Mounting a VMFS Datastore in ESXI Using ESXCLI (Recovering a ESXI Datastore)

Mounting a VMFS Datastore in ESXI Using ESXCLI (Recovering a Datastore)

If you are migrating or restoring drives to another ESXI server it may be necessary to manually mount a VMFS datastore. Sometimes ESXI will automatically mount datastores but in complex configurations, like using fiber channel or after drive / data recovery, manual mounting may be required.

Environment: VMware ESXI 6.5, 6.7, 7



  • SSH access will need to be enabled
  • Root level access to system (ESXCLI)



To mount a volume follow the steps below:


1. First list the detected volumes

esxcfg-volume -l


2. Copy the volume label

After issuing the “esxcfg-volume -l” command take note of the “VMFS UUID/label” Copy the label between “VMFS UUID/label:” and “/…

Scanning for VMFS-3/VMFS-5 host activity (512 bytes/HB, 2048 HBs).
VMFS UUID/label: 0xx0x0x0-x00000x0-0xx0-x0x0000x0000/Test.Share
Can mount: Yes
Can resignature: Yes
Extent name: xxx.00000000xxx00x00000x00x000x0x0xx:1 range: 0 - 358143 (MB)


3. Mount the volume

If you plan to keep the volume mounted, you will need to mount the volume persistently. Issue the command “esxcfg-volume -M” followed by the “VMFS UUID/label:

esxcfg-volume -M 0xx0x0x0-x00000x0-0xx0-x0x0000x0000


If you plan to temporally mount the volume, issue the command with -m “esxcfg-volume -m” followed by the “VMFS UUID/label:”

esxcfg-volume -M 0xx0x0x0-x00000x0-0xx0-x0x0000x0000


The datastore should now show up in ESXI and vCenter, under storage, datastores. To restore the VM’s in ESXI click on the datastore and click “Register a VM”

About the author: Amro Sahli

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