When we made the jump to ESXi from VMWare Server, I copied all the VM files I could find up to the datastore on ESXI. I imported the production machines that I needed, created several new ones, and promptly forgot about the rest I’d dragged over.
Until one day I needed one of those old VMs. I found it on the datastore, but how do I use it in VMWare? Here’s what I did to get it working (posted in part to document it for myself).
Open VSphere, and navigate to Configuration >> Storage and right-click the datastore >> Browse Datastore.
Find the folder containing the VM I want to use on ESXi, open it, find the .vmx file, and right click >> Add To Inventory.
Upon trying to start the VM, receive the message
Failed to start the virtual machine. Module DevicePowerOn power on failed.
Unable to create virtual SCSI device for scsi0:0, ‘/vmfs/volumes/508092ab-58439560-c619-782bcb2e8717/network.ghc.local HP PCM/network.ghc.local HP PCM.vmdk’
Failed to open disk scsi0:0: Unsupported or invalid disk type 7. Ensure that the disk has been imported.
Use putty to connect to the ESXi host. Navigate to the store in /vmfs/volumes/vMachines and find the folder corresponding to the VM.
Import the VMDK file (not the snapshot, the root VMDK) using
# vmkfstools -i original-name.vmdk imported-name.vmdk
When that’s done, exit putty and go back to VSphere. Edit the configuration for the machine, removing the existing disk. Add a new disk, pointing to the new VMDK file (I usually choose NOT to delete the old disk files now; I clean them up later).
Now start the machine, giving thanks to whatever spiritual tradition you hold dear.