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VMware uses virtual disk files as a source to store data from their virtual machines.

These files are have an extension of .vmdk and are stored on your local hard drive. There are multiple instances where one would want to access these files without having to boot up the virtual machine. It could be due to a crashed VMware to recover files or like in my case to save time and speed up data retrieval from the VMware. Luckily VMware has developed a tool for exactly these reasons, the VMware disk mount utility. You can download this utility from the following link for Windows http://www.vmware.com/download/eula/diskmount_ws_v55.html for Linux it normally comes as a part of the VMware workstation. The installing part of the tool is pretty simple and straight forward. To use it on windows: If you want to mount the drive to say letter J use the following command: vmware-mount J: C:My Virtual MachinesWindows98Windows98.vmdk Of course replace the vmdk file path with the file you want to mount. If you have multiple disks on the virtual machine you can use the /p option to list all the volumes and then you can select the specific volume to mount using the /v:[Volume number to mount] e.g. vmware-mount C:My Virtual MachinesWindows98Windows98.vmdk /p vmware-mount J: C:My Virtual MachinesWindows98Windows98.vmdk /v:2 To list the currently mounted drives use the /L option And finally use the /d option to unmount a drive. (Hint: you can use the /f option in case you want to force unmount a drive although highly not recommended) For Linux users:

To mount a hard drive use vmware-mount ~/vm/RHEL4.vmdk /mnt/rhel4 Where ~/vm/RHEL4.vmdk is the path to your virtual machine files and /mnt/rhel4 is the path where you want to mount the file to. If you have multiple disks on the virtual machine you can use the -p option to list all the volumes and then you can select the specific volume to mount using the volume number after the source path

e.g. vmware-p ~/vm/RHEL4.vmdk

vmware-mount ~/vm/RHEL4.vmdk 2 /mnt/rhel4 To list the currently mounted drives use the -L option And finally use the -d option to unmount a drive. (Hint: you can use the x or -X option in case you want to force unmount a drive although highly not recommended)

PPT] VMware Converter Best Practices Convert Physical Windows Systems Into Virtual Machines To Be Run On A Linux Desktop [Archive] - MEPISlovers Forums
kmathern 06-12-2007, 02:02 AM ronnielsen1, That vmware converter mentioned in one of the earlier links doesn't work for Win9x versions. (The description of it say its for NT, 2k & XP) I've have gotten my physical install of Win98SE (on partition hda1) to run in a virtual machine using vmwareserver. In the add hardware wizard portion of vmware-server where you create/edit your virtual machines you can add a harddrive to your vm. When your adding the harddrive you are given 3 choices a) create a new virtual disk, b) reuse an existing virtual disk c) use a physical disk I chose the physical disk option. You then specify which physical drive (in my case just one - hda) and whether the entire disk or just certain partitions (I chose the entire drive). When I boot the vm I actually get the same grub menu as I get on a real boot. You have to let windows re-detect all the virtual hardware versus whats really on your system. This can take a long time and many reboots (virtual). You will be asked many times during the hardware detection for the location of the different .cab files from the windows system disk. In my case it seemed better to have the contents of my windows system disk easily accessible in a folder on one of my windows drives versus the real cd drive or a mounted iso file.

I'm probably in trouble if I want to go back and and run it in the normal manner (although it was'nt working that great anyway - i had'nt done a real boot into it since a motherboard replacement a couple of months ago)

If you want an easier solution: kpartx -av diskimage-flat.vmdk mount /dev/mapper/loop1p1 /mnt/diskimage umount /mnt/disimage kpartx -d diskimage-flat.vmdk

How to Mount VMware Virtual Disks Without VMware VMware Workstation and Server uses virtual disk files as the disk drives for virtual machines. These files (ending in .vmdk) are just files on the hosts hard drive. There are a number of scenarios where you would want to mount these virtual disks on the host operating system. Perhaps you want to transfer a file to or from the virtual disk or maybe the operating system is corrupt on the virtual disk and you want to make a registry change. No matter what the case, the VMware disk mount utility is available to serve this need.

What Does The VMware Disk Mount Utility Do?


The VMware disk mount utility allows you to mount a VMware virtual disk (.vmdk file) on a host Windows system. That disk is mounted as a drive letter (letter D: or greater) and you can then read, write, or modify that disk. You can only mount FAT or NTFS virtual disks. If you mount a virtual disk that has snapshots, any changes you make to the virtual disk will be lost if you revert to the snapshot. Also, you should know that you cannot mount a virtual disk from a virtual machine that is currently running or is suspended. Although VMware offers this utility for download, there is NO support offered for the VMware disk mount utility.

Where Do I Obtain The Disk Mount Utility?


To obtain the VMware disk mount utility, go to the VMware disk mount download website and accept the end user license agreement. After saying Accept to the EULA, you will be asked if you want to save the file. Save the .exe file to your hard drive. The name of the program is VMware-mount-5.0.0-13124.exe Now, execute this program.

Installing VMware Disk Mount


Once you run it, the installation is very simple. The process goes like this:

Click Next on the Installation Wizard. Accept the license agreement and click Next. Take the default installation directory and click Next. Click Install to begin installation. After the installation is completed, click Finish.

How Do I Use The VMware Disk Mount Utility?


Once installed, to use the program, you must do everything from the command line. This is strictly a command line utility. To begin using it, go to Start -> Run. Type in cmd and click OK. Type: cd \Program Files\VMware\VMware DiskMount Utility

Type: vmware-mount /? This will show you the command options for the disk mount utility.

You can type vmware-mount without any options to show currently mounted volumes. Now, lets mount a disk. You must first know the exact location of the VM disk that you wish to mount. Based on the location of the virtual disk you wish to mount, you will type something like this: vmware-mount j: C:\Documents and Settings\David Davis\My Documents\My Virtual Machines\Windows XP Professional\Windows XP Professional.vmdk and press Enter

In my case, the disk that I chose to mount had snapshots. I was told that this was the case and had to answer whether or not I wanted to proceed, even though any changes I made would be lost if I revert to the snapshot. I said yes and was returned to my prompt. The virtual disk is now mounted as drive J. To access the disk, just access it like any other mounted drive. Since we mounted this drive as drive J:, just type J: and press Enter. Now type dir to see what is on the disk.

You should also be able to see this disk in Windows Explorer as a local disk, like this:

As you can see, we have successfully accessed this VMware virtual disk. For more information on this utility, see the VMware disk mount utility online manual. For information on how to do this on Linux, take a look at Accessing Virtual Hard Disks Outside of VMware Workstation for Linux.

Summary
In summary, the ability to mount virtual disks on a host operating system can be very useful to transfer files back and forth between host and virtual machine. This also allows to you access virtual machines, whether or not you have VMware installed or even working. VMware disk mount is a very handy tool to understand and have in your tool belt.