Mounting and diagnosing an EC2 volume from a rescue instance

Here’s a quick way to troubleshoot logs on a failing EC2 with an attached volume.

  1. Remove the instance from any load balancers so it won’t be dropped from a healthcheck
  2. Take a snapshot of the volume you’re having trouble with
  3. Create a rescue instance in the same AWS Account and using the Ec2 Add Storage step attach a new volume which uses the snapshot you created mapped to device xvd*
  4. Start up your instance and connect remotely
  5. Using diskmgmt.msc browse and mount the drive
  6. Use file explorer to find your device and explore as a regular hard drive

Having trouble mapping your device? See Mapping Disks to Volumes on your EC2 instance for the documentation on the device names.