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: Jan 16, 2024

How to download vmdk file from datastore?

Handling virtual machines (VMs) in a VMware setting frequently requires the transfer and retrieval of virtual disk files, also known as VMDK files. Whether you're in the process of VM migration, backup creation, or analysis, the capability to securely fetch VMDK files from your datastore to your local setup is vital.

This article aims to walk you through the detailed steps for obtaining VMDK files from your VMware datastore. We'll cover both the conventional approach using VMware vSphere Client, as well as an alternative method utilizing the robust DiskInternals VMFS Recovery software.

By adhering to this all-encompassing guide, you'll acquire a thorough understanding of the methods used in procuring VMDK files from the datastore. This will equip you to oversee your virtual ecosystem with greater assurance. Let's get started and tap into the seamless way of retrieving VMDK files from your VMware datastore!

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How to Download files from VMware datastore?

To download files from VMware datastore, you can follow the steps outlined below:

Method 1: Using VMware vSphere Client

  1. 1. Launch the VMware vSphere Client on your system and connect it to the vCenter Server or ESXi host.

  2. 2. Once connected, navigate to the "Inventory" tab and select the appropriate datastore from the list on the left-hand side.

  3. 3. In the datastore view, locate the folder or directory that contains the file you want to download.

  4. 4. Right-click on the file and select "Download" from the context menu.

  5. 5. Choose the destination location on your local system where you want to save the downloaded file and click "OK" to start the download process.

  6. 6. Wait for the download to complete. The time taken will depend on the file size and your network speed.

Method 2: Using the Datastore Browser in VMware vSphere Web Client

  1. 1. Launch the VMware vSphere Web Client and connect it to the vCenter Server or ESXi host.

  2. 2. In the main menu, navigate to "Storage" and select "Datastores" from the drop-down menu.

  3. 3. Locate the datastore that contains the file you wish to download and click on it.

  4. 4. In the datastore view, browse to the directory or folder where the file is located.

  5. 5. Right-click on the file and select "Download" from the options provided.

  6. 6. Choose the destination location on your local system where you want to save the downloaded file and click "OK" to initiate the download.

  7. 7. Monitor the download progress until it completes successfully.

Method 3: Using DiskInternals VMFS Recovery (alternative method)

  1. 1. Download and install DiskInternals VMFS Recovery software on your local system.

  2. 2. Launch the software and select the appropriate datastore from the list of available datastores.

  3. 3. Navigate to the folder or directory where the desired file is located within the VMFS datastore.

  4. 4. Right-click on the file and select "Save" or "Export" to save it to your desired location on your local system.

  5. 5. Wait for the software to complete the download process, which may involve scanning and extracting the VMDK file from the datastore.

Regardless of the method you choose, make sure you have the necessary permissions and access rights to perform these actions within your VMware environment. With these steps, you should be able to successfully download files from your VMware datastore.

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Download Large VMDK Files Faster from VMware Host Faster

To download large VMDK files faster from a VMware host, you can employ the following strategies:

  1. 1. Optimize Network Configuration:

    • Ensure that the network connection between your local system and the VMware host is reliable and has sufficient bandwidth. Use a high-speed and stable network connection to minimize transfer times.
    • If possible, connect your local system directly to the same network switch or VLAN as the VMware host to eliminate any network bottlenecks.
  2. 2. Utilize Multiple Connections:

    • Use multiple concurrent connections to download the VMDK file. Some download tools or clients support parallel connections, allowing for faster data transfer.
    • Split the large VMDK file into smaller parts (if feasible) and download them concurrently using multiple connections. Later, you can reassemble the parts on your local system.
  3. 3. Leverage Compression and Deduplication:

    • Compress the VMDK file before downloading it. Compression reduces the file size, which in turn decreases the transfer time.
    • Utilize tools or techniques that leverage deduplication to eliminate duplicate data blocks during the transfer. This approach reduces the amount of data to be transferred, further speeding up the download process.
  4. 4. Opt for Transfer Acceleration:

    • Consider using data transfer acceleration technologies like VMware's "vSphere Storage I/O Control" or third-party solutions to optimize the data transfer between the VMware host and your local system.
    • These technologies utilize various techniques such as caching, protocol optimization, and data prioritization to expedite the transfer of large files.
  5. 5. Utilize Third-Party Tools:

    • Explore third-party tools specifically designed for faster data transfer from VMware hosts. These tools may offer advanced features, optimizations, and parallelization techniques to enhance download speeds.
  6. 6. Optimize VMware Configuration:

    • Ensure that the VMware host is properly configured and optimized for data transfer. This includes optimizing storage settings, network configurations, and virtual machine settings to maximize performance.
  7. 7. Consider Offline Transfer:

    • If network limitations persist or if you have physical access to the VMware host, consider downloading the VMDK file directly from the datastore to an external storage device (e.g., USB drive or external hard disk). This offline transfer method can be faster, especially for extremely large VMDK files.

