Did you took an entire backup of that server? It might be better that you create an empty VM on the ESXi host. Then connect the recovery media ISO to it and boot from there and do a Bare Metal Restore (as you would do to a physical server recovery...) It is possible that your physical server has hidden partitions that aren't recovered when you restore it as a VMDK. You probably only are restoring the C and (other drive letters) volumes without realizing that there are hidden partitions.
I would go for the BMR option and see if that recovery works