Clean PVE install and old VM disks

onepamopa

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Dec 1, 2019
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Hello,

Few questions guys..

I've been thinking of doing a clean install of PVE (it's currently residing on an old 320 GB HDD) - on 2 250GB SSDs (in raid 1 mode, if possible, just to have some redundancy in case 1 of them fails).

The VMs are on 2 disks - 1x 2TB HDD (backups mostly) and 1x 1TB NVME SSD.

The question is - how to preserve the VMs configs / disks / etc and have them available on the new install? What are the options here? Will external backup (such as on PBS) be needed, or, the VMs can safely reside on the disks and be available after the new install completes ?

Also planning to purchase another 1TB NVME - is it possible to have that NVME directly passed-through in a VM and boot from it inside PVE, and on another PC as well?
Is this even possible ?
For example - stop the VM, place the drive on another PC and directly boot the OS (it's gonna be Windows 11).

Regards,
D
 

Dunuin

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Hello,

Few questions guys..

I've been thinking of doing a clean install of PVE (it's currently residing on an old 320 GB HDD) - on 2 250GB SSDs (in raid 1 mode, if possible, just to have some redundancy in case 1 of them fails).

The VMs are on 2 disks - 1x 2TB HDD (backups mostly) and 1x 1TB NVME SSD.

The question is - how to preserve the VMs configs / disks / etc and have them available on the new install? What are the options here? Will external backup (such as on PBS) be needed, or, the VMs can safely reside on the disks and be available after the new install completes ?
Best and easiest would be to do a backup of your VMs/LXCs. Either PBS or Vzdump. If you just want to move the disk with your VM storage (I would do VM backups in that case too) you should make sure to backup your /etc/pve. Because VMs/LXCs wont run without the VMs/LXCs config file and there are saved in DB on your root disk which is mounted to /etc/pve.
Also planning to purchase another 1TB NVME - is it possible to have that NVME directly passed-through in a VM
PCI passthrough of NVMe SSDs should work
and boot from it inside PVE, and on another PC as well?
Is this even possible ?
If you can boot from an NVMe depends on your mainboard/UEFI supports this. As far as I know you need to use systemd boot ( and not BIOS grub) to boot from NVMe so I would guess only Q35 VMs could boot from it.
For example - stop the VM, place the drive on another PC and directly boot the OS (it's gonna be Windows 11).
Not sure if that will work. Keep in mind that Win11 wants a TPM and I would guess it complains if it can'T find it anymore or another TPM. Same with the other hardware. If you don't pay 200€ for your Win11 you get a OEM version and OEM versions will be bound to specific hardware. As soon as Windows recognizes that too much hardware changed (and in your case everything will change... except for the SSD) your Windows isn'T activated anymore and you wont be able to activate it again unless you put it in the old hardware. And you need to make sure that Windows got drivers for both hardware.
 

onepamopa

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I don't want to move the VM disks storage, they'll stay where they are.

It's just the PVE install disk (HDD) that will "go away" and be replaced with 2 SSDs.

After the PVE is installed - how will it see the existing VM disks / configs? What do I have to backup from the old install & restore on the new one ?

As for the win 11 nvme - it's not a problem, I can keep it inside PVE. The idea was to have it perform as close to bare-metal as possible, with as less emulation as possible.
 
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Dunuin

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I don't want to move the VM disks storage, they'll stay where they are.

It's just the PVE install disk (HDD) that will "go away" and be replaced with 2 SSDs.

After the PVE is installed - how will it see the existing VM disks / configs? What do I have to backup from the old install & restore on the new one ?
It won't see the existsing VM storage if you don't manually add it as a storage again (Datacenter -> Storage -> Add). And VM konfigs will be lost when you reinstall PVE if you don't backup the folder manually so you can copy them back after the installation.

If you backup your VMs it will backup the virtual disks + config used by that VM.
Setup a NAS share or a disk as a Vzdump storage, backup your VMs/LXCs to it. Reinstall your PVE, add this storage again, restore LXC/VMs from that.
 

onepamopa

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So, if I do backups - the VMs will still exist on the NVME.
After new PVE install on SSDs it won't see the storage, but can't I just add the storage back and copy the VM configs folder?
There was something about this in the forum but I can't find it. It was about the "storage config" and "vm configs"...
 

Dunuin

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So, if I do backups - the VMs will still exist on the NVME.
After new PVE install on SSDs it won't see the storage, but can't I just add the storage back and copy the VM configs folder?
There was something about this in the forum but I can't find it. It was about the "storage config" and "vm configs"...
Yes, you can do that but its more complicated than just doing an backup/restore.
But its always recommended to have a recent backup of all VMs/LXCs on an dedicated backup drive or NAS.
 

onepamopa

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Yes, you can do that but its more complicated than just doing an backup/restore.
But its always recommended to have a recent backup of all VMs/LXCs on an dedicated backup drive or NAS.

