Can vmdk's be switched between VM's?

Posted on 2012-08-16
Last Modified: 2012-08-17
I am upgrading a Windows 2003 server to 2008. One of my disks on 2003 server is about 700GB in size. Both machines will remain in production for the time being but can I disconnect the 700GB drive from the 2003 server and connect it to the 2008 server without losing data. I have no problems with redoing the shares and permissions on the 2008 server...I just dont want to have to manually copy 700 GB from one server share to another. The vmdk I want "move" is on a SAN so the actual file doesnt need to physically move at all although I would like to be able to put it in a folder named after the new VM as well as rename the vmdk itself to correctly reflect the VM it's associated too.

Has anyone tried this?

Question by:gwbmcse
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    step3Yes. it can be. But some actions need to do.

    Base on your description, I think you do not have question about how to connnect SAN between 2003 & 2008 server.

    So I just tell you the actions you need to do.

    now you create a new VM and use a existed vmdk. you will find a new network card after boot new VM.
    you need delete old network card in VM, the configure IP for the new network card.

    1. boot VMs
    2. open cmd, type
    set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

    Open in new window

    3. show hidden devices and remove old network card
    4. set IP for the new netowrk card

    those are the actions you need to do, becase you need do these actions, so your VM will not online about 5-10 minutes.

    BTW.  if you are standalone VM Environment, the best way is using export / import VM function.

    If you want have 100% online time during move, you need use VMware vSphere
    LVL 16

    Accepted Solution

    yes, you can detach a vmdk from one vm and attach it to another without issue.

    it's best if you down the source VM to detach it but not necessary.  Just edit settings on the source VM, select remove (make sure you don't select the option to delete it and do a backup first to be extra safe).  Then open the Datastore Browser on the datastore it is in (right-click on the datastore from the General tab to get the browser open), then you can use the browser to move the disk to the folder you want it in.  Once it's in place, you can use the browser to rename it and then edit settings on the destination VM and add it in.  Again, powered off is better for the attachment, but not required.
    LVL 116

    Expert Comment

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    Yes, it can be done, ensure you have valid backups.

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