How to Recover Data from VMware Disk?

In today’s digitally driven business landscape, virtualization solutions such as VMware have gained immense popularity due to their efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Among the critical aspects of managing these virtual environments is data recovery, which can sometimes be a challenging task. This article aims to guide you through the process of recovering data from a VMware disk, explaining the necessary tools, steps, and best practices involved.

Understanding the Basics

A VMware disk, essentially, is a storage medium used by VMware virtual machines (VMs) to store data. These disks can experience data loss due to several reasons such as VM corruption, disk failures, accidental deletion, or even malware attacks. To guard against irreversible data loss, having regular backups and reliable data recovery solutions for your VMware disk is crucial.

Essential Tools for Data Recovery from VMware Disk

Overview of Tools Used for Data Recovery

Various tools are available to aid in the recovery of data from a VMware disk. Some of the renowned ones include VMware Recovery, DiskInternals VMFS Recovery, and Veeam Backup & Replication. Each tool is designed with unique features that make it suitable for specific virtual disk recovery scenarios.

Pros and Cons of Popular Data Recovery Tools

  1. VMware Recovery: This tool, developed by VMware itself, provides an easy-to-use interface and direct integration with VMware environments. However, it may lack some advanced recovery features found in other tools.
  2. DiskInternals VMFS Recovery: This tool excels in recovering data from damaged or formatted VMFS disks. However, its user interface might be less intuitive for novice users.
  3. Veeam Backup & Replication: Veeam offers robust data recovery features and additional backup solutions. However, it can be overkill for small businesses due to its extensive features and higher price point.

Key Features to Look for in a VMware Data Recovery Tool 

When selecting a data recovery tool, consider the following key features:

  1. Compatibility: The tool should be compatible with your VMware version and support various file systems.
  2. Recovery Capabilities: It should be able to recover all types of data and handle different data loss scenarios.
  3. Ease of Use: Look for a tool with an intuitive interface that makes the recovery process easy, even for non-tech users.
  4. Technical Support: The vendor should offer robust technical support to assist with any challenges during the recovery process.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Recover Data from VMware Disk

Before beginning the recovery process, perform the following preliminary checks:

  1. Check the State of the VM: Make sure the VM is not running during the recovery process. Running VMs might lead to further data corruption.
  2. Check the Integrity of the Disk: Use system utilities to check the health of the VMware disk. This can provide insights into the extent of damage and the probability of successful recovery.

Recovery Process

Here are the general steps to recover data from a VMware disk using a data recovery tool:

  1. Launch the Data Recovery Tool: Install and open your chosen data recovery tool.
  2. Select the Disk: From the interface, select the VMware disk from which you want to recover data.
  3. Scan the Disk: Run a scan on the disk. This process might take some time, depending on the size of the disk and the extent of data loss.
  4. Recover the Data:  After the scan, the tool will list all the recoverable files. Select the ones you want to recover and specify a location to save them.

Post-Recovery Process

Once the recovery process is completed, carry out the following steps:

  1. Verify the Recovered Data: Open and check the recovered files to verify their integrity and ensure they are usable.
  2. Restore the Data: If the recovered data is correct, you can now restore it back to the VMware disk or keep it stored separately as a backup..

How to Prevent Data Loss in VMware Disk

Preventing data loss is better than recovering it. Some best practices for data protection include regular and consistent backups, using reliable security software to guard against malware, and monitoring the health of the VMware disk regularly.

Case Study: Successful Data Recovery from VMware Disk

Let’s consider a real-life case where a mid-sized company experienced a server crash, causing significant data loss on their VMware disk. They used a data recovery tool that not only recovered their data but also helped to restore their virtual machines back to the pre-crash state. This case underscores the importance of having an effective data recovery strategy.

Common Mistakes to Avoid During VMware Disk Data Recovery

Common mistakes during data recovery include not having recent backups, using unreliable recovery tools, and not verifying the recovered data’s integrity. You can avoid these mistakes by maintaining up-to-date backups, carefully selecting your recovery tool, and thoroughly checking recovered data before restoring it.


Data recovery from a VMware disk might seem complex, but with the right tools and steps, it can be straightforward. This guide has walked you through the entire process, giving you the information needed to tackle this task. Remember, data protection starts with you, so always ensure you have regular backups and an effective recovery strategy in place.

Facing data loss can be stressful, but remember that in most cases, the data can be successfully recovered. So, keep calm, follow the steps, and you’ll likely get your data back in no time.

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