In this guide, you will learn how to attach, mount and access the physical hard disk (entire disk or particular partition) inside a virtual machine on VMware workstation. It becomes handy in some cases to share data between guest and host machines.
For example, if you need to use host PC’s entire physical disk or a partition from VMware virtual machine, mostly everyone makes a network between host and guest then share the drive. It will be a good idea for temporary usage, but not secure if you have outside or public network. Under Desktop virtualization with VMware Workstation, you can access physical hard disk very easily and permanently as ‘Guest’s Local disk’ by adding the physical disk to VMware machine.
Add Physical Disk in VMware Machine.
It’s very easy to add physical disk from Host PC to guest PC in VMware. Follow the below steps. Though the screenshots are taken from the old version, but it is applicable for the latest versions of Windows and Mac OS X host computers.
Physical Hard disk can be added to a virtual machine when it is completely powered off or powered on, NOT in suspended mode.
1) Right-click on Virtual machine then go to settings (or click on ‘ Edit virtual machine settings’ in summary view)
2) Press Add button in Virtual Machine Settings,
3) Select Hard Disk
4) Click Next and select ‘Use a physical disk’ option.
5) In the next screen under Device, you can select the physical hard disk which connected to your computer. If you have a single hard drive, you will see one disk only. Under usage option, select whether you want to use the entire disk or specific partition on the selected hard disk in device option.
You can select the individual partition. It is better to attach the partition which doesn’t have host’s working Operating System. That can prevent any damage to the working host OS.
6) One VMDK configuration file for the above hard disk will be created and saved in Virtual machine’s location. Click Finish to complete the creation.
7) If all settings are correct, without any error message you will return to Virtual Machine Settings screen with the added hard disk. Now your virtual machine is ready to access the physical hard disk in VMware virtual machine.
8) If the hard disk is added when the virtual machine is on, then you may need to restart the virtual machine or go to disk management in computer management and rescan for new disks.
I’m sure you will NOT TRY TO FORMAT the disk because that is your physical hard disk. Remember, whatever changes you make on this partition from the virtual machine will be accessible from host OS.
If you get an error message saying “The physical disk already in use, cannot open the disk” while accessing this partition from gust VM, shutdown the VM, close VMware workstation and open VMware workstation as Administrator (Right-click the icon and select ‘Run as Administrator’)