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Adding Drives to a Virtual Machine

Adding Drives to a Virtual Machine

VMware Workstation virtual machines can use up to four IDE devices and up to seven SCSI devices. Any of these devices can be a virtual hard disk or DVD or CD-ROM drive. A virtual machine can read data from a DVD-ROM disc. VMware Workstation does not support playing DVD movies in a virtual machine.

Many other SCSI devices can be connected to a virtual machine using the host operating system's generic SCSI driver. For details on connecting these devices, see Connecting to a Generic SCSI Device.

Adding Virtual Disks to a Virtual Machine

Adding Virtual Disks to a Virtual Machine

Virtual disks are stored as files on the host computer or on a network file server. It does not matter whether the physical disk that holds the files is IDE or SCSI. A virtual IDE drive can be stored on an IDE drive or on a SCSI drive. So can a virtual SCSI drive.

Use the virtual machine settings editor (VM > Settings) to add a new virtual disk to your virtual machine. The virtual machine should be powered off before you begin. If it is not, shut down the guest operating system normally, then click Power Off on the VMware Workstation toolbar.

Note: If you have a Windows NT 4.0 guest with a SCSI virtual disk, you cannot add both an additional SCSI disk and an IDE disk to the configuration.

  1. Open the virtual machine settings editor (VM > Settings) and click Add. The Add Hardware Wizard guides you through the steps to create your virtual disk.

  2. Click Hard Disk, then click Next.
  3. Select Create a New Virtual Disk, then click Next.
  4. Choose whether you want the virtual disk to be an IDE disk or a SCSI disk.
  5. Set the capacity for the new virtual disk.

    If you wish, select Allocate all disk space now.

    Allocating all the space at the time you create the virtual disk gives somewhat better performance, but it requires as much disk space as the size you specify for the virtual disk.

    If you do not select this option, the virtual disk's files start small and grow as needed, but they can never grow larger than the size you set here.

    You can set a size between 2GB and 256GB for a SCSI virtual disk or 128GB for an IDE virtual disk. The default is 4GB.

    You may also specify whether you want the virtual disk created as one large file or split into a set of 2GB files. You should split your virtual disk if it is stored on a FAT32 file system.

  6. Accept the default filename and location for the virtual disk file or change it, if you want to use a different name or location. To find a different folder, click Browse.

    If you want to specify a device node for your virtual disk, click Advanced.

    On the advanced settings screen, you can also specify a disk mode. This is useful in certain special-purpose configurations in which you want to exclude disks from the snapshot. For more information on the snapshot feature, see Using the Snapshot.

    Normal disks are included in the snapshot. In most cases, this is the setting you want — with Independent deselected.

    Independent disks are not included in the snapshot. If you select Independent, you have the following options:

    • Persistent — changes are immediately and permanently written to the disk.
    • Nonpersistent — changes to the disk are discarded when you power off or revert to the snapshot.

      When you have set the filename and location you want to use and have made any selections you want to make on the advanced settings screen, click Finish.

  7. The wizard creates the new virtual disk. It appears to your guest operating system as a new, blank hard disk. Use the guest operating system's tools to partition and format the new drive for use.
Adding Raw Disks to a Virtual Machine

Adding Raw Disks to a Virtual Machine

Use the virtual machine settings editor (VM > Settings) to add a new raw disk to your virtual machine. The virtual machine should be powered off before you begin. If it is not, shut down the guest operating system normally, then click Power Off on the VMware Workstation toolbar.

Caution: Raw disks are an advanced feature and should be configured only by expert users.

  1. Open the virtual machine settings editor (VM > Settings) and click Add. The Add Hardware Wizard guides you through the steps to create your virtual disk.
  2. Click Hard Disk, then click Next.

  3. Select Use a physical disk, then click Next.

  4. Choose the physical hard disk to use from the drop-down list. Select whether you want to use the entire disk or use only individual partitions on the disk. Click Next.

  5. If you selected Use individual partitions in the previous step, select which partitions you want to use in the virtual machine. If you selected Use entire disk, this step does not appear.

    Only the partitions you select in this step are visible to the virtual machine. All other partitions are hidden from it.

    Click Next.

  6. Accept the default filename and location for the file that stores access information for this raw disk — or change it, if you want to use a different name or location. To find a different directory, click Browse.

    Click Advanced if you want to specify the virtual machine SCSI or IDE device node to which this disk is connected.

    On the advanced settings screen, you can also specify a disk mode. This is useful in certain special-purpose configurations in which you want to exclude disks from the snapshot. For more information on the snapshot feature, see Using the Snapshot.

    Normal disks are included in the snapshot. In most cases, this is the setting you want — with Independent deselected.

    Independent disks are not included in the snapshot. If you select Independent, you have the following options:

    • Persistent — changes are immediately and permanently written to the disk.
    • Nonpersistent — changes to the disk are discarded when you power off or revert to the snapshot.

      When you have set the filename and location you want to use and have made any selections you want to make on the advanced settings screen, click Finish.

  7. The wizard configures the new raw disk. If the partitions used on the raw disk are not formatted for your guest operating system, use the guest operating system's tools to format them.

Note: After you create a raw disk using one or more partitions on a physical disk, you should never modify the partition tables by running fdisk or a similar utility in the guest operating system.

Note: If you use fdisk or a similar utility on the host operating system to modify the partition table of the physical disk, you must recreate the virtual machine's raw disk.

Adding DVD or CD Drives to a Virtual Machine

Adding DVD or CD Drives to a Virtual Machine

You can add one or more DVD or CD drives to your virtual machine. You can connect the virtual machine's drive to a physical drive on the host machine or to an ISO image file.

