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Adding a New Virtual Disk 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. To add an existing virtual disk to the virtual machine, see Adding an Existing Virtual Disk to a Virtual Machine. The virtual machine must 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.

Link to w_newhdd_hdwtype.png

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 0.1GB and 950GB for a virtual disk.

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 file system that does not support files larger than 2GB.

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 snapshots. For more information on the snapshot feature, see Using Snapshots.

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

Independent disks are not included in snapshots. 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 a 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 an Existing Virtual Disk to a Virtual Machine

    You can reconnect an existing virtual disk that has been removed from a virtual machine (see Removing a Virtual Disk from a Virtual Machine). The virtual machine must be powered off before you begin.

    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 an existing virtual disk, then click Next.

    4. Enter the path and filename for the existing disk file, or click Browse to navigate to the file.

    5. Click OK.

    Removing a Virtual Disk from a Virtual Machine

    Use the virtual machine settings editor to disconnect a virtual disk from a virtual machine.

    To remove a virtual disk from a virtual machine:

    1. Select a virtual machine and choose VM > Settings.

    Note: A virtual machine must be powered off before you can remove a virtual disk. You cannot remove a virtual disk if the virtual machine is suspended.

    2. Select the virtual disk you want to remove.

    3. Click Remove.

    The virtual disk is disconnected from virtual machine.

    Note: The Remove command does not delete files from the host file system. You can delete virtual disk files manually. You can also retain the virtual disk files and reconnect the virtual disk to the virtual machine later. See Adding an Existing Virtual Disk to a Virtual Machine.

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