I think my previous entry for the VMware vSphere blogging contest wasn’t accepted because I couldn’t get the File Level Restore tool to work. There were even some people suggesting to use another product.
Virtualization Spotlight is an independantly run blog, sponsored by “PHD Virtual Technoligies Inc”.
VMware Guru Eric Sloof has been checking out VDR 1.0’s File Level Restore and can’t get it to work. It’s quite worrying that the guru can’t get it working! We think it’s most likley down to a software issue with VDR as it seems unlikely that Mr Sloof would be unable to make it work!
Roger Baskerville (@HoundOf) Head of Vizioncore EMEA.
RT @esloof: Saturday nite project failed :-( File Level Restore w/ VMware Data Recovery 1.0 - http://bit.ly/DCgWc Try vRanger 4.1 DPP!
VMware also responded with an email from their Product Manager for VMware Data Recovery, Azmir Mohamed.
First of all, thank you for trying out VMware Data Recovery! In terms of the file level restore (FLR) functionality that you tried but could not get working ( it is an experimentally supported feature) it could be that you ran into an issue but here are some of the recommendations/suggestions that I received from the development team.
- What is the guest OS running on the Windows VM that you are running the FLR client? While we plan to support 32-bit and 64-bit instances of Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 and 2008 (including R2), the experimental version was primarily for use with 32-bit versions of Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 and 2008 (no support for R2 with experimental version).
- The FLR client can be used by users with Administrator privileges in virtual machines running Windows XP or later. Do you remember if the VM that your ran FLR on whether you were logged in as Administrator or equivalent?
- While today we only support connection with the IP address to the appliance, we will be able to resolve using DNS names in the future.
I know I had to take action before a complete escalation and a phone call from Paul Maritz so I went through the technical notes once again and discovered a section I didn’t pay much attention to earlier.
To install FLR, copy the vdrFileRestore.exe to a location of your choosing on the virtual machine with the files to be restored. All files required for FLR to function as expected are contained within the vdrFileRestore executable. For example, if you were going to restore a file on the virtual machine named MY_VM, you could start the virtual machine named MY_VM, create a directory called FLR on the virtual machines C:\ drive and then copy vdrFileRestore.exe to C:\FLR. Note that FLR cannot be used to restore files for virtual machines other than the virtual machine on which the executable is present. When you invoke the vdrFileRestore.exe, any changes required to use FLR are completed automatically. For more information on changes that occur when vdrFileRestore.exe is invoked, see “Understanding FLR.”
So I copied the vdrFileRestore executable into one of my virtual machines instead of running it from my laptop and it worked like a charm. Like Mike Laverick always says, Read the Fucking Manual, Mike you’re right once again. Azmir has promised me to do a demo of the full GUI version of the FLR client that VMware showed at VMworld 2009 in San Francisco. This will be the version that will be fully supported by VMware when it becomes available. I’ll try to make some screenshots during the WebEx session.