You can configure the virtual DVD or CD drive as either IDE or SCSI, no matter what kind of physical drive you connect it to. In other words, if your host computer has an IDE CD drive, you can set up the virtual machine's drive as either SCSI or IDE and connect it to the host's drive. The same is true if the host's physical drive is a SCSI drive.

Adding a DVD or CD Drive

Adding a DVD or CD Drive

  1. Open the virtual machine settings editor (VM > Settings) and click Add to start the Add Hardware Wizard.
  2. Click DVD/CD-ROM Drive, then click Next.
  3. Select Use physical drive if you want to connect the virtual machine's drive to a physical drive on the host computer. Select Use ISO Image if you want to connect the virtual machine's drive to an ISO image file.
  4. Do one of the following:
    • If you selected Use physical drive, choose the drive you want to use from the drop-down list or choose Auto detect.
If you do not want the CD drive connected when the virtual machine starts, deselect Connect at power on.
Click Advanced if you want to specify the device node the drive should use in the virtual machine.
On the advanced settings screen you may also select Legacy emulation. This is necessary only if you have had problems using normal mode. The legacy emulation mode does not support all the capabilities of normal mode. For example, if you are using legacy emulation mode, you cannot record CDs, you cannot read multisession CDs, you cannot extract digital audio from a CD and you cannot read or write DVDs. For details, see Legacy Emulation for DVD and CD Drives.
After you have made any desired changes in these settings, click Finish.
    • If you selected Use ISO Image, enter the path and filename for the image file or click Browse to navigate to the file.
If you do not want the CD drive connected when the virtual machine starts, deselect Connect at power on.
Click Advanced if you want to specify the device node the drive should use in the virtual machine.
After you have made any desired changes in these settings, click Finish.
  1. The drive is set up initially so it appears to the guest operating system as an IDE drive. If you want it to appear to the guest operating system as a SCSI drive, click the drive's entry in the virtual machine settings editor and make that change in the settings panel on the right.
Legacy Emulation for DVD and CD Drives

Legacy Emulation for DVD and CD Drives

The virtual machine settings editor (VM > Settings) provides a Legacy emulation option for DVD and CD drives attached to the virtual machine.

On Windows hosts, this option is deselected by default.

On Linux hosts with IDE drives, the default setting for this option depends on whether the ide-scsi module is loaded in your kernel. The ide-scsi module must be loaded — or you must be using a physical SCSI drive — if you want to connect to the DVD or CD drive in raw mode.

If you encounter problems using your DVD or CD drive, try selecting Legacy emulation.

Note that in legacy emulation mode, you can read from data discs in the DVD or CD drive, but some other functions are not available.

When Legacy emulation is deselected, the guest operating system communicates directly with the drive. This direct communication enables capabilities that are not possible in legacy emulation mode, such as using CD and DVD writers to burn discs, reading multisession CDs, performing digital audio extraction and viewing video.

However, in some cases, the DVD or CD drive may not work correctly when the guest operating system is communicating directly with the drive. In addition, certain drives and their drivers do not work correctly in raw mode. Selecting Legacy emulation is a way to work around these problems.

If you run more than one virtual machine at a time, and if their CD drives are in legacy emulation mode, you may prefer to start the virtual machines with their CD drives disconnected. This ensures that you do not have multiple virtual machines connected to the CD drive at the same time.

Adding Floppy Drives to a Virtual Machine

Adding Floppy Drives to a Virtual Machine

You can add floppy drives to your virtual machine, to a total of two floppy drives. A virtual floppy drive can connect to a physical floppy drive on the host computer, to an existing floppy image file or to a blank floppy image file.

Adding a Floppy Drive

Adding a Floppy Drive

  1. Open the virtual machine settings editor (VM > Settings) and click Add to start the Add Hardware Wizard.
  2. Click Floppy Drive, then click Next.
  3. Select what you want to connect to — a physical floppy drive on the host computer, an existing floppy image file or a new floppy image file. Click Next.
  4. If you selected Use a physical floppy drive, choose the drive's letter (on a Windows host) or device name (on a Linux host) from the drop-down list, then click Finish.

    If you selected Use a floppy image, type the path and filename for the floppy image file you want to use or click Browse to navigate to the file. Click Finish.

    If you selected Create a blank floppy image, use the default path and filename or type in a new one. To navigate to a location, click Browse. When the field contains the path and filename you want to use for the new floppy image file, click Finish.

Note: By default, only one floppy drive is enabled in the virtual machine's BIOS. If you are adding a second floppy drive to the virtual machine, click inside the virtual machine window and press F2 as the virtual machine boots to enter the BIOS setup utility. On the main screen, choose Legacy Diskette B: and use the plus (+) and minus (-) keys on the numerical keypad to select the type of floppy drive you want to use. Then press F10 to save your changes and close the BIOS setup utility.

Connecting a CD-ROM or Floppy Drive to an Image File

Connecting a CD-ROM or Floppy Drive to an Image File

You can use the virtual machine settings editor to connect an existing virtual CD-ROM or floppy drive to an image file.

You can connect a virtual CD-ROM drive to an ISO image file.

Connecting to an ISO Image File

Connecting to an ISO Image File

  1. Open the virtual machine settings editor (VM > Settings) and select the DVD/CD-ROM drive you want to connect to the image file.
  2. Select Use ISO Image and enter the path and filename for the image file or click Browse to navigate to the file.
  3. Click OK to save the configuration and close the virtual machine settings editor.
Connecting to a Floppy Image File

Connecting to a Floppy Image File

  1. Open the virtual machine settings editor (VM > Settings) and select the floppy drive you want to connect to an image file.
  2. Type the path and filename for the floppy image file you want to use or click Browse to navigate to the file.

    If you want to create a new image file, click Create. Use the default filename and folder or change them as you wish.

  3. Click Finish.

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