When you map a virtual disk and its associated volume to a drive on the host system, you can connect to the virtual disk without opening a virtual machine.

Before you begin

  • Power off all virtual machines that use the virtual disk.

  • Verify that the virtual disk (.vmdk) files on the virtual disk are not compressed and do not have read-only permissions.

  • On a Windows host, verify that the volume is formatted with FAT (12/16/32) or NTFS. Only FAT (12/16/32) and NTFS formatting is supported. If the virtual disk has mixed partitions, for example, one partition is formatted with a Linux operating system and another partition is formatted with a Windows operating system, you can map the Windows partition only.

  • Verify that the virtual disk is unencrypted. You cannot map or mount encrypted disks.

About this task

After you map the virtual disk to a drive on the host system, you cannot power on any virtual machine that uses the disk until you disconnect the disk from the host system.

Important:

If you mount a virtual disk that has a snapshot and then write to the disk, you can irreparably damage a snapshot or linked clone created from the virtual machine. Note that Workstation Player does not support taking snapshots or deleting them.

Mapping a virtual disk to a host system is not supported in the standalone version of Workstation Player. Virtual disk mapping is supported in the Workstation Player version included with Workstation Pro.

Procedure

  1. Select the virtual machine and select Player > Manage > Virtual Machine Settings.
  2. On the Hardware tab, select Hard Disk, click Utilities, and select Map.
  3. On a Windows host, leave the check box Open file in read-only mode selected in the Map Virtual Disk dialog box.

    This setting prevents you from accidentally writing data to a virtual disk that might be the parent of a snapshot or linked clone. Writing to such a disk might make the snapshot or linked clone unusable.

  4. Browse to a virtual disk (.vmdk) file, select it, and click Open.
  5. Select the volume to map or mount and select an unused drive letter on the host system.
  6. (Optional) : On a Windows host, if you do not want the drive to open in Windows Explorer after it is mapped, deselect the Open drive in Windows Explorer after mapping check box.
  7. Click OK or Mount.

    The drive appears on the host system. You can read from or write to files on the mapped virtual disk on the host system.