VMDK files with ease. The software can recover deleted or lost VMDK files from both FAT and NTFS file systems. Additionally, the tool supports various virtual machine files, including VMDK, VHD, and VHDX. With Aryson VMDK Recovery, you can recover lost data from damaged, corrupted, or inaccessible VMDK files. The software also allows you to save the recovered files at your preferred location.

5. Kernel for VMDK Recovery

Kernel for VMDK Recovery is a professional VMDK recovery tool designed to retrieve data from corrupt or damaged VMDK files. It can recover data from all types of VMDK files, including split, sparse, and flat files. This tool is capable of recovering deleted files, formatted partitions, and data lost due to virus attacks, software malfunctions, and other reasons.

Kernel for VMDK Recovery supports recovery from both fixed and dynamic VMDK disks, and it supports all major file systems like NTFS, FAT, and ExFAT. The software comes with a user-friendly interface and provides a preview option to ensure that the recovered files are accurate. Overall, it's a reliable tool to recover VMDK files without any data loss.

6. Sysinfo VMDK Recovery

Sysinfo VMDK Recovery is another powerful tool that can recover VMDK files efficiently. It can recover data from corrupt, damaged, or inaccessible VMDK files. The software supports VMDK files created by various virtualization software such as VMware, VirtualBox, and others. It uses advanced scanning algorithms to search for lost or deleted files and can recover them in their original format. The software is easy to use and provides a user-friendly interface, making it an excellent choice for both beginners and professionals. Additionally, Sysinfo VMDK Recovery allows you to preview recoverable files before saving them.

Benefits of DiskInternals VMFS Recovery VMDK Recovery Tool

Some of the main benefits of DiskInternals VMFS Recovery include:

  1. 1. Free preview: DiskInternals VMFS Recovery offers a free preview feature, allowing users to preview recoverable files before purchasing the software. This feature can be particularly useful in determining if the software is able to recover the desired files and if they are intact and complete. The free preview feature also allows users to assess the quality of the recovered files, ensuring that they are fully functional and usable. Additionally, the preview feature saves time and eliminates the need to purchase the software without knowing if it will successfully recover the needed files.
  1. 2. Multiple file system support: DiskInternals VMFS Recovery supports a wide range of file systems, including VMFS, VMFS6, VMFS5, and VMFS3.
  1. 3. Quick scan and deep scan: The software offers both quick and deep scan modes to ensure that all recoverable VMDK files are found.
  1. 4. User-friendly interface: The software has a user-friendly interface, making it easy for anyone to use.
  1. 5. Various storage device support: The software can recover VMDK files from various storage devices such as hard drives, USB drives, memory cards, and more.
  1. 6. Search feature: DiskInternals VMFS Recovery includes a search feature that allows you to search for specific files or folders within the recovered data.
  1. 7. Multiple saving options: The software allows you to save the recovered VMDK files to a different partition, external drive, or network location.

When to Use VMDK Recovery Software?

There are different scenarios that would make you want to download and try a VMDK recovery tool. These scenarios include:

1. When you need to repair VMDK Flat File,

2. When your VMDK file cannot launch due to access errors,

3. When you need to restore a corrupt flat VMDK or descriptor VMDK file.

How to Recover Deleted VMDK File with DiskInternals VMFS Recovery

Here are the procedures to recover your deleted, corrupt, or lost VMDK files using the DiskInternals tool.

Step One: Install and Launch the Tool

VMFS Recovery

Download the DiskInternals VMFS Recovery software on your Windows computer – make sure the hard drive that contains the VMFS partition (which stored the lost VMDK file) is connected to the computer – launch the recovery program and select the drive.

Step Two: Choose a Recovery Mode

Click on the VMFS volume

There are two notable recovery modes supported by DiskInternals VMFS Recovery: Fast Recovery and Full Recovery. You can try the Fast Recovery mode first – if you’re in haste. However, the Full Recovery mode is what guarantees up to 97 percent efficiency.

Step Three: Wait for the Scan

right-click on the volume and open it

Whichever recovery mode you choose, wait for the recovery process to run completely. However, before the scan start, DiskInternals VMFS Recovery will automatically examine the current state of VMware VMFS datastores, volumes, disks, RAID (if used), and the VMFS structures where possible – after this automated process, the scanning kicks off.

Step Four: Preview the Files

Select the folder you wish to save your files and recover your files to this folder

Once the scan is complete, the recovered files will appear with a red asterisk, and you can preview them for free. After previewing, to save them back, you need to purchase the PRO edition of VMFS Recovery.


  • How do I repair a corrupted VMDK file?

    • Check if the VMDK file is really corrupted by attempting to open it in a virtual machine.
    • Use VMware's built-in tool "vmkfstools" to repair the VMDK file. The command to do this is "vmkfstools -x check ". This will check the integrity of the VMDK file and repair any errors it finds.
    • If the vmkfstools command fails, try using a third-party VMDK repair tool such as DiskInternals VMFS Recovery or Bitrecover VMDK Recovery Wizard. These tools are specifically designed to repair and recover corrupted VMDK files.
    • If none of the above methods work, you may need to recreate the VMDK file from scratch and restore the data from a backup.
  • How do I open a VMDK file in Windows?

    • Download and install the virtual machine software on your Windows computer.
    • Launch the virtual machine software and click on the "New" or "Create a New Virtual Machine" button to create a new virtual machine.
    • Follow the prompts to create the virtual machine and select "Use an existing virtual hard disk file" option when prompted to choose a hard disk file.
    • Browse to the location of the VMDK file on your computer and select it.
    • Complete the remaining steps to create the virtual machine and start it.

    Once the virtual machine is running, you can access the contents of the VMDK file as if you were running the operating system on a physical machine.

  • How do I recover a corrupted virtual machine?

    • Shut down the virtual machine and make a copy of its files for backup purposes.
    • Check for any underlying hardware issues that may be causing the corruption.
    • Use the virtual machine's built-in repair tools to attempt to fix the corruption.
    • If the built-in repair tools are not successful, try using a third-party virtual machine recovery tool.
    • If the virtual machine still cannot be recovered, try restoring from a recent backup.
    • If none of the above methods work, you may need to recreate the virtual machine from scratch and restore your data from a backup.

    Note: The exact steps for recovering a corrupted virtual machine may vary depending on the virtualization software being used. It is recommended to refer to the software's documentation for specific instructions.

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