A Practical Guide for 2020 – VMware change VMDK File location

For the various servers like VMware ESX Server, VMware GSX Server 3.x and 2.5, VMware Player, VMware ACE, etc VMware has created a virtual disk format called VMDK. We all know that a virtual hard disk is an imitation of the physical hard disk. Similarly, a VMDK is also an imitation of a physical hard disk. The more efficient the VMDK file is the more efficiently the host OS will perform. But many times users feel the requirement to VMware change VMDK file location. So, today in this guide we will discuss the various reasons why users come in a situation to change the VMDK file location and the methods to do this. 

Reasons to VMware change VMDK file location

You must know that we can change the location of the VMDK file on the same host computer. Also, the VM can also be shift to another operating system too. So, let’s start discussing the reasons for this movement.

  • If you are looking to clone the VM.
  • If the user wants to take a backup of a virtual machine.
  • Troubleshooting problems that emerge high disk-space use.
  • To move a VM disk using a single VMware product to an unlike platform using a different VMware Product.

Now, it will be clear to you why the user requires to change the location of VMDK files. Now let’s discuss the method of how you can perform this movement. 

Method to Change VMDK file location

Before moving the VMDK files to a different location or host there are certain points that must be followed. So, let’s have a look at the pre-requisites for this method. 

  • First, gain information about how Workstation produces UUIDs for move VMs. (P.S. UUID is a 128-bit number which comes in use to identify an object or entity on the Internet uniquely)
  • Second, you must understand the advantages of moving the VMDK File and also the disadvantages associated with it, such that:
  1. The guest OS might cease to work correctly with the shifting of the virtual machine to a host system which has significantly different hardware.
  2. The Workstation 7.x and later versions of the VM sustain up to eight-way virtual symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) on the multiprocessor host-systems. The user is permitted to assign up to eight virtual processors to the virtual machines that run on the host systems and have at least a pair of logical processors. In case the user attempts to assign two processors to a virtual machine that runs on a uniprocessor host system, a warning message pops up. The user may show disregard for this message and assign two processors. Although, the user requires to shift it to a host with two logical processors at the least, before powering it on.
  3. Also, the user is allowed to move a VM from a host of the size of 32-bit to a host of 64-bit. But the same person cannot run VM from a 64-bit host to a 32-bit one. Except for the 32-bit host which supports a 64-bit processor.
  • Lastly, in the case of moving a linked clone, you will need to verify if the clone can access the parent virtual machine or not. For that: 
  1. In case you are moving a linked clone or moving its parent virtual machine, you need to assure that the clone can access the parent virtual machine.
  2. You also need to make sure that the Workstation can locate the original virtual machine. If the Workstation is not able to find the original virtual machine, it cannot power on a linked clone.

So, after following all the pre-requisites let’s start discussing the method for this movement.

  • Firstly, confirm that VM files have been stored within the VMs directory. Since some of this file may exist outside the list.
  • Now, shut down the guest operating and power off the VM.
  • Copy VM files to a new location.

Note: In case the data have been moved to the same host system, remove the virtual machine from the library. Then select File, go to Open and Browse to the VM configuration file in the new location.

  • Then, after the Virtual Machine moves to a different host system start Workstation, select File then press Open and browse to the virtual machine configuration file.
  • Lastly, when the VM works perfectly in the new location, delete virtual machine files from the original site of the data.

So, hopefully after performing this method your problem of VMware change, VMDK file location would be solved. But, in case if you are unable to get the job done or looking for an easy solution for this you can use a VMDK recovery tool that will help you out. The tool is crafted using the lasted algorithms that will enable you to do this task in an automated manner. 

Final Verdict

So, we can conclude that this guide will solve your problem regarding VMware change VMDK file location. I have provided an easy DIY method for recovering from this problem. I hope, this blog will help you out.