Above May not work. So make a VMplayer VM with ESXi installation and mound physical disk where VMFS present.
This is the biggest technical perversion I’ve ever did:
- Vmplayer + ESXi
- mounted IDE disks with VMFS
- bridged network
- added datastores
- added NFS datastore to host where vmplayer runs (thought it were faster then just download)
- Windows Server 2012
- NFS role and share
- enought space
Bad method. Spent to much time.
- On the host where you installed Windows 2012 (for example) and where HDD with ESXI disks is mounted install one of this
- Hyper-V role
- vmware player
- Then create new virtual machine and install ESXi on it, just any trial ESXi you can found.
- Add new disk to ESXi host, when adding choose “add hardware disk” or “add hardware disk partition”
- select disk or partition where vmfs located
- Then power on ESXi, mount new datastore for it
- Install ProFTPd as described; https://aacable.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/howto-add-ftp-server-in-esxi-5-x-to-support-fast-downloadupload-of-vm-images/
- Browse datastore by any FTP client (I used filezilla) and download any vmdk you need
This is the best and fastest way to download all vmdk and even if network lost filezilla can continue download from that point where it fails.