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ESX 3.x/4.x configuration backup and restore procedure (1000761)
This article describes how to restore an ESX 3.x/4.x host to a previous configuration in the event of a failure or re-installation. For ESXi 4.x / 5.x, see Backing up and restoring ESXi configuration using the vSphere Command-Line Interface and vSphere PowerCLI (2042141).
Warning: This procedure is an unsupported workaround. This may lead to data loss or corruption if done incorrectly.
Backing up Procedure
Create backups of these items:
- The /etc/passwd file
- The /etc/shadow file
- The contents of /home directory
- The contents of /root directory
- The contents of the /etc/vmware directory, excluding:
- Any soft links
To restore configuration:
- Reinstall ESX to the same patch level as the failed one.
- Get the information on the currently configured core dump partition and copy and paste the output into a text editor:
- Get the information on the currently configured cos core file and copy and paste the output into a text editor:
cat /etc/vmware/esx.conf |grep CosCorefile
- Restore /etc/vmware from a previous backup.
- Update the new configuration file with core dump partition information:
esxcfg-dumppart –s vmhbaX:X:X:X
Where vmhbaX:X:X:X is the dump partition name noted from step 2.
- Edit /etc/vmware/esx.conf and update the CosCorefile information to match the path copied in step 3.
- Get the new UUID for the root partition:
cat /boot/grub/menu.lst |grep UUID
This generates at least 3 lines with root=UUID=xxxxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxx where x is a hexadecimal number.
- Update the configuration with new root device UUID by executing following command
esxcfg-boot –d “UUID=xxxxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxx"
- Reboot the ESX host. The ESX host reboots with the old profile.
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