Does the PVE installer support software raid for the OS itself?
 

Dunuin

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Yes, by using ZFS. If you want something else like LVM ontop of mdadm you would need to install a Debian and PVE optop of that.
 
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onepamopa

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Yes, you can do that but its more complicated than just doing an backup/restore.
But its always recommended to have a recent backup of all VMs/LXCs on an dedicated backup drive or NAS.

I'm running a PBS server on another PC right now.
In PVE - 2 separate data stores added from Datacenter -> Storage -> PBS

After all VMs are backed up - I'll do a clean install PVE on the 2 SSDs.

Question is - how to restore the VMs after that? Is there something specific ?
 

Dunuin

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Question is - how to restore the VMs after that? Is there something specific ?
No, you add your PBS, then select the PBS storage from PVEs WebUI, select the LXC/VM you want to restore and click on restore. PVE will then ask you what VMID you want to use and on which storage the VM/LXC should be restored to. You can select a new storage or select your old one which will overwrite the existing VM if both VMIDs are the same.
 

onepamopa

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If I backup /etc/pve/* and simply restore it on the new install, w/o wiping the VM storage disk(s) - will the VMs work? Do I have to backup anything else on the host, just in case?

Btw.. PVE tried to backup a non-existing .iso placed in the virtual cd/dvd drive. Maybe undesired behavior ?
ERROR: Backup of VM 106 failed - volume 'local:iso/virtio-win-0.1.173-9.iso' does not exist
 

onepamopa

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Also... this happens one some backups... What is causing this?

In PVE:
106: 2021-10-27 21:26:29 INFO: 68% (44.2 GiB of 65.0 GiB) in 6m 26s, read: 111.3 MiB/s, write: 111.3 MiB/s
106: 2021-10-27 21:26:35 INFO: 69% (44.9 GiB of 65.0 GiB) in 6m 32s, read: 111.3 MiB/s, write: 111.3 MiB/s
106: 2021-10-27 21:26:37 INFO: 69% (45.1 GiB of 65.0 GiB) in 6m 34s, read: 102.0 MiB/s, write: 102.0 MiB/s
106: 2021-10-27 21:26:37 ERROR: backup write data failed: command error: write_data upload error: pipelined request failed: detected chunk with wrong digest.
106: 2021-10-27 21:26:37 INFO: aborting backup job
106: 2021-10-27 21:26:37 INFO: stopping kvm after backup task
106: 2021-10-27 21:26:39 ERROR: Backup of VM 106 failed - backup write data failed: command error: write_data upload error: pipelined request failed: detected chunk with wrong digest.


In PBS log:
Oct 27 21:20:03 backups proxmox-backup-proxy[1231]: starting new backup on datastore 'ZFS4TB': "vm/106/2021-10-27T18:20:01Z"
Oct 27 21:20:03 backups proxmox-backup-proxy[1231]: GET /previous: 400 Bad Request: no valid previous backup
Oct 27 21:20:03 backups proxmox-backup-proxy[1231]: created new fixed index 1 ("vm/106/2021-10-27T18:20:01Z/drive-efidisk0.img.fidx")
Oct 27 21:20:03 backups proxmox-backup-proxy[1231]: created new fixed index 2 ("vm/106/2021-10-27T18:20:01Z/drive-virtio0.img.fidx")
Oct 27 21:20:03 backups proxmox-backup-proxy[1231]: add blob "/mnt/datastore/ZFS4TB/vm/106/2021-10-27T18:20:01Z/qemu-server.conf.blob" (566 bytes, comp: 566)
Oct 27 21:26:34 backups proxmox-backup-proxy[1231]: POST /fixed_chunk: 400 Bad Request: detected chunk with wrong digest.
Oct 27 21:26:37 backups proxmox-backup-proxy[1231]: backup ended and finish failed: backup ended but finished flag is not set.
Oct 27 21:26:37 backups proxmox-backup-proxy[1231]: removing unfinished backup
Oct 27 21:26:37 backups proxmox-backup-proxy[1231]: removing backup snapshot "/mnt/datastore/ZFS4TB/vm/106/2021-10-27T18:20:01Z"
Oct 27 21:26:37 backups proxmox-backup-proxy[1231]: TASK ERROR: backup ended but finished flag is not set.
Oct 27 21:26:37 backups proxmox-backup-proxy[1231]: POST /fixed_chunk: 400 Bad Request: backup already marked as finished.
Oct 27 21:26:37 backups proxmox-backup-proxy[1231]: POST /fixed_chunk: 400 Bad Request: backup already marked as finished.
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onepamopa

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After several attempts, the VM got backed up, but... what was causing this? The backup server and PVE are on the same gigabit switch, no troubles there.
 

