How to – mount a vmdk file under windows

To mount the partitions of a vmdk file (read and writeable) under windows you can use the tool vmware-mount (part of the vSphere 5 Disk Development Kit).

You can download it here: vSphere Disk Development Kit

After installation you need a commandline. With the parameter -h you will get a quick overview about the syntax and the possible parameters:

To mount a vmdk file (saved at C:\temp) in read-only mode use the following command:

vmware-mount.exe X: “C:\Temp\TestVM.vmdk”

Now you have a read-only access to the vmdk file using your windows explorer (navigate to driveletter X:).

If the vmdk file contains more than one partition you can use the parameter /v:x to mount the other volumes:

vmware-mount.exe /v:2 X: “C:\Temp\TestVM.vmdk”

If you need a writeable access just use the parameter “/m:w“.
This is extremly helpful if you need to replace a broken systemfile for example:

vmware-mount.exe /m:w X: “C:\Temp\TestVM.vmdk”

To delete the mapping to driveletter X: use the parameter /d:

vmware-mount.exe /d X:

And last but not least – if you want to list all the mounted virtual drives use /L:

vmware-mount.exe /L

7 Comments

  1. Rick Robbins

    Can this action be performed in Linux without the use of wine (or similar utility)?

  2. AG

    works well – note that the disk must contain a valid partition to be mounted – commonsense but might save frustration for another n00b like me!

  3. Daniel

    vSphere Disk Development kit cannot be installed on Windows 8.

  4. Andreas

    @Daniel:

    5.1 Virtual Disk Development Kit should support windows 8 (http://www.vmware.com/support/developer/vddk/VDDK-510-ReleaseNotes.html)

  5. dt

    You can open a VMDK to read the contents using 7zip.

  6. Andrew Zimmerman

    Can you give me an example of what I would do if I get this error:

    Unable to mount the virtual disk. The disk may be in use by a virtual
    machine, may not have enough volumes or mounted under another drive
    letter. If not, verify that the file is a valid virtual disk file.

  7. albertshaines

    Great guide! Very useful!

    You can also use VMware Workstation or OSFMount tool to mount VMDK files on Windows.

    OSFMount works with GUI or from command line and it’s freeware.

    You have version 32 and 64 bits.

    Article at: http://www.sysadmit.com/2016/07/vmware-abrir-vmdk-desde-windows.html

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