• BackupFan
    We are attempting to restore a physical machine that we have been backing up using "Backup for Windows" to a VMware ESXi 7 VM, essentially P to V conversion. We restored as virtual disk using the file format "VMware Virtual Disk vmfsdynamic", and the VM file was successfully restored to a local NAS. Our purpose is to restore a server or a workstation to a VMware ESXi host for temporary recovery in case of a computer failure.
    The restore file came in the form of two files: *computer name*-s001.vmdk (about 20 GB in size) and *computer name*.VMDK (about 500 bytes). We then imported the VMDK and vmdk files onto the VMware host, and that was also successful. However, when we got to the point of registering the VM, the visible imported VMDK file is grayed out. The other VMs that we already have setup each have a vmx file, but the VM that we imported does not have that.
    So, our question is, is it even possible to restore a workstation as an ESXi 7 VM? And if so, what are we missing? This seems like it is perhaps an unusual restore method, and we have not been able to find much in the way of specific instructions for this scenario.
    And just to note, the ESXi version we are using is a free version. We aren't sure if that is relevant or not. We realize that there is a way to restore directly as a VM via an API, but our hope was to use the free version of ESXi, as this would be a relatively seldom-used short-term recovery method.
  • David Gugick
    I believe the free version is missing the Storage APIs and that’s likely what you’re running into. But I need to check with Support.
  • BackupFan
    I see. Is there a workaround for this? We hoped to use the free version since we would plan to use this option typically in emergency situations. Currently, we are just trying to establish what our options are with MSP360 VM restore.
    Thank you!
  • David Gugick

    The suggested workaround from Support is to either purchase an Essentials VMware license or to install our backup software on each virtual machine.

    See here: https://kb.msp360.com/standalone-backup/esxi-&-hyper-v/current-license-or-esxi-version-prohibits-execution-of-the-requested-operation

    For a one-off, you might be able to use a commercial license trial to complete his restore. As far as Support can tell, the missing component in VMware freeware (VADP) is used in the process of export and import operations. Once imported, they believe the VM would function with the free license. Obviously this is not a long term solution. Here is more info about VADP: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1021175
  • Jim Richardson

    Thank you for this information.

    Just to confirm, this question involves the quick recovery of a non-VM workstation or server, to a VM, to be operated temporarily until the failed computer can be replaced. Can you tell me what you mean by “install our backup software on each virtual machine”? The restore will be accomplished to create a VM of the failed physical. Since we are having difficulty creating the VM, I can’t envision how we would install your backup software on the virtual machine.
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