Disk Recovery now complete – vmfs mount on ubuntu

freebsd-iconSince I (re)started on the 24th of November 2012, the progress of recovering my drive went from fast to slow. More on my recovery.

What happend with my Maxtor drive was that it stopped working when it tried accessing defective blocks. A restart of the drive was required to continue the work.

Using recoverdisk on FreeBSD eventually saved the data.

Though for some reason, which I don’t know, I had multiple entries telling the software to copy the same block multiple times, a quick sample of 3 bytes showed 2 of them was going to be copied approx 500 times each, and the last one was going to be copied approx 1200 times, I don’t doubt there were plenty of these entries. The log file that recoverdisk used was > 400 megs in size. I used the…

cat logfile | sort -u > newlogfile

…command to sort all the unique entries, which ended up in giving me a 3.3 meg log file.

This was more manageable, and after 2 hours of intensive work, I finished my recovery lacking only 17kB of a 1TB disk.

When recoverdisk was finished, I could use the image file to write back to disk. I didn’t want to use the original image in case something went wrong. Recoverdisk image output can be used with “dd”.

The easiest for me was to write the image to disk, rather than making a copy of the file to a disk with enough space. That was just in case mounting the vmfs filesystem failed, and I would have to install the cloned disk into the original hardware, and boot from there.

Since the original disk had vmware ESXi installed I needed to access the vmfs filesystem.

For this I mounted it on Ubuntu, after installing vmfs-tools

sudo apt-get install vmfs-tools

The disk was formatted with default settings during the ESXi installation, and Ubuntu could see the many partitions. Most of the partitions are FAT formated, but not the one that contains the virtual machine. The disk was seen as “sdd” and after some struggling finding the correct partition I found it was sdd3.

sudo vmfs-fuse /dev/sdd3 /mnt

Accessing the mountpoint had to be done by root, but copying the virtual machine which was stored in it’s named dir in the root of the mountpoint was quite easy.

In general it was an easy task but took a very long time.

And since I had plenty of articles I forgot about, I was quite happy getting everything back.

Now you can see that I’ve gotten my articles back that to when I installed WP in 2011.