Desktop Virtualization- Access Physical hard disk in VMware Virtual Machine

Desktop virtualizationSometimes when you do desktop virtualization using VMware (Ver. 6.5.1 used in this example), accessing Physical hard drives, means ‘Host’s hard disk’ is little tricky.

For example if you need to use host PC’s entire physical disk or a partition from VMware virtual machine, mostly everyone make 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 6.5.1 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 6.5.1. Follow the steps,

Hard disk can be added when virtual machine is completely powered off or powered on, NOT in suspend mode.

1) Right click on Virtual machine then go to settings ( or click on ‘ Edit virtual machine settings’ in summery view)

2) Press Add button in Virtual Machine Settings,

3) Select Hard Disk

Desktop virtualization

4) Click Next and select ‘Use a physical disk’ option.

5) In the next screen under Device, you can select the physical hard disk connected to computer. Under usage option select whether you want to use the entire disk or specific partition on selected hard disk in device option.

Desktop virtualization vmware

6) One VMDK configuration file for the above hard disk will be created and saved in Virtual machine’s location, and click Finish.

7) If all settings correct, without any error message you will return to Virtual Machine Settings screen with one more added hard disk. Now your virtual machine is ready to access physical hard disk in VMware under desktop virtualization.

Desktop virtualization

8) If hard disk is added when 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 which is your physical hard disk.

access Physical in vmware

We can discuss if you face any problem on this.

12 thoughts on “Desktop Virtualization- Access Physical hard disk in VMware Virtual Machine”

  1. Dear Sir

    I have tried adding physical disk in vmware but it is showing error that cannot add IDE0, so please kindly suggest me what can I Do,

    My system configuration is P IV, 2.4 GHz, 2GB DDR2 Ram, and Iam using VMWare workstation 7.0

    Iam Using windows 7 in VMWare workstation

    • Hi Rajesh,
      I think you are trying to add hard disk when virtual machine is on. IDE disks cannot be added while virtual machine is on. Only SATA supports. So, just switch off the virtual machine, add the physical disk then start.

  2. Hello Sir

    “after adding physical hard disk to vmware”

    when ever I power on my PC, XP is Checking Volume for error(Scanning) Drives : D, E, F, G

    When ever I power on Virtual Machine (Windows 7) is checking Checking Volume for error(Scanning) Drives : D, E, F, G

    What would gone wrong, please advice

  3. I am having the same issue as Rajesh Bali. Host starts and runs check and replaces file security descriptors then guest does the same. Back and forth whenever either one is booted.

    Both OSes XP Pro SP3
    Host OS is on drive 0
    Guest OS is a virtual drive file on Host OS partition.
    Guest data is on phy. drive 1 (single partition).
    Host has drive 1 as unassigned.

    Any Ideas?

  4. Hi, i am new in vmware. i have setup vmware workstation8 in my pc
    which has windows 7 workstation . i have created windows vista virtual machine in vmware but when i configure my virtual machine to have access to physical disk after turning on virtual machine i encounter this message ” can not open .vmdk file or one of the snapshot disks it depends onson: rea the physical disk is already in use ”
    plz help me in this issue

  5. after adding physical disk and restarting Ubuntu, i keep geting \\physical dick. 0 failed……. pls any idea

    • i have the same issues after adding the physical disk onto vwmware and cannnot open it any more, any thoughts

  6. can not open .vmdk file or one of the snapshot disks it depends onson: rea the physical disk is already in use ” what to do now??? help me plz

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