Data Recovery for Virtual Machines
By Matt Brennan
Virtual machines can appeal to businesses for several understandable reasons. Maintenance for them is easier, they can facilitate multiple operating systems, and they can operate independently of physical systems. There are many other reasons they appeal as well. Despite their advantages, they are capable of data loss as well.
Data loss can occur either through user error, or a malfunction with the virtual machine. Either way, data recovery for virtual machines is increasingly important as popularity increases. When data recovery is for business purposes the recovery process can sometimes be urgent.
But it’s important to know a little more about the causes of data loss from virtual machines.
The Causes of Data Loss from Virtual Machines
Below are some of the common causes of data loss from virtual machines:
- Deletion (intentional or accidental)
- File corruption
- Malfunction in hardware
- Abrupt shutdown of the machine
Can You Recover Data from A Virtual Machine?
You can recover data from a virtual machine if you are experienced and understand what you are doing. With a data backup, it’s easier to restore. Without that backup, you’ll need to go with other data recovery solutions for your virtual machine.
There are methods that can be found online that might work, but there are no guarantees. There are also data recovery software packages that may recover your data, but may make it harder to recover your data should you be unsuccessful.
Guidelines for Recovering Data from a Virtual Machine
- Don’t install data recovery software in a location where you would like to recover data. Downloading the software may be enough to write over the very data that you are looking to recover.
- Take the volume in question offline when you suspect device failure or accidental deletion.
- If you attempt to do a manual recovery, it’s better to work with a backup copy or image file.
- Re-initializing or reformatting a drive will remove all data and complicate the data recovery process from that point forward.
Examples of What Can Be Recovered from a Virtual Machine
A good data recovery company can recover files from a variety of different types of systems or scenarios including:
- Deleted snapshots
- Corrupted virtual disk
- Re-formatted VMware
- RAID or hardware failures
- Fusion for Mac
- Various corrupted file systems
It’s Important to Go with a Data Recovery Company You Can Trust
If you’ve lost data on a virtual machine, the best possible course of action is to go with a data recovery company that you can trust. The software might be able to recover the data, but you run the risk of writing over the very data that you’re looking to recover – making the job significantly harder, if not impossible.
Whether it is a single machine or an entire virtual network, an experienced data recovery company will have what it takes to help you recover your data. This is true no matter what the cause is, and what type of hardware or software situation you may find yourself in.