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Configuring a Windows Host
Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 Dynamic Disks
If your host is running Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 and is using dynamic disks, see Do Not Use Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 Dynamic Disks as Raw Disks.
Configuring the Virtual Machine to Use a Physical Disk
Use the following steps to run a guest operating system from a physical disk.
Note: If you use a Windows host's IDE disk in a physical disk configuration, it cannot be configured as the slave on the secondary IDE channel if the master on that channel is a CD-ROM drive.
1. Identify the raw partition on which you plan to install the guest operating system.
Check the guest operating system documentation regarding the type of partition on which the operating system can be installed. For example, operating systems like DOS, Windows 95 and Windows 98 must be installed on the first primary partition while others, like Linux, can be installed on a primary or extended partition on any part of the drive.
Identify an appropriate physical partition or disk for the guest operating system to use. Be sure that the physical partition is not mounted by the Windows host and not in use by others. Also, be sure the physical partition or disk does not have data you will need in the future; if it does, back up that data now.
2. Start the New Virtual Machine Wizard (File > New > Virtual Machine) and select Custom.
3. When you reach the Select a Disk step, select Use a physical disk.
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.
6. The partition on which you are installing the guest operating system should be unmapped in the host.
Caution: Corruption is possible if you allow the virtual machine to modify a partition that is simultaneously mounted under Windows. Since the virtual machine and guest operating system access a physical disk partition while the host continues to run Windows, it is critical that you not allow the virtual machine to modify any partition mounted by the host or in use by another virtual machine. To safeguard against this problem, be sure the physical disk partition you use for the virtual machine is not in use by the host.
Windows Server 2003, Windows XP or Windows 2000 host: Use Disk Management (Start > Settings > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Storage > Disk Management). Select the partition you want to unmap, then choose Action > All Tasks > Change Drive Letter and Path. Click the Remove button.
7. Use the virtual machine settings editor (VM > Settings) if you want to change any configuration options from the wizard defaults for example, to change the amount of memory allocated to the guest operating system.
8. At this point you are ready to begin installing the guest operating system onto the physical disk you configured for the virtual machine. For more details, read the installation notes for various guest operating systems in the VMware Guest Operating System Installation Guide, available from the VMware Web site or from the Help menu.