How-To: Manually Repair a VMware Replica created by Veeam

KB ID: 1773
Product: Veeam Backup & Replication | 7.0 | 8.0 | 9.0 | 9.5 | 10 | 11
Published: 2013-06-20
Last Modified: 2022-01-26
Languages: DE | FR | ES
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 The actions documented in this article should never be performed on a production server as data loss could occur. These actions are only to be taken on a replica as Veeam has the ability to bring the replica up to date.
Article Applicability

This article is not intended for use with:

Challenge

This article explains how to manually revert a replica to its base disks, allow it to be remapped to a replication job and used as a seed when the replica's snapshot files have become corrupt.

The following are error messages that may prompt the use of this KB article:

  • A replication job may fail with a message such as:
    Unable to repair replica VM.
    
  • When the replication job fails to create a snapshot on the replica with:
    File or folder already exists.
    
    This occurs most often when a loose file is named like a snapshot but is not associated with the replica (e.g., DC01-0000001.VMDK), is in the folder with the replica files. When VMware creates the first snapshot on the replica it can’t because the file it was going to create has the same name as the aforementioned loose file.
  • Replication job fails with:
    Invalid Snapshot Configuration
    
    Verify that the error is coming from the replica by checking the replica's Tasks & Events.
  • Replication job fails with:
    CID mismatch error: The parent virtual disk has been modified since the child was created
    
    Verify that the error is coming from the replica by checking the replica's Tasks & Events.

Cause

An old or orphaned Snapshot file is linked to the VM configuration (vmx), and a new Snapshot is trying to use that file name.

Solution

Please be aware that as an alternative to performing the steps below, you may first attempt to clone the faulty replica within VMware; if it succeeds, map the Replication job to the clone of the replica.

Note: Before beginning:

  • Stop all replication jobs to the target location of the replica in question.
  • Manually check each target side proxy for stuck replica hotadded disks. (Consider switching the target proxies to use Network transport mode to prevent this if it becomes a problem). See KB1775 for details.

I. Gather Information

  1. Edit the Replica
  2. Note what disk files correlate to each SCSI ID.
    Example:
    [Datastore1] DC01_replica\DC01-00000023.vmdk on SCSI0:0
    [Datastore1] DC01_replica\DC01_1-00000023.vmdk on SCSI0:1
    [Datastore2] DC01_replica\DC01-00000023.vmdk on SCSI0:2

II. Prepare the Replica

  1. Open the Snapshot manager and starting with the oldest snapshot, delete the snapshots one at a time. The goal is to get as much new information into the base disks as possible. At some point though, there will be a snapshot that will not remove.
  2. If any snapshots are left in the snapshot manager, try using the Delete All option in the snapshot manager.
  3. Use the consolidate function to consolidate any orphaned snapshots.
    Note: It is expected for these steps to fail at some point. When you receive a failure, move on to the next step.

III. Preparing Veeam Backup & Replication

Within the Veeam console under Replicas, find the replica that will be repaired and right-click it; from the context menu, choose “Remove from replicas…” ("Remove from configuration")
After you use the “Remove from replicas…” ("Remove from configuration") function, it will remove the VM from the Replication job. You will have to add the VM back to the replication job manually.

IV. Detach Snapshot Disks and Attach Base Disks

  1. Edit the replica, and select each of the disks and click remove. It will put a strikethrough the drive and show the word (removing).
  2. After selecting all the disks for removal, press OK.
  3. Edit the replica again, reattach the base disks to the replica, choose to add an existing disk, and then navigate to the location of the base disks for the replica. Attach them to the same SCSI nodes that were noted earlier.
    When using the vSphere Web Client, if you run into a disk that displays “0” as the disk size, it won’t let you remove that disk from the VM. To remove this disk, you need to add a size to the disk. The number that you input here does not matter. We want to make sure the size of the disk no longer displays “0”. At this point, it will allow you to remove that disk.
    This does not apply to the vSphere Thick Client, as it already allows you to remove disks that display “0” as the disk size.

V. Datastore Cleanup

Using the datastore browser, go to the folder of the replica.

Most likely, there will be many files; keep in mind that the only files that are required are:

  • VMX
  • VMXF
  • NVRAM
  • VMDK for each disk.

So, for example, here is a folder pre-cleanup post repair.
User-added image
We can remove the following files:
User-added image
Leaving the VMX, VMXF, NVRAM, and the VMDK for each disk. Removing the associated snapshot files that are no longer needed.

VI. Test the replica

  1. Create a snapshot on the replica.
  2. Remove the snapshot.
  3. If no error occurs, map the replica in a replication job and see if the job runs successfully.
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