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What is the preferred way to access physical drives from VMware virtual machines?

What is the preferred way to access physical drives from VMware virtual machines?

I have several virtual machines running Windows XP using VMware (v.6) which I use to install and use applications I don't want on the main host OS (WinXP). I need to access data on the physical drives on the host OS from the virtual machine.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 124
Total answers/comments: 2
Guest [Entry]

"I believe that when you configure ""use a physical disk"", it assumes the VM has exclusive use of that disk—which it doesn't if the host system is also using it. This can lead to corruption, as both ""machines"" can have different views about what is really on the disk due to each one doing caching.

I think you want to look into ""Shared Folders"", where one or more folders you want to use from the host are shared to the guest VM. There they can either be mapped as a drive letter or accessed via a UNC path. (Both read-only and read-write sharing is possible.)

A notable advantages of Shared folders over solutions like ""real"" Windows sharing is that they don't actually depend on network (not even from guest point of view). This sharing will work even if you disable/firewall/disconnect all adapters on the guest machines (which can become handy when dealing with applications you don't trust.)"
Guest [Entry]

"Do you want to have access to this drive by the host too ? If yes, certainly you have to use SHARED FOLDERS.

If not, and you want to have access for this drive only by the guest VM, certainly you have to add PHYSICAL DISK.

I am not a specialist, but I suggest you to use shared folders and let the main operational system in use, to deal with the physical drivers. I always do that, for many years, without problems."