This could be done manually as in the picture or automatically by the operating system as soon as it detects the new disk from the SAN array. If no partition table exists on the disk a new one must be written, which could be in either the legacy MBR mode or the newer GPT format. The Windows server is running R2 Enterprise Editon.
MTK is a place to share data forensic tips learned throughout the course of loud keyboard banging. These servers usually house production machines that just don't get shutdown very often.
Why the decision has been made to turn it off is one that I am sure was not made lightly.
Whatever the scenario is, it is what it is. It wasn't your call, but the client decided to shut down their ESXi server and subsequently shipped it to you for analysis. Now you have the drive in your hand and you have been tasked with extracting the Virtual Machines out of the drive for analysis.
It stands for Virtual Machine File System. It was developed to store virtual machine disk images, including snapshots. As of the date of this writing, not all of the big forensic suites have the ability to read this file system.
And I can understand why, as is extremely difficult for the commercial suites to offer vmfs tools read write and think for all available file systems.
Fortunately for us, it is very possible to read this file system using Linux. Once access to the file system has been accomplished, we will acquire a Virtual Machine stored on the drive.
For you to be able to accomplish the task, you will have to make sure that you have vmfs-tools installed on your Linux examination machine. Vmfs-tools is included by default in LosBuntu. LosBuntu is our own Ubuntu If you download and boot your machine with LosBuntu, you will be able to follow along and have the exact same environment described in this write-up.
This drive is from an ESXi server that I own. The ESXi server drive is currently housing some virtual machines that we will be able to see, once the file system is mounted. I booted an examination machine with a live version on LosBuntu and connected the drive to the machine.
Now, fire up the terminal and let's begin the first step of identifying the drive. Usually the first step involves running fdisk, so that we can identify which physical assignment was given to the drive.
Sudo gives fdisk superuser privileges for the operations. Press enter and type the root password if needed, pw is "mtk". The following parted command will hopefully get us closer to what we need. The last displayed partition, which is actually partition number three, looks to be the largest partition of them all.
Although parted was able to read the partition table, it was unable to identify the file system contained in partition three. Let's run one more command. To mount the file system we are going to have to call upon vmfs-fuse, which is one of the commands contained within the vmfs-tools package built into LosBuntu.
But before we call upon vmfs-fuse, we need to create a directory to mount the VMFS volume. As my friend Gene says. We can read the volume and we see that we have many directories belonging to Virtual Machines. From here you can remain in the terminal and navigate to any of these directories, or you can fire up nautilus and have a GUI to navigate.
The following command will open nautilus at the location of your mount point as root. It is important to open nautilus as root so that your GUI can have the necessary permissions to navigate the vmfs mount point that was created by root.
Another option would be to make a forensic image of the Virtual Machine. For example, we can navigate to the ServerR2DC01 directory, which houses the Domain Controller used on the previous write-up about examining Security logs.
Find that article here. In this specific instance, this Virtual Machine does not contain snapshots.Can I mount a VMFS formatted HDD from Windows or Linux.
I use Ext2 Volume Manager to read/write EXT3 partitions from my Windows but it shows this disk as RAW. I ended up installing vmfs-tools in Ubuntu and using vmfs-fuse to mount the partition and copy the files off.
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In the last couple of months, I have noticed an increase in customer interests in using the Cross vCenter vMotion (xVC-vMotion) capability that was introduced back in vSphere In my opinion, I still think this is probably one of the coolest features of that release.
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