You can add an existing virtual hard disk to a virtual machine when you customize the virtual machine hardware during the virtual machine creation process or after the virtual machine is created. For example, you might want to add an existing hard disk that is preconfigured as a boot disk.

During virtual machine creation, a hard disk and a SCSI or SATA controller are added to the virtual machine by default, based on the guest operating system that you select. If this disk does not meet your needs, you can remove it and add an existing hard disk at the end of the creation process.


  • Verify that you are familiar with controller and virtual device node behavior for different virtual hard disk configurations.
  • Verify that you have the Virtual machine.Configuration.Add existing disk privilege on the destination folder or datastore.

Power off the virtual machine.


  1. Click Virtual Machines in the VMware Host Client inventory.
  2. Right-click a virtual machine in the list and select Edit settings from the pop-up menu.
  3. On the Virtual Hardware tab, select Add hard disk and select Existing hard disk from the drop-down menu.
  4. (Optional) To delete an existing hard disk, move your pointer over the disk and click the Remove icon (X).
    The disk is removed from the virtual machine. If other virtual machines share the disk, the disk files are not deleted.
  5. In the Datastore column, expand a datastore, select a virtual machine folder, and select the disk to add.
    The disk file appears in the Contents column. The File type menu shows the compatibility file types for this disk.
  6. Click Select and click Save to add the existing hard disk.