VMWare Workstation 8 "Add a Physical Disk"

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VMWare Workstation 8 "Add a Physical Disk"

Postposted on Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:52 pm

I have an external eSATA drive that I need to access as a volume within a VM, when I go to the "VM Settings" -> "Add Hard Disk" -> "Use a Physical Disk" it gives me the choice of 'Use entire disk' or 'Use individual partitions'. Perhaps it's just the wording that's making my spidey sense tingle. I don't want to add a physical disk only to discover that it's erased the contents of the disk. Can anybody confirm what happens to the contents of a Hard Disk when added to a VM in such a manner?
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Re: VMWare Workstation 8 "Add a Physical Disk"

Postposted on Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:58 pm

Well, I'm more familiar with VirtualBox than VMware, but AFAIK attaching an existing disk -- whether virtual or physical -- to a VM does not alter its contents at all. It's the equivalent of plugging in the hard drive cable.
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Re: VMWare Workstation 8 "Add a Physical Disk"

Postposted on Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:29 pm

I have extensive experience with ESX, iSCSI, and SANs - but none with VMWare Workstation. I agree with jbi; if you're "wrong" I think the worst thing that will happen is the disk will appear to the VM guest as blank or random garbage. As long as you don't try to repartition or format the thing from the guest virtual machine to which you've attached it, it will remain unchanged.
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Re: VMWare Workstation 8 "Add a Physical Disk"

Postposted on Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:11 am

I split thegleek's eSATA rant tangent out to here if anyone cares to follow it...
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Re: VMWare Workstation 8 "Add a Physical Disk"

Postposted on Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:12 am

What are you trying to accomplish exactly? Do you want to use the disk as storage for the VM, do you have data you need to get to, or are you trying to boot off of the drive? What's keeping you from mounting the drive in the host OS then sharing it with the VM?

As long as you don't add it to the datastore (this may be just an ESXi thing), it should just pass the drive through as is.
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Re: VMWare Workstation 8 "Add a Physical Disk"

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:36 am

Flatland_Spider wrote:What are you trying to accomplish exactly? Do you want to use the disk as storage for the VM, do you have data you need to get to, or are you trying to boot off of the drive? What's keeping you from mounting the drive in the host OS then sharing it with the VM?

As long as you don't add it to the datastore (this may be just an ESXi thing), it should just pass the drive through as is.


I P2V'ed my laptop, the eSATA drive housed my iTunes library and it's linked to a specific drive and as I'm unfamiliar with moving the iTunes database this seemed to be the best option. It works for me.
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