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?
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
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)
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.