transfer vmdk over to another vm?

I have two guest Oses running on ESX 4.0

Guest (1)
Windows 2003
Has two different drives, thus having two different .vmdks
Hosts file\folder shares and etc.

Guest (2) is a brand new prestine image
Windows 2008
Will be new file\print server

MY goal is to get all files, folder shares to my new Guest (vm server) with minimal effort, while retaining existing shares and permissions.

I know you can detach the vmdk from one guest VM and attached to another guest VM, but was uncertain what would happen to folder shares and permissions on the drives. Would you need to reset up? are they retained and now shared out on the new server?

Has anyone done this?  Is this the best way?  If not, what are other recommendations of copying data over, while keeping permissions, shares and structure

Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
The SIDs shouldn't change so all the permissions would be there. I would recommend copying the vmdk to the new location and mounting it there.  You may have to add the shares back in, I don't remember offhand but if it's just share folders you should be ok with the permissions

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Hi bntech,

Think of a VMDK file as nothing more than a basic hard drive. If you removed a physical HDD from a server containing the D: drive, and inserted it into a new server nothing on the HDD would change. The data and the file level permissions remain intact. The share names are a different story however, because the host server has changed.

There are several different ways to move a VMDK file, but I'm going to assume, because you have ESX that you have some type of shared storage. The eaiest way to move the VMDK file is to browse the datastore using the VSphere Client. Open the VSphere Client, click on the host server, go to the Configuration tab, click on storage in the Hardware pane, right click the appropriate datastore, and choose the option to Browse datastore. Then select the VM containing the VMDK file, right click on the VMDK and slect the option to "move". You can then select the desired location and it will move the file. Make sure prior to doing this you have first created the new VM so you don't have to move the file twice.

Once you are done moving the VMDK file you need to edit the configuration of the destination VM, and add a virtual drive. You will then have the option to select the existing vitual drive, browse to it's location and you're done.

You can use robocopy to copy the files/folders along with NTFS permission and other attributes.
You can copy share permission using "permcopy" (windows resouce kit tool)
 resourcekit tool)
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.