By implementing these strategies, you can significantly improve the download speed of large VMDK files from your VMware host to your local system. Choose the methods that are feasible and compatible with your infrastructure to achieve the best results.

How to Download VMware Log From Datastore?

To download VMware logs from a datastore, you can follow these steps:

  1. 1. Launch the VMware vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client and connect to the vCenter Server or ESXi host.

  2. 2. Navigate to the "Inventory" or "Hosts and Clusters" view, depending on the client you are using.

  3. 3. In the inventory view, locate the datastore that contains the VMware log files you want to download.

  4. 4. Right-click on the datastore and select "Browse Datastore" or "Browse" to open the datastore browser.

  5. 5. In the datastore browser, navigate to the specific directory or folder where the log files are stored. The exact location may vary depending on your environment, but common locations include "/vmfs/volumes/datastore_name/" or "/vmfs/volumes/datastore_name/host_name/".

  6. 6. Once you have reached the desired directory, you will see a list of log files. Look for files with extensions such as ".log" or ".txt", which typically represent VMware log files.

  7. 7. Select the log files you want to download by clicking on them while holding the Ctrl or Shift key to select multiple files.

  8. 8. Right-click on the selected log files and choose the "Download" or "Download As" option from the context menu.

  9. 9. Choose the destination location on your local system where you want to save the downloaded log files.

  10. 10. Click "OK" or "Save" to start the download process.

  11. 11. Wait for the download to complete. The time taken will depend on the file size and your network speed.

Once the download is finished, you will have the VMware log files saved on your local system for further analysis or troubleshooting purposes. Remember to close the datastore browser and disconnect from the vCenter Server or ESXi host when you have finished downloading the log files.

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FAQ

  • How do I copy a VM from datastore?
    1. 1. Launch the VMware vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client and connect to the vCenter Server or ESXi host.

    2. 2. Navigate to the "Inventory" or "Hosts and Clusters" view, depending on the client you are using.

    3. 3. In the inventory view, locate the datastore that currently holds the VM you want to copy.

    4. 4. Right-click on the datastore and select "Browse Datastore" or "Browse" to open the datastore browser.

    5. 5. In the datastore browser, navigate to the folder or directory where the VM is stored. Typically, the VM's files are located in a folder with the same name as the VM.

    6. 6. Right-click on the VM folder and choose the "Copy" or "Duplicate" option from the context menu.

    7. 7. Specify the destination datastore where you want to copy the VM. If you are copying the VM within the same datastore, you can select the same datastore as the destination. If you are copying to a different datastore, select the desired destination datastore.

    8. 8. Provide a new name for the copied VM, which will differentiate it from the original VM.

    9. 9. Optionally, you can choose to preserve the virtual machine's files in their original format or select a different format, such as "Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed" or "Thin Provision".

    10. 10. Click "OK" or "Copy" to start the copy process.

    11. 11. Wait for the copy process to complete. The time taken will depend on the size of the VM and the speed of your storage system.

  • How do I export a VMDK file?
    1. 1. Launch the VMware vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client and connect to the vCenter Server or ESXi host.

    2. 2. Navigate to the "Inventory" or "Hosts and Clusters" view, depending on the client you are using.

    3. 3. In the inventory view, locate the virtual machine (VM) whose VMDK file you want to export.

    4. 4. Right-click on the VM and select "Edit Settings" or "Virtual Machine Settings" from the context menu.

    5. 5. In the VM settings window, navigate to the virtual disk section, which displays the VMDK file associated with the VM.

    6. 6. Note the datastore where the VMDK file is located. This information will be useful when exporting the VMDK file.

    7. 7. Close the VM settings window.

    8. 8. Now, open the datastore browser:

      • For VMware vSphere Client: Right-click on the datastore where the VMDK file is stored, and select "Browse Datastore" or "Browse".
      • For vSphere Web Client: Navigate to the "Storage" tab, select "Datastores", and click on the appropriate datastore.
    9. 9. In the datastore browser, navigate to the folder or directory where the VMDK file is located.

    10. 10. Right-click on the VMDK file and select "Download" or "Download As" from the context menu.

    11. 11. Choose the destination location on your local system where you want to save the exported VMDK file.

    12. 12. Click "OK" or "Save" to start the export process.

    13. 13. Wait for the export to complete. The time taken will depend on the size of the VMDK file and the speed of your network connection.

  • VMware vs Virtualbox

    VMware vs Virtualbox:

    • Performance: VMware often provides better performance and efficiency, especially for professional use. VirtualBox is adequate for basic needs but might be slower in intensive tasks.
    • Features: VMware offers a wider range of advanced features, making it suitable for enterprise environments. VirtualBox has sufficient features for most users but lacks some of the advanced capabilities of VMware.
    • User Interface: VMware's user interface is more polished and intuitive, while VirtualBox's interface is straightforward but less refined.
    • Cost: VMware has paid versions with more features, while VirtualBox is free and open-source.
    • Compatibility: Both support a wide range of operating systems, but VMware might offer better compatibility with certain systems, especially in a corporate setting.

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