Register All VMs from a Datastore

Quick post this one, I discovered this script when I was looking to register VMs as part of a temporary DR solution, unfortunately I cannot remember where I found the script and therefore I apologise to the original creator.

The idea behind the script is to search through the datastore or datastores that you select, discover the location of the .vmx files on the datastores and then registering the virtual machines associated with the .vmx files into the virtual environment.

Here’s the script, items in bold and italic should be changed:

connect-viserver vcenterservername

$Cluster = "clustername"
$Datastores = "datastorename"
$VMFolder = "destinationfolderforvms"
$ESXHost = Get-Cluster $Cluster | Get-VMHost | select -First 1
foreach($Datastore in Get-Datastore $Datastores) {
 # Set up Search for .VMX Files in Datastore
 $ds = Get-Datastore -Name $Datastore | %{Get-View $_.Id}
 $SearchSpec = New-Object VMware.Vim.HostDatastoreBrowserSearchSpec
 $SearchSpec.matchpattern = "*.vmx"
 $dsBrowser = Get-View $ds.browser
 $DatastorePath = "[" + $ds.Summary.Name + "]"
 # Find all .VMX file paths in Datastore, filtering out ones with .snapshot (Useful for NetApp NFS)
 $SearchResult = $dsBrowser.SearchDatastoreSubFolders($DatastorePath, $SearchSpec) | where {$_.FolderPath -notmatch ".snapshot"} | %{$_.FolderPath + ($_.File | select Path).Path}
 #Register all .vmx Files as VMs on the datastore
 foreach($VMXFile in $SearchResult) {
 New-VM -VMFilePath $VMXFile -VMHost $ESXHost -Location $VMFolder -RunAsync

About the Author


I have been in IT for the past 15 years and using virtualisation technologies for around the past 8 years. I started, as quite a lot of people do, working with PCs after playing with such iconic systems like the ZX81, ZX Spectrum and then progressing through 386s, 486s, Pentiums etc. After being headhunted at sixth form to work for a small company based around Hertfordshire, UK. I began working with small businesses and gaining a lot of hardware experience. Three years later, after helping to increase the size of the business, I needed to gain exposure to a larger environment to progress my own career. I joined a large manufacturing company around Electronic Test and Measurement which progressed my skills onto more PC work, hardware work and then onto Server Operating Systems. I progressed again onto a consultancy company based in Reading, UK. Initially working as an engineer performing hardware / software installations for larger companies contracted out to the consultancy company, I moved up into a Consultant position continuing my travel across the UK assisting and providing solutions to companies. I finally moved on again to my current position, working back in Hertfordshire, UK. Again working for a large manufacturing company, this time with over 50,000 users worldwide. I am responsible for the datacenter hardware, the storage environment, the vmware environment and also implementing their new Citrix XenApp farm. My days are busy but also productive, its a friendly environment and in my four years of being with the company, I have seen many changes in technology and infrastructure in use within the company. About the site I started this site as I had been thinking of having more of a presence on the web for a while. On a daily basis, I perform tasks and use tools that others may not use or may not think to do and therefore I thought that I would share some of these experiences and tips with others to help with their day to day work. Currently, my main focus of work is around VMware and Veeam Backup & Replication but hopefully as my tasks progress, I’ll be able to share useful bits of information about other areas of IT as well.

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