VMware: Move VM to differtent datastore on ESXi standalone host

On many forums and newsgroups people ask how to move a VM to a different datastore within a standalone ESXi host (not managed by vCenter). Today I had to perform this task over at a costumer and wrote a procedure for this task.

The tool I used to copy the VM is Veeam FastSCP, you can download this software for free at http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esxi-fastscp.html

After you have installed Veeam FastSCP follow the steps below to move the VM.

Login using the vSphere client on the ESXi host and power off the VM you want to move to a different datastore. After the VM is powered off you must remove it from the inventory (right click on the VM and select ‘Remove from inventory’).

Now start FastSCP. First we have to make a connection to the ESXi host, right click at ‘Servers’ and choose ‘Add Server’.

Now follow the wizard to make the connection;

After the connection is made you can unfold the servers datastores and just drag and drop you VM folder into another datastore.

Now the copy process starts;

You can also monitor this in the vSphere client, the copy task will appear in the Recent Task pane;

When the copy process is finished you can add the VM back to the inventory by using the datastore browser within the vSphere client. Browse the destination datastore;

Now open the VM folder and right click the <VMNAME>.vmx file. Click here on ‘Add to inventory’.

Follow the steps in the wizard and the VM will be visible in the inventory.

Now the VM is back in the inventory we have to start it for the first time. When you power on the VM it will notice that he is on a different datastore. Answer the question by selecting ‘I _copied it’ and click ‘OK’. The VM will now start.

The only task that’s left is to delete the VM folder on the source datastore, for this task you can use the Datastore browser again.


8 thoughts on “VMware: Move VM to differtent datastore on ESXi standalone host

  1. Doesn’t works! 🙁
    Error al recuperar un generador de clases COM para el componente con CLSID {…….} error : 800700c1

  2. Hello Rob,

    THanks a lot for this page its helped me a lot but am in trouble after this activity i.e my client need to take snapshot of the vm that i’ve move but its failing snap shooting with error -“File is larger than the maximum size supported by datastore”

  3. Looks like the tool blow up the thin provisioned disk and also the tool goes over my computer not direct host to host. Well at least the GUI looks nice =)

  4. Rob, WOW!! This was so much better than anything that VMware or Cisco has. Thank you, you saved me many hours of heartache.

  5. If you tell VMware that you copied the virtual machine, the network MAC address will change. So if you use Linux (Ubuntu), you will get a renamed network interface as it is mapped to a fixed name by udev.
    Just update the file /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules

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