Dunuin

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If I backup /etc/pve/* and simply restore it on the new install, w/o wiping the VM storage disk(s) - will the VMs work? Do I have to backup anything else on the host, just in case?
I don't think you can just copy the complete /etc/pve from your old to your new PVE. Some stuff like the "/etc/pve/lxc", "/etc/pve/qemu-server", "/etc/pve/storage.cfg" and "/etc/pve/firewall" yes, but not everything.
Btw.. PVE tried to backup a non-existing .iso placed in the virtual cd/dvd drive. Maybe undesired behavior ?
ERROR: Backup of VM 106 failed - volume 'local:iso/virtio-win-0.1.173-9.iso' does not exist
I dint think it tried to backup that ISO. But to be able to do a backup of a VM the VMs must be started for a short moment and if you setup that VM to use a ISO that is not existing anymore the VM won't be able to start and so the backup will fail. Best is to always remove the ISO from the virtual CD drive after installation of the guests OS is finished so you don't run into problems like this.
Also... this happens one some backups... What is causing this?

In PVE:
106: 2021-10-27 21:26:29 INFO: 68% (44.2 GiB of 65.0 GiB) in 6m 26s, read: 111.3 MiB/s, write: 111.3 MiB/s
106: 2021-10-27 21:26:35 INFO: 69% (44.9 GiB of 65.0 GiB) in 6m 32s, read: 111.3 MiB/s, write: 111.3 MiB/s
106: 2021-10-27 21:26:37 INFO: 69% (45.1 GiB of 65.0 GiB) in 6m 34s, read: 102.0 MiB/s, write: 102.0 MiB/s
106: 2021-10-27 21:26:37 ERROR: backup write data failed: command error: write_data upload error: pipelined request failed: detected chunk with wrong digest.
106: 2021-10-27 21:26:37 INFO: aborting backup job
106: 2021-10-27 21:26:37 INFO: stopping kvm after backup task
106: 2021-10-27 21:26:39 ERROR: Backup of VM 106 failed - backup write data failed: command error: write_data upload error: pipelined request failed: detected chunk with wrong digest.
I dont know but maybe your data gets corrupted in the transfer somewhere? Sound like PVE send a chunk to PBS, PBS thinks this data isn't valid.
 

onepamopa

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This keeps happening, I can't backup anything...
Both PVE and PBS are updated:
PVE: 6.4.13
PBS: 2.0-4

Tried rebooting them - no change.
Changed the switch - no change.
Changed the cable - so far all looks to be normal... 1 vm with a 300G disk backed up normally.. testing more.

Hopefully mods/devs/support is gonna answer this time..
Or maybe I should open a new topic just about this error...
 
Last edited:

onepamopa

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Turns out the lan cable was at fault here, backup jobs complete normally with another cable.

Right now I'm verifying all the backups in PBS, when that's done I'll do the new PVE install and restore VM configs and storage.cfg's entries.
 

onepamopa

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For some reason the USB stick I made with PVE (dd mode) errored out ... it's now unformattable so I have to buy a new one tomorrow.
Also, with PVE installed on 2 disks (ZFS raid1) - do I have to select any particular disk as the "boot" disk in the bios?
 

Dunuin

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Also, with PVE installed on 2 disks (ZFS raid1) - do I have to select any particular disk as the "boot" disk in the bios?
PVE should install the bootloader to both disks. You can tell your BIOS/UEFI to boot from both disks so the server still boots if any of the two disks are failing.
 

onepamopa

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I still haven't made the reinstall onto the new SSDs, however, planning to do so in a day or two.

Quick question - when I do the clean install, will it see the old LVM disk (nvme0p1) containing the VM disks?

On the current install:
root@proxmox:# pvscan
PV /dev/sda3 VG pve lvm2 [<297.59 GiB / <16.00 GiB free] -- Only used for ISO storage
PV /dev/nvme0n1 VG NVME_SMS lvm2 [931.51 GiB / 335.47 GiB free] -- NVME containing all VM disks I want to restore on new install.
Total: 2 [1.20 TiB] / in use: 2 [1.20 TiB] / in no VG: 0 [0 ]

root@proxmox:~# vgscan
Reading all physical volumes. This may take a while...
Found volume group "pve" using metadata type lvm2
Found volume group "NVME_SMS" using metadata type lvm2

If not, how do I restore it?
 
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