VMware Solutions Discussions

MBRAlign on ESXi



I've just installed a fresh ESXi 4.1 install using NFS and our FAS3140c. I want to realign any migrated Windows 2003 server OS partitions and have read about MBRalign. Using ESXi makes this more challenging as I dont have a service console to install the EHU into. I've read this article http://blogs.netapp.com/storage_nuts_n_bolts/2009/10/esxi---mbrscanmbralign.html and proceeded to do what was instructed BUT it doesn't seem to work.

I have used the mbrtools.tar.gz download that comes with the VSC 2.0.1 VCenter plugin, extracted it to a /tmp directory on a Linux guest OS (even tried /sbin and /sbin/usr) but just get 'No such file or directory' when I attempt to run it. It's not a permissions issue as I've chown'd and chmod'd the utility. For reference, i've alos mounted the DS with the VM OS vmdks in without issue...

Can anyone help any further? I've tried Ubuntu and Fedora 14 variants of Linux as the guest OS to run this from but get the same error on both. Also, the mbrtools.tar.gz utility doesn't contain mbrscan either..... is there anyway I can run / use MBRScan in this environment?

Thanks in advance



The newest version of VSC 2.1.1 has a new version of the mbrtools that can be installed on esxi servers - you have to do it by accessing ESXi through the troubleshooting mode, but it works.


tektrainer - Can you explain in detail how you are doing this, and is it FC(VMDK) or NFS volumes.  We know NFS will work, but I am running my NetApp with FC VMDK volumes.



It's part of the mbralign tool now it looks like.  mbralign --scan all and  mbralign --scan filehame


Hi I was able to get mbralign to run from a x64 CentOS server.  I used this because it closely resembles RHEL, which is what ESX is sort of based off of.  For some reason the mbralign from the 5.2 HUK did not install quite right, so I used the mbralign from 5.1.  When I installed CentOS, I told it to install the development libraries, I’m pretty sure those are needed with mbralign.  Then I was able to mount the NFS datastores on that Linux box and run mbralign.


Hi there,

i took the fedora 14 x86_64 live dvd, booted a vm with it and then hit the "install to harddisk" button on the desktop. after a reboot do this:

1) log in and open a command line (upper left side: Application -> System Tools -> Terminal)

2) in the command line, switch to root using "su -" (make sure to remember your password 😉

3) run a „yum –y install nfs-utils glibc.i686“ to download the needed packages from the internet (which you configured during setup)

4) start the services „service rpcbind“ (note: i recommend to run "service iptables stop && service ip6tables stop" to disable the firewalls on the fedora machine to save the fw hassle)

5) create a mount point, eg: "mkdir /vmware"

6) mount your nfs volume, eg: „mount –t nfs netapp01:/vol/vol_vmds01_nfs /vmware“

7) i usualy have mbrtools unpacked on the datastore so every machine can access it. you CANNOT run binarys from datastores tho so do a „cp –vR /vmware/mbrtools /root“ to copy these tools into the root users home directory

thats it, you can run mbralign with full ethernet wire speed now!

If you do not have a nfs license, talk to your sales representative to get a 90 days trial license, usualy isnt a problem if you explain them that you want to align your vms.

For reference: i was using mbralgin from VSC v2.0.1P1, works just fine.



Thomas, I seem to be stumbling on a fundamental piece of this and that is actually mounting the drive: it times out and finally fails. I feel confident that the network settings are fine and I've double checked my input. Just wondered if you had any advice! Many thanks in advance,


I have heard you can take the ESXi 4.1 into Tech Support mode and then install the host utilities, has anyone tried this?


I tried this once and failed (i.e. it was missing lots of the required libraries).



Try using ldd to find out if you're missing any (32-bit) libraries for the binary:

[root@esx1 ~]# ldd /opt/netapp/santools/mbrscan
        libnsl.so.1 => /lib/libnsl.so.1 (0x00699000)
        libdl.so.2 => /lib/libdl.so.2 (0x0047a000)
        libm.so.6 => /lib/libm.so.6 (0x004ae000)
        libcrypt.so.1 => /lib/libcrypt.so.1 (0xf7ef6000)
        libutil.so.1 => /lib/libutil.so.1 (0xf7ef2000)
        libpthread.so.0 => /lib/libpthread.so.0 (0x00480000)
        libc.so.6 => /lib/libc.so.6 (0x00334000)
        /lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0x00316000)
[root@esx1 ~]# ldd /opt/netapp/santools/mbralign
        libnsl.so.1 => /lib/libnsl.so.1 (0x00699000)
        libdl.so.2 => /lib/libdl.so.2 (0x0047a000)
        libm.so.6 => /lib/libm.so.6 (0x004ae000)
        libcrypt.so.1 => /lib/libcrypt.so.1 (0xf7f8b000)
        libutil.so.1 => /lib/libutil.so.1 (0xf7f87000)
        libpthread.so.0 => /lib/libpthread.so.0 (0x00480000)
        libc.so.6 => /lib/libc.so.6 (0x00334000)
        /lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0x00316000)
[root@esx1 ~]#

If any of these libs comes up as "not found" then you need to install (compatibility-)libraries for your OS




I have made this work on both an Ubuntu 10.10 and Fedora VM fine. The only issue I found was that it will only recognise -flat.vmdk's


Thats the default behaviour of mbralign. The flat-vmdk disk is the disk with the actual stored data which would need aligning...

Could you detail which version of MBRAlign you used.

How you extracted it from either EHU or the tarball included in the VSC 2.0.1 console

How you got it copied into the linux host.

Which directory you copied it into

Any permissions / ownership or host modification changes you made?

Sorry to ask so much but i'm curious to see what i (and a lot of others) are doing wrong



I am using the version that came with VSC 2.0.1 and I extracted it using the GUI via Ubuntu into the /home/user directory.

For some reason I need to run the command from the root / location

sudo /home/user/mbrscan /nfs_datastore/vm01/vm01-flat.vmdk

If I run mbrscan from within the /home/user directory I get command not found...

Hope this helps.


Interesting. I have carried out what you do and I no longer get the error message BUT nothing else happens!!

I'm doing this on fedora 14 


I would be very interested in this too.

I have tried different linux versions too, 64 and 32.  I'm thinking of installing a virtual ESX host just to use mbralign....

looking forward to what others have to say.


I've had problems using the version of mbraling that comes with VSC before. I'd recommend trying the version that is packaged with the standalone ESX host utilities, and see if you have more luck with that.


Tried Installing EHU 5.1 onto an ESX host. Copied the /opt/netapp/santools dir to a Fedora 14 box and get the same problem.

Is it anything to do with the fact that its a 32 bit application running on a 64 bit Linux platform?

I've just tried using GParted (I know this isn't supported) but it seems to work fine. Only 'issue' I have is that the StartingOffset has to be set at 1024. Is this an issue for Windows 2003? It's properly aligned so I can't see it being so but would like a sanity check!


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