Access VMware Disk (VMDK) in Sun VirtualBox

Access VMware Disk Sun VirtualBox

Sun VirtualBox with VDI Files

Sun VirtualBox, open source virtualization software creates VDI files when virtual machine created in VirtualBox, but it supports to access VMware another virtualization software disk (VMDK Files) also.

VMware disk can be accessed in any of the operating system already running on Sun VirtualBox. Follow the steps to complete this task.

1)      VMware disk (VMDK) should be added in Sun VirtualBox ‘Virtual Media Manager’. To do this, Click on File in main console and go to ‘Virtual Media Manager’.

2) Select the ‘Hard Disks’ tab, and click Add. Browse for the VMware disk (VMDK file). Select the main VMDK file only if you have split disks. Make sure you don’t get any errors while adding. If Sun VirtualBox couldn’t recognize entire VMware disk, then you may get some errors. After successfully added in Virtual Media Manager, then go to the Virtual machine settings screen where you want to access this VMDK file.

Access VMware Disk Sun VirtualBox

3)      Select the Virtual machine left side and click on the ‘Hard Disks’ as shown below by arrow mark.

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4)      Click on + sign in the next screen. One more slot will be added. Once click the drop down button, you can see the all hard disks added in Virtual Media Manager. Select the VMDK file drive to access in specific operating system. Press OK.

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5)      In the virtual machine settings , make sure newly added hard disk appears under ‘Hard Disks’

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6)      That’s it, Start the virtual machine. The VMware disk can be accessed now in Sun VirtualBox operating system.

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Download Virtualization Software Sun VirtualBox for Windows


  1. Wael says

    I dont have the add option in the version i have, only refresh and release and remove :S

  2. Francois Rey says

    Later version of vbox do not have the Add button anymore in the Virtual Media Manager.
    However drag and drop still works: just drop the file with the mouse on the list of hard disks.

  3. Ranith Sachintha says

    Yeah…it was very useful, adding the VMDK through the virtual media manager really worked for me.

  4. Balaji says

    Yes you dont have the option to add. Create a new VM and then when prompted to create a drive choose existing hard disk and choose the path of your .vmdk file(root file) then create. Then you will find the option in your list of VM’s. Then go to setting and create another hard drive in storage and choose your secondary .vmdk file.(ensure you choose primary master and primary slave correctly) and then lauch the VM. should work

  5. says

    On a dual boot Win7 ubuntu11.10 machine with Win7 host,
    I run virtualbox ubuntu11.10 and wish to mount ubuntu physical partition as secondary drive.

    VBoxManage needed to be run as Administrator or else errors are generated.
    Commands I used:

    \Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage internalcommands listpartitions -rawdisk \\.\PhysicalDrive0
    \Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename C:\Users\jlettvin\.VirtualBox\VDI\RawPhysicalDrive5.vmdk -rawdisk \\.\PhysicalDrive0 -partitions 5

    Then I open VirtualBox 4.1.4, then Virtual Media Manager, then drag file from explorer
    over to drop it, It looks like it will work, but when I drop it I get the message:

    Failed to open the hard disk

    The medium
    can’t be used as the requested device type.

    Result Code: E_FAIL (0x80004005)
    Component: Medium
    Interface: IMedius {hex numbers}
    Callee: IVirtualBox {hexnumbers}

    Is there some step I am missing?

  6. Sergio says

    Hi, I’m trying to do that.. but when I add the disk I get this message :

    Failed to open the hard disk E:\last_IBM_backup\Virtual Machines\Fedora\Fedora.vmdk.

    Callee RC: E_FAIL (0x80004005)

    Any idea about this? Thanks in advance!

    • Harold says

      I finally discovered why I was getting error code0×80004005
      I order to attach vmdk device you must first start VirtualBox in Administrator mode. To do this, right click on VirtualBox in menu and select Run as Administrator.