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.

  • 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.

Note:

You cannot map a virtual hard disk for a shared or remote virtual machine.

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.

Procedure

  1. Mount the virtual disk to a drive on the host system.

    Option

    Description

    Windows host

    Select File > Map Virtual Disks.

    Linux host

    Select File > Mount Virtual Disks.

  2. Map or mount the virtual disk.

    Option

    Description

    Windows host

    In the Map or Disconnect Virtual Disks dialog box, click Map.

    Linux host

    In the Mount or Unmount Virtual Disks dialog box, click Mount Disk.

  3. (Optional) : You can also map a virtual disk from Windows Explorer.
    1. Open Explorer and browse to the .vmdk file you want to map.
    2. Right-click the .vmdk file and select Map Virtual Disk.

      The menu also allows you to map the first volume of the .vmdk file to a drive immediately. If you select that option, no further configurations are needed.

  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. 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.

  7. (Optional) : View the mapped or mounted drive.

    Option

    Description

    Windows host

    Select File > Map Virtual Disks. A list of mapped drives displays.

    Linux host

    Select File > Mount Virtual Disks. A list of mounted drives displays.